04/12/2015 Newswatch


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Hello and welcome. As British aircraft join the assault on targets


in Syria, was there enough discussion of the rights and wrongs


of military action or too much focus on splits in the Labour Party?


The coverage seemed unbalanced, parochial, and lazy.


And now the Prime Minister is calling them, is it time the BBC to?


It was a solemn decision and one the entire nation was debating since the


Paris terror attacks. After ten hours of impassioned debate in the


House of Commons on Wednesday, the vote by MPs to back as strikes in


Syria came while the BBC News at ten was on air.


The ayes to the right, 397. The noes to the left, 223.


The intensity of the debate was matched by viewers responses to the


way it was reported. And Robinson was one who felt there was a bias in


favour of taking military action. Over the days preceding the vote,


divisions in labour were clear but was too much made of them are not


enough of the arguments for and against war? Nicky Willis thought so


and recorded her thoughts. I have never felt motivated to contact you


before, or though not always happy with coverage but in the week up to


S strikes in Syria, I was increasingly frustrated by the


coverage I saw when I switched on the news to see BBC journalists


seemingly obsessed with potential splits in the Labour Party in the


run-up to the vote rather than the key crucial questions that should be


analysed and examined. As the Shadow Cabinet meets... There with scant


coverage of underlying issues, the potential value or efficacy of


military action or other possible causes of action to address the


funding of Isil, its support and the political and diplomatic routes that


might be followed. Tonight, Britain stands on the brink of military


action in Syria, is it all down to splits in the Labour Party? The


coverage seemed unbalanced, parochial, and lazy. Tending to


reduce the issues down to a Punch and Judy style discussion of


potential splits in the Labour Party and what they might mean. Come on,


BBC. This isn't good enough. Another viewer got in touch was Richard. He


is with me. You complained early in the week in the days leading up to


the debate about the BBC coverage, what concerns you? I feel the focus


wasn't enough on the case for and against and the analysis. It was too


much party political splits which the journalists were assessed with


at the expense of informing the public to enable the public to be


engaged. They needed information early on. It wasn't until the last


minute the coverage shifted towards looking at the arguments for and


against. It was too little, too late. What coverage was there too


much of? It seemed to be led by the political journalist rather than


diplomatic or foreign affairs who could have taken a different slime.


There was endless speculation about different factions of the party


voting one way or the other. I am not saying it important, it is


important to look at what parties say but it is not the main issue in


the run-up to war and deciding to commit British lives to attacking


another country. The families of the service personnel will be thinking,


what is going on? We asked the BBC for someone to come on to discuss


the issue but no one was available. They gave us a statement.


Does that satisfy you? Not really. They missed the point. I am not


accusing them of being biased, I have not reached a final decision on


whether I think it is right and the BBC have not helped me decide. There


was splits in other parties as well. It is a pre-existing accession


of the BBC that they were following up on rather than taking a step


back, an editorial decision to save the public need to be informed and


what are the arguments for and against? Is there an argument with


the way the BBC news agenda and others focuses on the Westminster


village, you said it was political journalists bleeding the coverage.


There was a point on Newsnight earlier in the week when the


presenter said, the run-up to war has been overshadowed by the party


Briscoe splits and I thought, in whose reality is that? Not in mine.


It is happening in the media and Westminster. It was strange. Thank


you so much. Who exactly is under attack in Syria? IS, Isil, so-called


Islamic State, we have discussed before the question of which term


the BBC should use but on Wednesday the Prime Minister set out a change


of the government position. It is time to join our key ally France,


the Arab league and other members of the international Trinity in using


as frequently as possible the terminology Daesh rather than Isil


because this evil death cult is neither a true representation of


Islam nor is it a state. Following the announcement, the daily politics


had a heated discussion about how to refer to militants in Syria and


Iraqi. A Conservative MP agreed with David Cameron that Daesh is the best


term. Daesh and Islamic State do mean the same thing, it was argued.


We have a duty to use the right terminology. There was a problem, we


need to address it. It is well-intentioned but the problem is


what does Daesh mean? It means Islamic State. It is the same thing.


No, it doesn't. You are telling us what we should do and you cannot


decide what it means. Some feel it has pejorative connotations. It is


an acronym. What does the deed stand for? It is a state. A fraught issue


and some believe the BBC should change and clarify its policy on


what to call the organisation. So, is the BBC going to follow David


Cameron and change its stance? We asked that question and were


told... Finally, moving away from the


military action and return to Jeremy Corbyn, this was another week when


he and his leadership were being put under particular scrutiny and last


Saturday BBC news showed him being pursued down the street. Will you


resign, Mr Corbyn? Good morning, I hope you are well. Is your position


untenable? Good morning. Peter got in touch after seeing that and went


into the Newcastle studio to give reaction. The clip showed Jeremy


Corbyn walking down the street attempting to go about his normal


life that he was harassed by a journalist and the BBC showed this.


He was being asked if he would give Labour MPs a free vote on the


extension of air strikes before official talks took place but also


whether he would resign as leader of the Labour Party, six months after


being given a huge mandate. For me, this is embarrassing tabloid


journalism. I think it is beneath it. Will you allow a free vote on


Syria? Is a 19-year-old student I think it is worrying because it puts


other young people off getting into politics. To see a politician


harassed in the way he was, I think the irony if someone like Jeremy


Corbyn who has done so much to build momentum to engage in conversations


with people in politics can have the reverse impact of that and put


people off politics. It is wrong. Will you allow a free vote on Syria?


I think MPs to a good job and they are well paid, relatively but we


need to respect that they are humans and they live individual lives and


in their downtime, walking to the shop or walking to his car, I think


that should be allowed free from journalism. Thank you for that and


all of your comments. You could also appear on the programme. Please get


in touch with us... And look at our website. That is all from us. We are


back to hear your thoughts about BBC News coverage next week. Goodbye.


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