24/05/2014 Newswatch


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Hello, and welcome to Newswatch. Coming up, should private


conversations remain private? Even when they involve the air to the


throne. And, other Home Secretary's shoes more important than her


politics? What exactly rinse Charles did or didn't say at a museum in


Canada is not entirely clear, but his reported words were widely aired


on BBC News online 's day. `` Wednesday. Controversy as Prince


Charles seems to compare the actions of Vladimir Putin to Hitler. Prince


Charles evidently drew a comparison to what the Nazi's did in Europe and


what the Russians are doing now in Ukraine. The precise words are


disputed, but a Daily Mail reporter, behind the pillar, claims


the prince said: the BBC put the story on the front


page, with a news analysis about why this would be controversial. On


Thursday, a diplomatic storm was brewing but the Russian embassy


describing the words attributed to the Prince of Wales as outrageous.


Should the BBC have given such prominence to comments made in


private. BBC News told us there was no one


available to discuss this on the programme, but they did send us this


statement. We are joined now by another viewer


who shared her opinions with us, Alison Porter. Thank you for coming


on News watch. The BBC says that a future head of state, making


statements like this in whatever circumstances will be a story. I


felt that this was private conversation between Mrs Ferguson


and the prince, and I thought it was intrusive of the media and the press


to go and how the lady after speaking to the Prince and I felt


that it was really capital news all day from the 6am start right through


every news bulletin and, unfortunately, by the 6pm evening


news you are absolutely incensed. Other journalists were there, and at


least one says that they overheard the conversation. If the BBC had not


reported it, and everyone else did, would it not be failing in its duty?


I do think that sometimes the media and the press really capitalise on


small issues and small comments, especially the royal family, and


they get prime`time plugging. I don't think there is any need for


it, I really don't. Do you not think there is a public interest case for


why this should be reported? I don't think there needs to be as much


reporting on what could have been just an individual comment by the


Prince. I think he should have a chance to convey his personal point


of view. Thank you so much. Thank you. Let's get another perspective


on this from Stuart Purves, who is now a professor of television


journalism. The BBC says, the lead story was a lead story because it is


important. But, I noticed that they used words like he appeared to


compare Putin to Nazis and reportedly said so. Is that


acceptable? It is different sometimes when you are in a newsroom


and you see another news organisation has a story that you


can't confirm. I would guess that those words are put there to soften


the attribution, in other words, the BBC is assuming it is correct but


doesn't pin its colour to the flag and say we know it is correct. If


there is a reasonable expectation of accuracy, and the Prince has not


denied it, that is often what happens you are waiting for a


denial, I think the fact that the Soviet Union was at war with Hitler


for sale on and lost so many people, and present`day Russia is


still obsessed about Nazism, to use those words either accidentally or


deliberately, was inevitably going to cause problems. For people to


ignore that would be a derogation of duty. People felt it was private and


that it was wrong to reported. I understand that, it is complicated


is private. Broadcasters talk about a legitimate expectation of


property. In other words, when a member of the Royal family walks


into a room and sees reporters there and speaks to a person he will never


meet before all again, and they walk out knowing that the person will go


immediately to them and ask what they said, it is the expectation of


property. It is not like that in the real world. In your experience


dealing with Prince Charles, how do you view this incident? I made a


series of documentaries with the Prince and spent a long time on the


road with him, and it is very difficult to assume what is in his


mind at this moment. There are others where he is not terribly


disappointed that statements have gotten out and caused controversy


because his point of view is in the public domain. Don't assume that he


is always annoyed when this happened because, in my experience, he is


not. When you look at this in their wider context, for example, private


e`mails from the chief executive, is there a different kind of defence?


Is it all still public interest? His personal assistant went into his


e`mail account and saw this information. If they had his


password, it is no longer private. Is one of his corporate accounts and


he can't really complain. He can complain that she shouldn't have


passed it on, but she said she was doing her job by looking at his


e`mail was that what somebody in the office asks her to do. That is one


of the areas where it is not black and white as to what is private and


what is public. Remember, public interest defence is the issue. If


you look at someone like Gordon Brown who famously had the


microphones you'll switched on when he was electioneering and he talked


about a bigoted woman in the public, anything for the idea that that


shouldn't have been broadcast? On that occasion, at the moment he


agreed to wear the whole time to help the filming, he should have


realised that from that moment on, everything he said was public,


because every news organisation had access to that microphone. That is


his fault for not thinking through the implications of the microphone.


Thank you very much. The latter part of this week's


television news has been dominated by the European and local elections,


and we will look at the coverage of that next week. Elsewhere, we


received some comments following to reason may's hard`hitting address.


The report on it for the BBC News at six also proved controversial. She


is a Home Secretary famous for her shoes. She began by praising the


police as the bravest, the best in the world. Then she pulled the rug


from beneath them. The response of Jane Martin:


another viewer spotted what he thought was a similar sentiment in


the Robinson's article. He quotes: Nick Robinson later responded to


similar complaints on Twitter, saying, point taken, lesson learned.


Finally, there was an outbreak of swearing on BBC News this week. On


Thursday, an expletive was used in a live discussion on the politics


show. The BBC apologise for that. There was an incident with Jeremy


Paxman where a similar word was used, beeped as follows, but


broadcast on Newsnight. Do you have a problem with Angela Merkel? Is it


true you called her a BLEEP? TRANSLATION: No, I have never had


any problems with Angela Merkel. On Twitter, the responses were


positive. One person wrote: thank you for your comments. If you


want to appear on the programme, call us or e`mail us.


That's all from us, we will be back to hear your thoughts about BBC News


coverage again next week. Or `` goodbye.


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