15/01/2016 Newswatch


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At 10pm we will be here with a full round-up of the day's News but first


it's time for Newswatch. Welcome to Newswatch. On the


programme, an outpouring of grief shown on screen and extensive


analysis of its cultural impact, but did BBC go over the top in its


coverage of the death of David Bowie?


Was this week's question Time balanced or unfairly weighted


towards right-wingers? Those convicted of the bar yet Hatton


Gardens are getting on a bit but did we need this much information? They


were struggling with infirmity, even in comp -- incontinence. The week


began with the announcement of an unexpected death early on Monday


morning. For many he was an inspiration and cultural icon and


for others a pop star with no wider significance. No surprise then that


the very prominent coverage of his best divided viewers.


Some breaking news just now this morning and it has been confirmed


that David Bowie, the singer and musician has dry at the age of 69.


From breakfast on words, BBC News on Monday reported extensively on the


life and career of David Bowie across the news channels and online.


The subject to cop the first half of the BBC One bulletins at 1pm and 6pm


and the first 17 minutes of the News at ten. Each of the bulletins also


ended with the musical tribute and then between all that BBC One


replaced its scheduled regional programme Inside Out with a


half-hour special presented by Jeremy Vine. One


But that was very much a minority view. More typical was this from


Helen Belsen. To discuss all this I'm joined by a


viewer and by the BBC's head of news gathering. Thank you very much for


coming on Newswatch. Do you think it should have been the lead story? I


was happy that it was mentioned in the headlines at the top of the news


announcing his death and perhaps people hadn't heard it first thing


in the morning so it could go on for the 6pm and 10pm news, but 70


minutes on the ten o'clock news? What they were showing was not news


but old footage, to a certain extent, about his achievements and


what he had done. There is no question he achieve the lot and was


an icon to some people and changed his persona all through his career,


but on that day the aid convoy got into Madaya and I felt that should


have been the lead story and followed up at the end with maybe


five minutes about the reaction to David's Beth. There are two issue


is, let's start with duration, half of the one and six bulletins and 70


minutes on the ten p.m., doesn't this reveal the personal tastes of


the bosses running the newsroom? I think we just felt there was a lot


to say and people wanted to hear the music as well which was an important


part of the way you report the death of an artist like David Bowie. There


are probably half a dozen people probably alive who genuinely shaped


modern culture in some shape or form, so we're not doing justice to


them to have a obituary, rather like running a comparison to the Alan


Rickman obituary, which was atypical, well thought through and


nicely produced appreciation of a person's career, but he didn't have


the impact across as many things as David Bowie had, so we felt we


needed the time to really express that and talk to people who had been


touched by that. These stories often attract reaction of the kind we have


seen, divided reaction, but it was a judgment about the there was to say


him. Let's talk about what there was to say. That the stuff you see on


the news programmes seem like news to you? It didn't. It is not that I


am not someone who appreciated David Bowie, I went to the V exhibition,


so I am aware of what he achieved in his life, but I just felt that big


chunk could have been saved for perhaps another obituary type


programme, a documentary, rather than news, because it wasn't news.


Can we talk about what got dropped? You mention the seizure of this tone


and Serie A, the eve of the NHS junior doctors strike. These


half-hour bulletin is where people go to be told what is important


today. They could have been redirected to the website for all


the extra material? Both the stories run on both the 6pm and 10pm news on


the Serie A story was the first story after David Bowie on both


programmes. We are dead with that story on the previous evening when


the convoy was setting. We think it is a very important story and nobody


for the moment was considering dropping the story. There is a


practical issue specifically that we used every single piece of footage


we had and we cannot go and gather footage ourselves because it is


frankly too dangerous. Other stories got dropped though? The NHS didn't


get dropped, that was on the bulletins, and so was the


resignation of the Environment Agency chief, and the report on the


aftermath of the Labour Party reshuffle on the today programme. We


had an extended interview with Jeremy Corbyn and the Archbishop of


Canterbury so we got through a lot of other news. You will know this


comes up a lot of time with obituaries, so why not just run an


obituary and news package and direct people to the other stuff. There was


a special as well. We asked the regional programmes to move to


Wednesday and they were still transmitted, just moves 48 hours,


and there were some important programmes, so they have run and we


took out a repeat on Wednesday evening to accommodate that. There


are some stories where we just feel that the peak-time audience that is


not typically watching the 6pm or 10pm news, although some will watch


both, also want to hear the bet about some of the major stories of


the year, so occasionally we will replace a programme with the new


special. I can understand the taking out of Inside Out London for me but


what I cannot understand is why you didn't alter the running, as it


were, of the other stories that they weren't at the top of the programme,


and then at the end do your bit on David Bowie? And in the end in terms


of what you have heard, what would you like to say what would you like


to say? I would say, think about those who want to watch the news for


news rather than a retrospective, but not 70 minutes on the ten


o'clock news. We will have to leave it there, thank you very much for


coming in. Do let us know your thoughts on that and on any aspect


of BBC News, details on how to contact us at the end of the


programme. Before that, some protests as to the make-up of the


panel on Thursday's Time. Alongside one Labour MP, it consisted of a


Ukip MEP, a Conservative MP, a journalist from the Sunday Times and


a columnist from the sun. They were both writers for a right-leaning


Murdoch newspapers and to some that was unbalanced. Hughes is John Adler


Steyn from In response BBC News put out this


statement. Reporting of the ongoing dispute


over the government proposals for a new contract for junior doctors has


proved controversial before among Newswatch viewers and we heard more


following Tuesday's industrial action.


I am an NHS consultant and I was very disappointed by the BBC


coverage of the junior doctors strike on the 10pm news. It showed


the public response in a very negative light and only should be


the actions of two members of the public. The first was a man behaving


aggressively in the street towards a striking doctor. The second was a


lady being interviewed on her own home about who postponed operation.


We have got people's lights on their hands and walking out. Whilst I do


have every sympathy for patients affected by the strike, the fact is


that it is a huge amount of public support for the strike but one would


never know this. I don't think the report was either balanced or


representatives. That is the subject we are likely to be returning to


that finally, this week we had complaints after three more men were


convicted for their part in the ?40 million Hatton Garden Burghley last


year, and some felt BBC News was obsessed with the age of the


thieves. The men in their 60s and 70s were


secretly filmed in a local pub. Those four other men all in their


60s and 70s... The ageing men let themselves in through a back door. A


combined age of 278. They just couldn't resist even at the age.


Struggling with infirmity, even incontinence. That last detail was


too much for Jane Jones, who asked...


More of your comments on BBC News and current affairs next week. If


you'd like to put your views across either in person or in print, please


do collars... You can message us Twitter. Have a


look at our website. That's all from us, we will be back


to hear your thoughts about BBC News coverage again next week, goodbye.


Coming up in the sports day, a classic in the quarterfinals at the


Masters snooker, and we will show you how Joe Root was the month in


England once again as he led a


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