15/11/2013 Newswatch


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in the studio. Now it's time for Newswatch, with Samira Ahmed. This


week, have BBC staff in the Philippines been diverting valuable


resources away from survivors of the typhoon?


Welcome to Newswatch with me. An influx of BBC presenters and


reporters in the Philippines and an uncomfortable watch for some viewers


concerned about survivors of the typhoon.


The two`minute silence which was not actually silent. And a 75`year`old


broadcaster gets a tattooed, but is it news? More than a week after the


typhoon`hit the Philippines the death toll is rising and there are


difficulties in getting food and supplies out to the survivors. It is


a huge challenge to broadcasters to cover the story and in a moment we


will explore some of the issues for journalists with the BBC's foreign


editor. First some of your reactions to the coverage. I would really like


to know why George Allah gaer is fronting the news from Manila. We


have had perfectly good reporters in the last 48 hours and it is a


complete and utter waste of money to complete `` to persist in doing it.


There is no reason. He is doing nothing that he could not do from


the studio in Britain. There that he is wasting. It is ridiculous. That


concern was picked up by Phil who messaged us on Thursday.


Well, with me now to respond to those points is the foreign editor


for BBC News. Can you start with the issue of sending in the big news


anchors. Viewers do not see why people are standing in Manila and


just reading introduction is. The main anchors that we sent out there


do not just read introductions. They are presenting some of the BBC One


programmes but they are also on our continuous networks and our radio


networks. They go out as reporters. We had some very experienced


presenters in these locations and we do not have a bureau in the


Philippines and it happened that George Alec I was one of the closest


people we could send this disaster he was in shrill anchor. `` Shri


Lancaster. Srii Lanka. The people we send their carried everything they


could on their backs. They take a tent and they operate out of the


tent and they take their own food and water and power. The conditions


are very difficult for them but we are not there to be any burden on


the aid agencies all the people who are trying to survive after the


disaster. What about the dilemma when the BBC crews have got through


and no aid has got through. What about the thought that they should


have taken food supplies with them if they could get through and it was


awful for people to see them arrive and just report on their misery.


There were no situations where we were the only ones to arrive there.


The reality is that we are going in as very small teams. The first team


that got that had backpacks. Everything they had to support


themselves were in their backpacks. We were not coming in in big convoy


is full of vehicles loaded with food just for ourselves. That is not the


reality on the ground. You would have seen from the pictures that


there was nothing in the locations that we we are sending in very small


teams and we so how have events like this tsunami affected how we cover


situations like this? We try and limit the number of people going


in. We cannot have large crews travelling around everywhere because


the crews on that side of the world are having to gather news all day


and file it all night. People can only operate like that for a 24 or


48 hours at the most before you have to get them out of the region or


give them some sort of break so we have very small crews in a lot of


different locations and we are accessing them in rotation. I know


some people have asked why we had George Alagiah and also Tim Wilcox


but they did not see that one was broadcasting throughout the day and


the other was broadcasting throughout the night. This was the


situation in the early days when no one understood the scale of it but


now having had criticism put to you is there something you would say


about the BBC's responsibility on getting word out on what was going


on and have you had any feedback about whether it affected aid


donations? Aid agencies want us to be there and telling the story.


Governments want the wider world to know about what has happened,


especially as was acknowledged by the Filipino government, they are


not coping. If you look at things like the DEC appeal which raised in


a short period of time ?30 million. This is clearly a story of


international interest and huge interest to people in the UK and it


was the sort of story that we had to be there and we had to tell the


world about it. Thank you very much. Monday was Armistice Day,


traditionally marks by a two`minute silence. At the 11th hour of the


11th day and the 11th month BBC One and BBC Two joined with the news


channel to broadcast this. `` BIG BEN CHIMES.


Silence, not really, and there were locations. The locations were great


but two minutes silence not exactly that.


Another caller agreed. This is BBC News ` coming up in the


next few minutes: to answer that question I am joined


by the man in charge. What did happen? Well, you saw and heard what


happened. The intention was to go to a number of places around the


country to see how people were commemorating Armistice Day and in


one respect we did that. You saw, but you also heard and clearly what


you did not get was silence. That disappointed a significant number of


viewers and it did upset viewers and I would apologise to them because I


know how important the anniversary is to millions of people. I am very


sorry that it did not go as we would wish. The BBC covers Armistice Day


every year with this two`minute silence so what happened this year,


did you try to do some indifferent that went wrong? Not particularly.


The main commemoration on Remembrance Sunday is on the


cenotaph. On Armistice Day itself we try to reflect the whole of the UK


and get to as many places as possible. What that means is that


the BBC is an observer at a number of locally organised and vents. ``


events. Our teams did what they could to ensure that all of our


watches were synchronised and 11am he was 11am there and we checked


with the organisers that the two`minute silence was going to be


observed and what actually happens in three of our locations was that


the timing of the events slipped so that at the National Arboretum where


you heard the singing, very shortly afterwards they went quiet for two


minutes. With hindsight is there anything you can do differently


about how to treat the occasion? I think we will emphasise even more


strongly to the local organisers that they have two, in order for us


to be able to fill the silence successfully, we have to make sure


that the two minutes starts at 11 and finishes two minutes afterwards,


with a bit of a buff # with a bit of a buffer either side. Should we just


stick to one location? No, because we are the national broadcaster and


the whole point of Armistice Day is to see how all of the nations of the


big `` one of the nations of the united kingdom come together and how


we do it all over. Thank you. Finally the news at six on Tuesday


featured this. David Dimbleby says he has fulfilled


a lifetimes ambition by getting a tad too at the age of 75. He has had


it done as part of a BBC series he has made and he chose the design


because it features his star sign. He said it did not hurt, but it just


zinged a bit. Thank you for all of your comments


this week. Do share all of your opinions by calling us. Or you can


send us an e`mail. You can also contact us on Twitter or through the


website. That is all from us and we will hear your thoughts about BBC


News coverage next week. Good evening. Temperatures are


already close to freezing across southern England. We have clearer


skies and there will be missed and folk forming later. Further north we


have more clout. Underneath the cloud it will be mild but you can


see in the frosty weather that we have across rural areas of southern


England tonight. The mist and fog could be dense in places and will


linger well into the morning in some places. It will only lift as the


cloud moves to the south. Some


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