05/09/2014 Newswatch


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start the investigation into what caused this tragic accident. We will


keep you updated throughout the night on BBC News. Right now it is


time for the return of Newswatch. Welcome to the new series of


Newswatch. On this programme, 800 complaints over the BBC's coverage


of the police raid on Cliff Richard's house, helicopter and all.


Did they report a story or make one? As footage of a beheading is


released by Islamist militants, should broadcasters be screening


anything from their videos? Welcome back to Newswatch. August proved


anything but quiet for major news events. The BBC exclusive has proved


one of the most controversial. Its lead story on the lunch time


bulletin on the 14th of August, that police were raiding the home of one


of Britain's most famous popular entertainers cirque refrigerant in


connection with a single sexual assault allegation, although he had


not been arrested, charged investigation `` investigated. The


BBC were there to investigate as it happened. A small convoy arrived


mid`morning and headed through the security complex of apartments near


Sunningdale. From the air, though, the cars could be seen as they


parked, and as the police team made its way towards the empty apartment


owned by Sir Cliff Richard. At that stage, the singer, who was in


Portugal at the time of the search, had made no comment about the police


operation, but that afternoon he issued a statement denying the


allegations. BBC One bulletins continue to lead with news of the


raid. Police have searched the home of Sir


Cliff Richard following the allegation of a sexual assault


dating back to the 1980s. The singer who is a broad says the allegation


is completely false. Officers from two police force has spent much of


the day at his flat in Berkshire. How the BBC learned of the surge in


advance and what conversations its journalists have had with South


Yorkshire Police beforehand and became the subject of a dispute


which has continued this week. Three BBC executives, a director`general,


director of news and head of news gathering appeared on Tuesday in


front of the House of Commons home affairs select committee to discuss


how the story emerged, as did David Crompton, Chief Constable of South


Yorkshire Police, who said the corporation had put the force and a


difficult position and the TV coverage was disproportionate. And


made the actions of the police look heavy hand at and intrusive.


Hundreds of viewers agreed with that loss assessment including David


Kenny who e`mailed us to say: `` handed.


With me in the studio in London is the BBC's head of news gathering


Jonathan Rowe, one of the BBC managers who gave evidence this week


to the home affairs select committee. What was the nature of


your complaint about the Cliff Richard coverage? It is clearly a


newsworthy item that it was the overkill on the coverage, especially


the helicopter shots of two policemen wandering around. I don't


know what that was supposed to add. It didn't enlighten or enhance the


story. It made me feel tainted. As if I was snooping around. Part of


the snooping story which was over covered. Jonathan, that is the heart


of a letter of complaint. It felt the BBC was excessive in how it


covered the case of a man who hadn't been questioned arrested or charged.


Let's deal with the helicopter first of all. Anthony make some points


we've heard from other viewers. It is another news`gathering force. ``


resource. Any photographer will want to get a clearer view of an event


happening which is newsworthy. It was a newsworthy event. Only by


begetting a clear view could we see how many officers were involved, and


viewers could make a judgement about whether the search was appropriate.


`` by getting. The helicopter footage on the 10pm and 6pm news was


only ten seconds of coverage and that there was less than a minute of


life helicopter coverage late afternoon. We used a very restrained


portion of the helicopter footage. Tracy, what do you make of what


Jonathan said? To be honest, I think the helicopter was very much


intrusive. It was highly inappropriate. This man had not been


questioned by the police. At any point. Before the search. He hadn't


been charged with an offence. He has not been arrested. The helicopter


was browsing through his windows. As a police officer was inside


searching through his things. That is wrong. People think it is a BBC


exclusive. Some people felt that gave the impression there was


something to hide, there was killed. In terms of justice, that is what


bothers people. Do you have no qualms against the scale of the


coverage given this man had not been questioned or charged? There are two


issues, the first is the scale, the second is the status of the enquiry


knowing he hadn't been charged. The case of reporting a criminal


investigation before being charged as a common thing. Parliament has


not granted the right of anonymity to anyone at that stage with the


exception of some specific cases involving children in certain size


and stances and national security issues. It cannot be down to


journalists on a case`by`case basis. Rolf Harris got complete


anonymity until he was charged. The difference with Rolf Harris is


nobody knew for certain he was under investigation until the point of


charge. Many people feel this was a tabloid type of news exclusive and


it shouldn't have been given the amount of coverage and the lead


story aspect it was. In terms of the scale of the coverage we lead the


bulletins with it at 6pm and 10pm for one day. The vast majority of


the last few weeks have been dominated by stories with much more


airtime. In Iraq, Syria, and Rotherham. We have given them an


enormous airtime and quite rightly. On this particular day it was the


lead story because it was the most interesting story to break that day.


That should judgement of the last few weeks have been dominated by


stories with much more airtime. In Iraq, Syria, and Rotherham. We have


given them an enormous airtime and quite rightly. On this particular


day it was the lead story because it was the most interesting story to


break that day. That should judgement be. It might be a nice


visual thing. For me, I thought the pictures were monkey. You couldn't


really tell what was happening. `` foggy. The fact they used so little


probably says how much usage really was. Not much at all. It did have


the effect of making lots of people very cross. Tracey? I found it


fascinating it is constantly referred to as the story. This is a


man's life you are picking apart. In public stop for the enjoyment it


seems to me, or the entire country. There was nothing newsworthy in one


happened on the day of that search. This man had she not been spoken to


by the police. He happens to be a very famous man. `` had not. Your


answer and media correspondent was sent to that search. That speaks


volumes. `` you sent your arts and media correspondent. Thank you for


joining us. The past month has also presented


the BBC with the challenge of reporting on atrocities committed by


so`called Islamic State militants. On Tuesday they released a video of


the beheading of the American journalist Stephen subplots which


also showed a British hostage who they also threatened to kill. The


BBC has been highly selective of what it shows of such videos but not


selective enough for Helen Rob Key who


Jonathan Monro is still with me. What is the BBC's policy about what


you use from these videos? This is about the most grotesque dilemma the


media faces. It is a case`by`case policy. The blanket policy applied


in all circumstances is bound to be run at something. We got very long


and hard before sharing any of the video of Stephen. `` we thought. We


showed the minimum we felt business theory to convey the sheer horror.


With moving footage and sound? The sound was relative because of the


vocal similarity with the so`called jihadi John who had previously been


seen to murder James Foley. Other than that it was still is. We didn't


show anything towards the moment of death or after death. `` stills. We


stop showing the video at all on the night of the murder video being


released. We felt it was no longer breaking news. We could illustrate


the story using family stills, images of him at work as a


journalist. If any footage is used it is clearly propaganda for the


terrorists, even still images. Is there a case as an viewers


suggestive report without anything from these videos? Of course there


is a case for that. I don't think suppressing the news and saying we


won't show the fact a terrorist group is murdering Westerners,


whether they are journalists or not is not relevant to the discussion,


is the right way forward. Using it extremely sparingly with a


significant amount of warnings, analysis of context around it, and


with minimal airtime, I think is the right way forward. It is a


case`by`case thing. I think there were lots of other hostages in very


acute and imminent danger in this part of the world at the moment. A


policy we applied on one video may not necessarily be the right policy


next month. I suspect we will have to discuss this again in future news


watch programmes. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for all your


comments this week. If you want to share your opinions on BBC News and


current affairs or appear on the programme you can call us on this


number: Or e`mail You can find us on twitter. And have


a look at our website. The address for that


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


coverage again next week. Goodbye. Let's get you up to speed with the


weather. For the weekend. We have some sunshine around through the


cause of the weekend. A few showers. The most of us it should


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