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Coming up on this programme, snowstorms hit the USA last weekend.
But the BBC get too carried away in reporting them?
And the bedroom tax is back in the news, or should that be
And 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 John Kay who it is.
We don't know because they've decided to remain anonymous, Sophie.
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.
The east coast of America braces itself for what could be
leading most of them on Sunday and occupying lots of airtime on the
But there are some who simply cannot hide their joy.
At least 36 people died, though, as a result of the blizzard and there
But scores of viewers felt the BBC got this out of proportion.
While Rob Kitching posted a different question:
Yes, it has been snowing pretty hard in the US,
On Saturday morning, Dave Briggs was another one to object, asking:
A lot of businesses are opening, but your patrons can't get to
You can help us to get those streets clear.
Stay off the streets, don't put snow in the middle of the street.
And on Sunday, the News Channel broadcast experts
from two press conferences to the bemusement of William from Glasgow.
So, did the extremity of the weather and the availability of pictures
like these warrant the extent of the coverage, or did the BBC get carried
away by a bias towards all things American? Let's hear some answers to
those questions. It was the heaviest snowfall on much of the east coast
on record. Surely that's a news story? I guess it is newsworthy and
it would probably be worthy of a final mention in the news, as often
used to happen. But I felt that, like a lot of the people who wrote
in, the amount of time given to this subject was totally out of
proportion. It just seemed to be far too much on after all it is in the
northern hemisphere, it is winter and its nose in the winter. Equally,
Japan and Korea were suffering far worse weather and far more people
died. And it didn't get a mention. It didn't get a mention at all. It
will did die in the storms of the United States, but this kind of snow
is a regular occurrence in the United States and many other
countries, as Paul just said. You don't give them all that airtime.
The US snow story was significant and unprecedented. 60 centimetres
snow in Washington. New York shut down. A loss of life on quite a
large scale. You've got federal government is closing down,
legislation on hold. It is a significant story and, from a
television news bulletin, it had an extraordinary picture. -- for a.
There was an audience interest in it. As proven by how online
statistics, just to give you an example. Last week that two most
highly read stories on the BBC online, the UK site, both relating
to this no story in the US. Paul, how do you feel about that?
Unprecedented and audiences are interested? I think if you feed
people that much information, give it that much airtime, people will be
interested. There's a lot of other stuff going on at the moment. It's
not like it's a no new season. People are dying in the
Mediterranean. It is quite an interesting time. Begin up on that,
on the News at Ten on Friday night, this was not the lead story, it was
the third story on the bulletin. Yes, we had Google tax and the
migrant crisis ahead of this in the running orders. It didn't lead the
bulletins. I felt it had exactly the correct place in those running
orders for the significance of the story. In terms of pictures, that
panda video, for example, on the website was the most shared video of
the year and it was something that was incredibly well-received by our
audiences. It led to so much of the news coverage through the weekend on
the News Channel. People got plenty of coverage, a lot of it just
pictures of Americans dealing with snow. It didn't feel that important
and it is a bias because perhaps there are many BBC correspondent in
America and maybe it is cheap and easy news at the weekend, when BBC
budget have been cut? I absolutely reject that. Our model is to have
eyed -- eyewitness reporting on the ground. It would be a bad state of
affairs if we didn't have correspondence on the ground
reporting on these stories. -- correspondents. Owl Eamonn all of
the stories we cover internationally is that we have reporters based
locally so they can give their opinion and their view on the
ground. -- our aim on all. Is there a perceived Americanisation of the
news? What are your thoughts? I will make it clear, I am not
anti-American or anti-panda. It is horrible when one person dies, but
it wasn't a tsunami or natural disaster. You think it is a North
American obsession, at the expense of other stories in the world?
Absolutely. You made the point of lots of BBC personnel being in and
around the US makes it easy reporting. We will have to leave it
there but thank you to both of you for coming on Newswatch. We can
expect more coverage of the United States in the next week as the
attention turns to the presidential election campaign. Please let us
know your thoughts, or on any aspect of BBC News. Details of how to
contact us at the end of the programme. Before that, one of the
biggest stories of the week has been a row over the amount of tax paid by
Google in the UK. BBC News claimed a scoop on this last Friday night.
Google reveals to the BBC that it has agreed to pay ?130 million in
back dated tax. But what proportion of Google's UK profits was that
amount? That was much discussed later in the week, but it didn't get
a mention on that addition of the news at 10pm, or the following
morning, prompting this maths teacher to write:
On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal ruled that the government's
withdrawal of the spare room subsidy back in 2013 had just committed
against a domestic violence victim and the family of a disabled
teenager. The family challenged the bedroom tax. A female victim of
domestic violence was raped and stalked. Since 2013, households
deemed to have spare room is received blessing benefits. Those
affected lose 40% of their housing benefit for a spare bedroom. Well,
the terminology used their prompted Lawrence Williams to ring us. In
other areas of reporting the news the BBC rightly adds a so-called
disclaimer Web referring to organisations and the like. However,
why do BBC News outlets state the so-called bedroom tax were the
subject referred to has a perfectly acceptable correct and official name
and also when it is a tax anyway? -- it isn't. On that addition, the
change in laws was described three times as the so-called bedroom tax
and three times simply as the bedroom tax. But never as the spare
room subsidy. John from Guildford was another to object:
We put that point to BBC News and they told us:
Finally, the search for the second winner of a record ?33 million share
of a national lottery jack pot was declared the over on Thursday almost
three is after the ticket was bought. Our correspondent revealed
almost all on the news at six p.m.. The ticket was bought in Worcester
but whose is it? John is there now. We don't know because they have
decided to remain anonymous, which means there is a rather curious,
suspicious atmosphere here. A disgruntled viewer e-mails us:
That's all from us. Thanks for your comments this week. If you want to
share your opinions or even appear on the programme, you can call us
on: Or e-mail Newswatch at: You can find us on Twitter and have a look
at our website. You can watch previous discussions there. That's
all from us. We will be back to hear your thoughts on BBC coverage next