13/06/2014 Newswatch


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2014 Commonwealth Games. Now it is time for Newswatch.


Hello and welcome to the programme. Coming up ` a certain sporting


tournament has started. How much attention and how many news teams


should BBC News be devoting to it? Stereotyping women voters ` why did


the BBC go to a beauty parlour to canvass opinion on the Scottish


referendum? And Iraq is falling apart, but tensions in the EU, of


what is this breaking news? Every four years, around half the world


seems to go football crazy, but this week, some of those who are not fans


of the beautiful game have been getting pretty exercised about the


attention given to the World Cup by BBC News. It has featured on


bulletins all week for the tournament has even started, with


John so Paul on the spot for the news at one on Monday. That is


copper cup, and behind that is another famous beach, and three


miles further on is the England hotel. Natalie Pirks, with the first


training session this afternoon coming up, is everything as good as


it could be... ? The England squad is on its way to Manaus, where they


will face high temperatures and high humidity and a pretty ropey pitch.


Andy Swiss is the heir. Already in Rio, the FIFA fan festival has been


disrupted. Police have had to close off part of the beach`front.


Football has got off to a great start and it continues today and


into the weekend. But the tournament is unlikely to be trouble`free. I


Monday, one viewer from Gloucester had already had enough...


Meanwhile, another viewer felt the focus on the England team amounted


to support from the BBC. Well, to discuss those points, I am


joined by the BBC's head of news gathering. And we start with how


many BBC News people you have sent out to Brazil, and why do they need


to be there? The number of BBC News people, including technical and


other, is 39. In addition, there are a couple of dozen or so who are


therefore non`UK outlets. That is a couple of dozen covering it for BBC


global outlets which are not seen in the UK, some not even broadcast in


the English language. And a couple of other people, who are health and


safety advisers. But 39 is the key figure for the number we have sent


to Brazil a when an audience sees a BBC presenter who is not a sports


presenter, interviewing another BBC journalist, before the tournament


has even started, they are right to say, why they need to be there? The


numbers are there to sustain a five`week deployment, not one single


programme. First of all, relating to that e`mail, that news presenter was


one of the people who is not paid for by the licence fee. He is


therefore global output. He can help with coverage on different channels.


That number 39 compares to 55 who went from BBC News to the South


Africa World Cup four years ago, so we have driven these numbers down.


But people still say, it is not news to be reporting on where the England


team were in the states, and when they arrive, and why not have


reports on something which has happened, rather than anticipatory


build`up? I think it is news that a team from England are on the way to


the World Cup, they are in the last few days of training, weather they


are fit, the climate, the state of the pitch, that kind of thing. There


is an awful lot of viewer interest in that. Those people who have


written to you are not interested, and we accept that a lot of stories


we do can divide the audience between those who like to go to the


back pages, and some who like to go to the front page of the newspaper.


But we are covering a broad agenda, from Iraq to Ukraine, and sport has


a big place to play in those stories. We are right to put them in


the programmes. Can you tell us how many news teams are inside the


official World Cup areas? There are news teams following the England


team, wonderful, one for television. There is a news team on a more


roving brief, one of those correspondents who actually lives in


Brazil, Wyre Davies. And then there is Ben Brown and Jon Sopel, one of


whom is paid for by the licence fee. They are experienced journalist, and


they are contributing an enormous amount. Have you thought about tone


come because there are some viewers within the United Kingdom who feel


the BBC is biased? I think Tony is really important. A lot of people


within the United Kingdom will support England, and some will not,


for good reasons. `` tone. It is not up to the BBC to decide who they


think people will support. But a lot of our audience will be wishing


England well. When England get knocked out, an awful lot of the


out. In the meantime, the tone is an out. In the meantime, the tone is an


important issue and we need to be vigilant about that. Are you giving


guidance to reporters? Very much so. We do not use, for example, phrases


like we and visit, and that is the right approach. But if they are


travelling with the England team, there is bound to be a bit of that


which rubs off. Some of the atmosphere might be joyous, some of


it might be disappointing, and that depends on the performance on the


pitch. There will be plenty of opportunities over the next month


for you to give us your views on how BBC News covers the World Cup.


Details of how to reach us at the end of the programme. Before that,


the Trojan Horse while, so called, related to allegations that schools


in Birmingham have been targeted as part of a hardline Islamist


takeover. For one viewer, there was less to all of this than met the


eye. There are now fewer than 100 days


before the referendum on independence in Scotland. On Monday,


one viewer was looking at why the no campaign still leads in the poles.


`` one correspondent. The polls say women are much more sceptical about


independence than men. Why? I asked the staff at this Edinburgh beauty


salon. I am a mother, and I think about the risk to the next


generation. We just have not made up our minds yet. One viewer wrote to


us, describing herself as a scientist with a neuroscientist


daughter, a chemistry teacher daughter, and a statistician for a


mother. Friday morning brought the news,


headlined on the News Channel, and featuring on the front page of the


website, that actor Harrison Ford was in hospital after injuring his


ankle while filming the latest Star Wars film. One viewer felt the BBC


gave this event too much prominence, e`mailing...


Finally, a return to the theme of the BBC's attitude towards the


England squad in the World Cup. If the team beats Italy, will reporters


maintain a studied neutrality or will they reflect the celebratory


mood of some? Thank you for that, and for all your


comments this week. If you want to share your opinions on any aspect of


BBC News and Current Affairs, these get in touch.


You can also reach us on Twitter and on our website. That is all from us.


We will be back next week. Good evening. Yesterday we got 26


degrees in London. Today it was in Southampton. This weekend will be a


few degrees cooler for many of us, but there is a lot of try weather to


be found this weekend, even though it will be cloudy at


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