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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.
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