07/06/2014 Newswatch


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Welcome to NewsWatch. On this programme. What priority should BBC


News be giving to foreign stories such as the activities of Boko Haram


militants in Nigeria? We are walking into capital city. John Simpson, who


has business is viewed. And he looks back at what has


changed, better or worse, since BBC television news started.


The range of the BBC's International journalist is unrivalled among


British media organisations. How often they appear on our screens


reporting from far`flung countries is a question that divides viewers.


Putting as top stories and African union campaign to eradicate child


marriage results in both bouquets and bats.


We will be talking about that in a moment. But he will also be giving


us his perspective on some of the changes BBC has undergone since its


first transmission 60 years ago. This is what it looked like on the


5th of July 1954. Moving pictures were at a premium


and the graphics have rather it craft feel about them. At first


Richard Baker was just a disembodied voice for fear that his appearance


might give away his views and threaten the impression of


neutrality. After a few weeks, the BBC did allow a presenter to be seen


on screen, starting a process of personality presenting which for


some has gone too far. For some time, the style remained stiff and


deferential. We will show you a film of some of the main stages in this


great day. The relationship between broadcasters and politicians have


gotten a whole lot spikier since then. Not everybody is in favour of


that. Princess Margaret... There was not


much of the visual about television news back in the 1950s. Now the


output is at least partly driven by the availability of good pictures,


which for some has been taken to extremes.


What else has changed? To cover international events, like the


Hungarian uprising of 1956, a film crew might have had to disappear for


weeks before returning home without a day of footage. This did not deter


foreign correspondence from taking considerable risks, as he did in


Vietnam's. I cannot think of a more modest way to say it. By the time


John Simson reported from Cavill in 2001, technological advances have


made newsgathering and broadcasting much more liberating, if not


necessarily safer. Those developments on the particularly in


light which filming, have continued. Making possible last month's trip to


the extreme north`east Nigeria. It has come a long way in the past


years. What has been gained and lost in the process? John Simson is with


me now. We get complaints from those who feel there is too much news from


abroad, but also feel we do not get enough of regions like Latin


America. How do you feel it has changed? People always complain


about exactly the same things in my experience. That goes back 50 years.


Too much foreign news, as though it has got nothing to do with us. That


seems to me to be dopey in a world as interconnected as ours. Too much


political news as though politics do not affect us. I believe in use. It


is my raison d'etre. Some people are nostalgic for the old web news


writing when everything was neutral and differential to politicians. My


first day as a reporter, I got punched in the stomach for daring,


by Harold Wilson, by daring to ask him a question of when he was going


to call an election. He punched me in the stomach, trying to get the


microphone out of my hand. The world press were there, because they were


waiting for an announcement. Nobody, not one of the newspapers,


not one of the television cameras used these pictures. I looked at my


watch and thought, I have lost my job, I have been physically


assaulted by the Prime Minister. It was my first morning at work. What


changes do think LG has made? People used to go with the Congress and two


out of touch for weeks and had to come back and start editing. You can


come back and start broadcasting almost immediately. Is that for the


better? It has been for the different. There is no doubt that in


times of the actuality of telling people what is going on things are


file better now. By the time you have worked your way to a place


where you can get to a film processed and sent back by plane to


London, everything had changed by the time it was broadcast. Now you


can be right up with events as they come along. But you do not know


where the events are going. You are in as much of a quandary about what


is happening and what is going to happen as everyone else. I wonder


what you would think of the impact of 24`hour news. Perhaps it is a lot


of chatter and not always in sight. You feel there is a lot of pressure


on journalists to start talking the moment they hand? Yes. I do not do


it. I am old enough and ugly enough to say, no, I am sorry. I am going


to find out what the name of the place I am going to find out what


the name of the place they then is before full top I think we have got


a lot of gains from being able to have instant news. It has opened the


world up to people. It has changed our politics, it has changed a lot


of things. I am a little bit nostalgic for the times when you


could think about what you were saying. Do you feel that reporters


are under pressure? Precisely that. They are under huge pressure. There


is a big cost. The cost is simply not being able to think about what


you are saying. Just to get it out. That wonderful in Private eye called


fill their time, the 24`hour news correspondent. We are talking a few


days after the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. I


wonder if anything has changed and how that feels for a correspondent


who tried to report what you saw. We would not have been thinking about


Tiananmen Square after 25 years if it was not for the reporting. I am


proud of the stuff my colleagues and I did there, the shots of the man


standing in front of the tank, people would not have seen them if


it were not for the BBC. It is a reality check that authorities are


not always enthusiastic about. John Simson, thank you for coming news


watch. `` coming on NewsWatch. A couple of the comments of what you


have seen. The commemorations of the D`Day landings 70 years ago. On


Thursday, the eve of the anniversary, the news channel


broadcast from the Pegasus Bridge, the strategic crossing point of the


French coast. Not everything went smoothly.


What a key moment you are just watching. Disappearing briefly


behind a tent. Later that day, French soil with the help of the Web


devil. Some viewers were dissatisfied with what they saw.


Finally, numbers, what are they. The expression has been coined for news


plugs. Here were two examples. An item about Jimmy Savile derived from


a panorama investigation followed by a trailer. Then a report about David


Beckham's journey into the Amazon had the same treatment.


Thank you for all your comments this week. If you want to share your


opinions on BBC News and current affairs or even appear on the


programme, you can call us. You can find us on Twitter and have


a look at our website. We will be back to heal foot about BBC News


coverage again next week. Goodbye. `` hear your thoughts.


A lively start to the weekend as far as the weather is concerned. We have


been flagging the potential for some heavy and thundery downpours. That


is still on the cards. Difficult to pin down exactly where the heavy


rain will be. You can see this wave across England and Wales running


into Northern Ireland, pushing northwards through the day. Northern


Scotland hangs on to dry and sunny weather. It brightens nicely from


the south through


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