29/01/2016 Newswatch


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the day 's news, before that, it is time for news watch, and this week


we asked whether news bulletins went snow crazy last weekend. --


Newswatch. Coming up: snowstorms hit the USA


last weekend, lovely pictures, did the BBC News get to carried away in


reporting them. And the bedroom tax, back in the news, or should that be,


the spare room subsidy. Someone in Worcester has won ?33 million on the


lottery, Sophie Raworth gets less information than you might hope for


from the BBC's reporter on the spot when she asks who it is. We do not


know because they have decided to remain anonymous.


Last Friday night BBC News began reporting on the heavy snow linked


to storm Jonas, arriving on the east coast of the United States, it was


one of the top stories on that night's News at ten. Good morning


America, blizzard emergency. Is Coast braces itself for what may be


the heaviest snow in 100 years. Until Monday the story stayed in the


headlines, leading them on Sunday and occupying lots of airtime on the


news channel and space on the website. There are some who cannot


hide their joint. Striking images on the show, certainly, this panda in


the Washington to happen the hearts of many, 36 people did die, however,


as a result of the blizzard, and there was considerable travel


disruption, scores of viewers felt the BBC got it out of proportion.


Jeff Hardy said, " there is more snow than that every winter in


Europe but it never gets a mention... " and he went on to say:


it has been snowing pretty hard in the United States, fair to say! On


Saturday morning, another viewer objected:


a lot of businesses are opening but your patrons cannot get to use


safely, please work together... Help us get the streets clear, stay off


the streets, do not put snow in the middle of the streets. And two


excerpts from two press conferences, to the bemusement of one viewer.


That was broadcast on Sunday on the news channel.


Did the extremity of the weather and the availability of pictures such as


these warrants the extent of the coverage? Did the BBC get carried


away by a bias towards all things American? Answers to those questions


from Paul Guppy and Toby Castle, deputy news editor at the BBC.


Heaviest snowfall on much of the East Coast on record, surely that is


a news story. I guess it is newsworthy, and would probably be


worthy of a mention in the And capital to finally, as often used to


happen. -- in the And Finally. Art like a lot of the people who wrote


in, the amount of time given to the subject was totally out of


proportion... It seems to be far too much on, after all, it is in the


northern hemisphere, it is winter, it snows in the winter...! Equally,


Japan and Korea were suffering far worse weather, and far more people


died! It did not get a mention at all. People did die in the storms in


the United States, but this kind of snow is a regular occurrence further


west in the United States, and in many other countries, as Paul has


said, you do not give them all this airtime. I would like to say about


the US snow story, it was significant and unprecedented, 60


centimetres of snow in Washington, New York shut down, a loss of life


on a large scale. Federal government closing down, legislation on hold,


this was significant, from a television news bulletin it had a


extraordinary pictures, incredibly strong picture, and so there was an


audience interest in it. As proven by the online statistics, just to


give you an example, last week, the two most highly read stories on the


BBC online UK site were both relating to the snow story in the


United States. What do you think about that? Unprecedented, and


audiences were interested. If you feed people that much information,


give it that much airtime, they will be interested! Is a lot of other


stuff going on, this is not August, silly season, there is people dying


in the Mediterranean, there is quite interesting times... On the News at


ten on Friday night, this was not the new story, this was the story,


on the news bulletin, yes, we had Google tax and the migrant crisis


had this in the running order is, it did not leave the network news


bulletins, I felt it had exactly the correct place in the running orders


for the significance. In terms of pictures, that panda video


conference sample, on the BBC News Facebook site, was the most shared


video of the year! It was something that was incredibly well-received by


the audiences. It led so much of the news coverage through the weekend on


the news channel, people turning on, acres of coverage, a lot of it is


just pictures of Americans dealing with snow...! Did not feel that


important. There is a lot of BBC correspondent is around Washington


and New York, and people thought that was a bias, and people full


that it was cheap and easy news at the weekend when budgets are cut. I


reject that, the BBC News model is to have eyewitness reporting on the


ground, it would be a bad state of affairs if we did not have


correspondence on the ground reporting the story. On all of the


stories that we cover, internationally, our aim is that we


have reporters based locally, to be able to give their opinion and their


review on the ground. Is there something broader here about the


Americanisation of British news? Based partly on what Toby has said.


I'm not anti-American, I am not anti-panda, Eva(!) what it is


horrible when one person dies, but this was not a sin army, -- this was


not a tsunami. -- and I'm not anti-panda, either. You have made


the point about a lot of BBC staff being in and around Washington and


New York, that does make it easy reporting. Thank you very much to


the both of you. We will have to leave it there. Expect more coverage


of the United States over the next week as attention turns to the


presidential election campaign, please let us know your thoughts on


that, or on any aspect of BBC news. Before that, one of the biggest


stories of the week, the row over the amount of tax paid by Google in


the UK. ABC news claimed a scoop on this last Friday night. Google


revealed to the BBC iD has a agreed to pay and ?30 million in backdated


tax. What proportion of UK profits was that ?130 million? That was much


discussed later in the week but it did not get a mention on that


addition of the news at ten or the following morning, wanting a retired


mathematics teacher to write: -- prompting.


On Wednesday the Court of Appeal ruled that the government withdrawal


of the spare rooms at the back in 2013 ads discriminated against


domestic violence victim and the family of a disabled teenager, Clive


Coleman reported on the story for the lunchtime bulletin. A family


challenged the bedroom tax, with a victim of domestic violence who was


raked and stalked, in 2013, households deemed to have spare


rooms receive less in benefits, those affected lose 14% of their


housing benefit, for a spare bedroom. -- rates. The terminology


used from two this call: in other areas of reporting the news, the BBC


have the disclaimer when referring to organisations and the like.


However, why did the BBC News outlet stake the so-called bedroom tax when


the subject referred to has a correct and official name and also


when it is not a tax anyway. On that addition of the news at one on


Wednesday, changing benefit rules was described three times as the


so-called bedroom tax, and three times simply as " the bedroom tax


close " but never as the spare room subsidy. -- simply as " the bedroom


tax". We put this point to BBC News and they told us:


finally, the search for the second winner of a record ?33 million share


of the national lottery jackpot is declared to be over on Thursday,


almost three weeks after the ticket had been bought, Sophie Raworth


revealed almost all on the News at ten... The ticket was bought in


Worcester, whose is it? We do not know because they have decided to


remain anonymous, which means there is a rather curious suspicious


atmosphere... A disgruntled viewer e-mail us:


thank you for all of your comments this week am if you want to share


your opinions on BBC News and current affairs, or even appear on


the programme, you can get in touch.


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