05/07/2013 Newswatch


05/07/2013

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you very much indeed. Time now for Newswatch with Samir

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Ahmed and this week, immigration from Europe comes under the

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spotlight. Welcome to Newswatch. On the

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programme: come on, Andy! Why should news bulletins have to move because

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of a tennis match? The Rolling Stones, the tents, the

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wellies, but should BBC News had gone to Glastonbury? And has BBC

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coverage of immigration from Europe demonstrated a liberal bias?

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The biggest story of the week has been the crisis in Egypt, where huge

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protests against the government led to President Morsi being ousted and

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replaced but how should that litter call our people be described -- how

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should the political upheaval be festivals are in full swing and so

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is Murray-mania. Along with the latter comes the annual round of

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complaints about the scheduling of Wimbledon, with Andy Murray's

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quarterfinal comeback supplanting the local news bulletins and moving

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Glastonbury, also gave rise to objections. Judging by this phone

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call from Mike Morgan, he is not a fan. Why was it necessary in the

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news programme to have repeated references for what passes for a

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music festival, and to actually send a reporter and a camera team looking

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at people jumping up and down in puddles and making inane comments?

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 46 seconds

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This is not what I expect from the way the breadth of public opinion on

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the thorny topic of immigration, the European Union and religion? That is

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the question the BBC Trust set out to answer in a review published on

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Wednesday. All these Eastern European 's are coming in. It was

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the defining point of the last general election. Gordon Brown's

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description of Gillian Duffy as that bigoted woman showed that the

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political class did not get the strength of public feeling about

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immigration. This week's -- Helen Boaden agrees, saying she found a

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deep liberal bias in immigration coverage when she took up her post

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in 2004. Mark Thompson said in 2010 that the BBC had been guilty of a

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massive bias to the left. On Europe, some viewers have told us they still

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 46 seconds

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Kingdom Independence party and the way the BBC reported it may suggest

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that sceptical views on immigration and the EU are now taken more

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seriously and a report from the BBC Trust praises the broad and

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impressive range of opinions currently broadcast, but the talk of

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bias still resonates with some he used to run ITV and two conducted

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that assessment of impartiality in BBC output. -- and who conducted.

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How has this liberal bias come about? I did not say there was a

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liberal bias in the BBC, it was the BBC head of news. The BBC has a

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tendency to follow the news agenda as driven by Westminster

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politicians. Politicians have historically been reluctant to talk

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about immigration and Europe. What I think the BBC has failed to do is to

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use its own initiative to go out into the community where these

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issues were being discussed and sometimes where mainstream

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politicians are not reflecting views that are widely held in that

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community they will be expressed through a naughty party. That is

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what is happening with UKIP. None of the main parties were ready

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representing their viewpoint held in some communities. UKIP has come

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forward quite suddenly. Journalists generally have recognised that, in

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many cases, late. And perhaps they have overcompensated. Some people

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look at news organisations say in America where there is much stronger

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opinion. There is also concerned that some of it is a lot of

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shouting, it is aggressive, and it could be harmful to the public

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discourse. I am not in favour of a lot of shouting and heat just for

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the sake of it. A good entertaining news and current affairs programme

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is mixture of heat and light and mostly light, but what I am trying

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to say is it is an important service that the BBC can provide for our

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democracy. For us to be able to hear and understand a wide range of

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viewpoints, some of which we will not find palatable. Every time the

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BBC does this, sections of the press and politicians say, outrageous,

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terrible, to give the oxygen of publicity to this. But history tells

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us we do end up speaking to these people but sometimes it takes ten

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years. We would not broadcast the IRA in 1998. 20 years later, Martin

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McGuinness is a deputy minister. I am interested that ordinary public

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opinion is not being reflected in news coverage. To what extent should

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the BBC be reflecting public opinion, including controversial

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opinion, and how far is it just a duty to inform? An example is

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climate change scepticism. You say we need to reflect dissent. That is

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an interesting one. That is a long discussion. You keep on hearing

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people say that climate change is a settled science. There is no such

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thing. We are questioning the sensible 's of science the whole

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time. It is not the job of the BBC to close down this debate. While

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there are respectable arguments by people like the former Chancellor of

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the exchequer Nigel Lawson, we should be hearing those voices.

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there is the issue of the liberal bias, what should the BBC be doing

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about it? Does bringing in someone from the Guardian reflect the

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problem? What matters is what is on the air. A number of things can be

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done to safeguard regularly on a routine. Things I suggested, things

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like appointing somebody whose job it will be to be in overall charge

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of that story and as part of their daily discipline to ask themselves,

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what are the voices on this story that we should have heard that we

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have not heard? Things like stand back moments. We get so involved in

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the unfolding story, to stand back for a minute and say, are we asking

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the questions that the public is asking? There are a number of things

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like that that could really make a difference. Thank you. A particular

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bugbear we are told about is the tendency of some reporters to wave

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their hands about. One viewer identified what he saw

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was a prime example on Monday's aware of the public backlash they

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risk if they go ahead with this pay rise, there may be nothing they can

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do about it precisely because MPs have chosen to hand decisions over

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their pay to this independent body. Jim Lee accorded the robotic hand

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your comments this week. If you want to share your opinions or even

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