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Hello, welcome to Newswatch. Last week's elections brought a UKIP


political earthquake to Britain, or did they? And if they did, was the


BBC partly responsible? We respond to charges that UKIP's success was


overhyped and discuss questioning of Nigel Farage during the election


campaign. As the results of the English local


elections and those for the European Parliament came in, one man's


smiling face dominated our television screens. Much of the talk


was about UKIP and Nigel Farage as it had been during the election


campaign. The UN did not take... Even when he was speaking to one set


of cameras, UKIP leader had to do their questions thrown at him by a


nearby Nick Robinson. People wanted to complain about this at the time,


as they did about questions about employing his German life as a


secretary. `` wife. Nobody else can do that job. No British person? You


do not think anyone is capable of doing that job? And again when the


same at Mac discussed concerns about a group of Romanians living in next


door. Nigerians? No. Irish? These were the concerns some felt.


Despite or perhaps because of the scrutiny Nigel Farage and his party


were put under, they did well in last week's local elections. But how


well? The BBC have talked about the search and massive increases, huge


successes, UKIP are the story of the day. Do you support that in context?


Look at the result. It demonstrable fourth`place. Try and reconcile that


with BBC coverage. It does not make sense. With the European election


results coming in on Sunday night, it was clear that here UKIP had


won. Sought some viewers, the BBC had played a part in this victory.


The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, joins us now. Let us start


with the election campaign, with your interviews with Nigel Farage


too personal, the aggressive? I do not think they were too personal or


aggressive. I did take a view that Nigel Farage was likely to be at the


centre of this election campaign, that it was widely predicted by all


parties that UKIP could win the European elections and that Nigel


Farage had done a lot of clips for news programmes, usually with a pint


in hand and a smile on his face, usually inviting him to comment on


others rather than being interrogated on his own position. I


thought it was right to do that. It is clear that Nigel Farage does


divide viewers. But on the English local elections, the charges the BBC


exaggerated how successful they would be. They only got 116 seats


compared to more than 2000 from Labour. They do not control any


councils and their share of the vote went down. I think Labour supporters


got deeply frustrated that they had made many games, the worst games and


councils in votes. We did report that, but it is worth remembering


that the results got much better into Friday than they were overnight


Thursday night and into Friday morning. The picture come Friday


night was much better and healthier for labour than it had been the


night before and at the time people were switching on their radios or


televisions. The point we were making, again and again, was to


report the facts, you always got all the coverage. But we are there to


add analysis and interpretation. The truth is, the people who study


elections, whether it is Professor John Curtis, the head of you go in


the studio, all agreed that these results were not good enough for


labour to be confident of winning the next election. They only had a


lead of 1% over the Conservatives. They were not as good as other


positions had done in a similar time. UKIP had made a breakthrough.


There were no longer just a European party. They were finding a basic in


councils. They were establishing themselves as the fourth party of


English politics. They went to do it in British politics in European


elections. We were right to point that out. Let us talk about the


parliamentary elections. UKIP did Windows. Many say that the BBC's


coverage made it a self fulfilling prophecy. I know there is that


feeling, but I think it is wrong. The big rise in UKIP's poll ratings


happened before Nigel Farage was getting onto the television day in


and day out. They had already been a search. UKIP had a record`breaking


performance at the local council elections last May. You cannot make


that link between recent coverage and his performance. We got the same


complaints over last year's local elections. Many feel that the BBC


has been building up UKIP for a year. What the BBC has to do is try


and give effect coverage to politicians. The way this is done is


by studying how parties have performed in the past, how many


seats they have got, how they did in the general elections, how their


current polities are going. Decisions on what made by me or my


editors, but a chief political adviser whose job is to advise the


BBC trust to mix a judgement, who gets roughly what share of coverage.


His decision, which was echoed entirely by Channel 4 and sky, was


that UKIP should get equal coverage to the big three parties in the


European elections. It was a national vote. They performed very


well in 2009. They were performing in the opinion polls in a way that


suggested they may come first. A decision was taken that being fair


and balanced meant giving UKIP the same level of coverage as the


Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. BBC News analysis


resented both Europe and local boats at a Westminster died to help people


might vote in general elections. There was very little on issues


reported in the local European Parliament. That is surely failing


to do the job. There is a downside about that, but it is not all the


coverage. If you listen to radio stations or watch TV news or read


online, you will see stories about Sheffield Council or stories about


any other council reported in terms of that. It simply is not realistic


that a national level we can do that. We do see through a prism of


what it means for a general election. There is a long history of


local elections being a pretty good guide as to what will happen. In


European Parliament, that is a fair criticism. There was certainly


coverage around, but it is a fair criticism that we need to constantly


think about how to explain to people what exactly a member of the


European Parliament does and what the differences are between people


who are representing one party and represented another.


Just time for a couple of other items. The statement's question Time


certainly did that. The panel included Piers Morgan and it was put


that the party should not be too pleased with its election


performance. All your present to me is the best of a bad bunch. If I am


somewhere and there were four really ugly girls, I am thinking, that is


all you are. That is all you are to us.


Finally, some more positive feedback. Singer and producer Corel


Williams was interviewed on Thursday's Breakfast. This video was


inspired. It might have ended so well, but


most viewers applauded the enthusiasm and bravery. This e`mail


was typical. Do let us know what makes you happy


or unhappy. That is all for this week. Tell us your views. We are


also on Twitter. If you ever missed a programme on television, you can


catch up with it on the website. We will be back to heal thoughts next


week. `` Carey or thoughts. A dry and bright weekend looms large


for most of us after what has been a grey and soggy week. It has actually


been a mild


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