08/01/2016 Newswatch


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The headlines... A police officer in Philadelphia has been shot and


wounded as he shot in his -- sat in his cool cat, the gunman pledged


allegiance to Islamic State as he was shooting. Police in -- a police


officer in Cologne has been suspended after his handling of it


with a crime during New Year celebrations. He is accused of


withholding information about the attacks. Gunmen in Egypt have opened


fire at a hotel on the red Sea. At least two foreign tourists are said


to have been wounded and it is said one of the attackers has been


killed. They boasted Toryism drug lord in Mexico has been recaptured.


Guzman was recaptured following the shoot out with Marines in the


coastal city in his home state. Now, at ten o'clock will have a full


round-up of the news. Before that... It is Newswatch.


Hello, and welcome to the first Newswatch of the year.


In this programme, a masked British murderer and a child featured


in the latest video released by so-called Islamic State.


Did the BBC fail to show enough of it for viewers


Did the Corporation underplay the race of the men who attacked


women in Germany on New Year's Eve for reasons of political


And a politician resigns live on air.


But did the Daily Politics engineer its timing for maximum


embarrassment to the Labour leadership?


The BBC has for some time been very careful about showing any footage


from propaganda videos made by so-called Islamic State


but the latest high-profile film released last Sunday posed


It named David Cameron and showed a British maked man carrying out


murders and a British child chanting propaganda.


Here is how it was reported on the News at Ten.


Islamic State militants in Syria have released a video claiming


to show the execution of five men accused of spying for Britain.


The video, which we're not showing, features a masked man speaking


English with a British accent who threatens the UK.


Our security correspondent, Gordon Correra, is with me


There are a lot of these propaganda videos released by IS.


There followed a brief description of the contents of the video but no


Given that it set off many investigations into the identity


of the man and child, the omission greatly annoyed


John Webster, who left this phone message.


I am disgusted that this country will not allow us to see


We didn't even get to hear most of the audio, let alone the video.


By the following evening, BBC News was showing a short clip


from the video as the search stepped up for the identity


The latest propaganda video from the group calling itself


A masked killer taunting Britain and addressing its Prime Minister,


How strange it is that a leader of a small island threatens us.


Some viewers felt that was not enough to get a sense of the video


and regretted the BBC's apparent lack of interest in the identity


Here is Christine Page from Ringwood in Hampshire.


To talk about this issue, I'm joined by James Stephenson,


In the past, we have had complaints that the BBC was giving any oxygen


of publicity to these terrorists by showing videos.


It seems that the BBC policy for a while has been to use


as little as possible, but what is the BBC's policy now


We recognise that the great difficulties that we have in dealing


with this material, on the one hand, it is clearly propaganda,


It has an effect through its shock value.


That makes us disinclined to want to run it.


On the other hand, it is clearly news and it is clearly something


of public interest and something we have to report.


What we try to do is report as much as we need to,


to do our job, which is to report the news and give the context


But not to do the propaganda job for them.


And that is the balance we seek to strike.


And the next night we got that very short clip.


at the forefront of trying to establish the identity


and by Monday night we were reporting that he was


The reason we took the approach, we used, as you saw,


the still image, as you saw, the masked perpetrator.


But we wanted to be as restrained as possible so we did not


want to use any more material and we felt we needed to to explain


the story to our audience and that was the judgment we took.


And as the story developed on Monday and more detail emerged


about the likely suspect, the likely culprit, we began to use


We felt we needed to, again, for editorial reasons,


to flesh out that he was British, he appeared to be British,


using more than we felt we needed to do to do our job.


Well, we have, again, a difficult balance to strike and it


to a child because as well as editorial considerations


and the things I have already touched on, we have very serious


that we, again, had an even higher bar in using imagery


there when the interests of the child are at play


given the circumstances, this is clearly an exceptional situation.


The child is out there and really to find out who these people


are and we do such things with children.


Was it misguided, this idea about child protection,


given that we're dealing with a major terrorist threat?


As you can imagine, there was a lot of editorial discussion and a lot


that our continuing obligation to the interests of the child meant


that even if lots of other media showed him, either blobbed


or unblobbed, we had a responsibility that continued.


So it was not that we thought our audience would not find


them if they chose to, it was a judgment about what we felt


was our responsibility in our own output.


One other issue, people were concerned that the murders


of the five men did not get enough attention in the end.


Do you think we got the full horror of what had been done to these men?


It depends what you mean by the full horror.


We described the full horror, it is definitely the case


that we did not show the full horror.


We did not feel either that we were able to do that,


judgments but also what our audience expectation would be but it is no


doubt a horrendous video and our reporting, the scale


and nature of our reporting, did justice to that.


James Stephenson, thank you very much.


Thank you for continuing to contact us while we have been off air over


One subject which got your attention was news reports that emerged


from Cologne in Germany about an apparently co-ordinated


Around 1000 men described as being of Arabic or North African


appearance attacked over 100 women, with news reports of robberies


and sexual assault, including two alleged rapes.


Some viewers complained that until at least the middle of this


week, the apparent immigrant background of the attackers did not


receive due attention on BBC News, though it was covered briefly


In Germany tonight, protesters gathered outside the cathedral


in Cologne after around 80 women reported being robbed,


threatened or sexually assaulted by groups of men on New Year's Eve.


Police suspect that as many as 1000 young males,


many of them drunk, carried out the attacks.


Chancellor Merkel has called for the perpetrators to be


Not mentioned in that report was the ethnicity of the attackers.


The issue did feature on the TV news the following night,


thanks to Germany correspondent, Jenny Hill, when she filed


At this point the story had already become major international news.


Scores of BBC viewers felt there had been a significant omission


Here is Paul from Wrexham, who recorded his


The appearance of the men involved in this incident had been widely


publicised in all other media sources.


In fact, the BBC's own website included this information.


So why on earth the decision was taken to suppress


the information from the news bulletins is beyond me.


It is political correctness taken to the extreme.


And brings into question the BBC's claim of impartiality.


And also, I feel, it plays into the hands of those


Finally, the ongoing dispute about how the news media treats


Jeremy Corbyn got a new focus in the New Year with coverage


of his controversial Shadow Cabinet reshuffle that lasted three days.


By Wednesday, changes were still being made


following the sacking of Shadow Europe Minister Pat


Laura Kuenssberg was on the BBC's Daily Politics along


with Stephen Doughty, who until that moment had been


It has also led others to consider walking out the door and one of them


I have written to Jeremy Corbyn to resign from the front bench.


I agreed to serve on Jeremy's front bench for a number of reasons,


I had very well publicised differences with him on foreign


policy and defence and national security.


When an individual like that, my own colleague in a team,


is singled out for views that I also hold myself,


I think it is only honourable for myself also to leave


Journalists might say that an on-air resignation is a bit of a coup


for any news programme, in this case the Daily Politics


But many viewers were concerned about how it came about.


If you want to share your opinions on BBC news and current affairs,


You can find us on Twitter and you can watch previous


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