05/02/2016 Newswatch


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Welcome to Newswatch. The American presidential campaign kicked off in


Iowa this week, but have we already seen and heard enough about this


man? And why is this man standing outside the BBC building rather than


inside in the warmth of the studio? Still an awfully long way to go


before we find out in November who the next president of the United


States will be but this week the race to the White House began in


earnest, with voters in their state of Iowa expressing their preferences


on who the Republican and Democratic candidates should be forced up the


media blitz has started but do British audiences find the contest


is as compelling as generally seem to? Today I will probably announce


my candidacy for presidency of the United States of America.


Presidential election campaigns have certainly featured their gripping


moments. Yes, I was Bill Clinton's lover. There was the scandal ridden


first campaign of another Clinton, with the comeback kid first making


it to the White House in 1992. The new Prime Minister of India is...


No. Eight years later the battle between George Bush Junior and Al


Gore culminated in a dramatic tie. And in 2008 Barack Obama was swept


to power after a campaign of idealistic fervour. But in between


the standout moments, US elections are protracted affairs with some


arcane and complex procedures, not the taste of all audiences here. Ted


Cruz wins the first Republican nomination and Hillary Clinton


narrowly beats Barney Sanders. I do not believe it is needed such a


long, in-depth coverage. To have most of the candidates spin


finishing speeches broadcast in full, to have in-depth analysis of


the results and the way the votes went, almost at the same extent you


get coverage for the UK election. This is not the actual election for


presidency, this is just to find their nominees to run for the


presidency. So I would question how much time and effort you dedicate to


this. This year there is the Donald. Trump


mania. Have news organisations, including the BBC, fallen for an


effective PR machine in giving the Republican front runner so much


airtime? One viewer contacted us this week. Brian, what will your


main concerns about the coverage you have been watching? I think the BBC


should cover the US presidential election, I think it has an


important bearing for UK foreign policy. But every time I switched it


on it seems to be dominated by Donald Trump. There seems to be very


little about the other Republican candidates and even less about the


Democrats' campaign. When it came to the Iowa caucus, what did you


notice? It is interesting who actually won. I know the man who


won, Ted Cruz. But most of the reporting was all about Donald Trump


losing. And again, there was very little about the Democrats coverage,


the fact it was neck and neck between Hillary Clinton and Bernie


Saunders. I suppose one might say he is out in front in all the polls


people American politics believe Donald Trump is the big difference


in this election process, he is a very big player? Yes, that's because


he says all this very controversial comments, very histrionic comments


in a very bombastic way, which I suppose is very good seed for the


BBC and other news reporters as well. I can understand that. But I


think if we are really looking at what is going on with the


presidential election, we need to find out what the other candidates


are saying. What are the Republicans saying, what are their policies and


debates on foreign affairs, home issues and so on. Let me read you


what the BBC have said in the statement they have given us about


this coverage. What you make of that? I watched the


news readily, six o'clock or ten o'clock. I have breakfast TV on in


the morning. I disagree with that. In fact, I think it would be very


difficult to name all of the other Republican candidates. I know Ted


Cruz and Jeb Bush but apart from that I don't know anybody else. And


I watch it and listen to and have an interest in it as well. Last night


there was a very good debate, apparently, between Hillary Clinton


and Bernie Sanders. It was mentioned on Radio 4 this morning but it was


not mentioned on television. It is interesting thinking about some of


the complaints we had at Newswatch in the last few years about Nigel


Farage and Ukip and people say you always cover what happens to Ukip


even if they don't do well, rather than covering all the parties. Do


you think there is a comparison? I do. Another example is last week


Donald Trump pulled out of the televised debate, and yet most of


the news coverage from the BBC was more about him pulling out of the


debate rather than listening to what the debate actually said and what


the other candidates were saying. If you could tell BBC editors, what


should they be doing in terms of how they are covering this process?


Clearly you do believe the process should be covered? Yes. One other


point before that, I also noticed on Saturday night after match of the


dates, Donald Trump is on again with the young American apprentice. It


seems like he is getting a lot of coverage. But what I would advise


is, please BBC, get your act together. Do a rational and fair


appraisal of all the candidates and let's listen to what they all have


to say and concentrate on policies, rather than these knee jerk,


bombastic statements that come out from Mr Trump. Thank you so much for


coming on Newswatch. Just like the US elections the


upcoming referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union


seems certain to dominate much of this year's news. This week


Prime Minister unveiled the draft agreement on the new terms of that


membership, prompting accusations from Newswatch viewers of biased BBC


coverage. A future edition will be examining how BBC News approaches


impartiality, but for now, a look at a report exploring whether migrants


from countries like Romania might be encouraged to move here because of


high pay. Look where the UK minimum wage sits


within Europe. Only Ireland and Luxembourg are more generous. And


you have to go a long way down the list before you find Romania. Back


home, the minimum wage for our potential migrants will be a little


over ?2000, less than a sixth of what he would be paid in the UK.


But did those figures tell the whole story, in suggesting high wages


might be encouraging migrants to the UK from other countries? One viewer


made this point. Now, featured several times on ABC


News is week was the BBC itself, or in some cases, its own programmes.


-- BBC News. Monday's programme at six o'clock or some viewers


attention. Life is very different for Romario


since he fled to the UK several years ago, escaping homophobic


abuse. He is transgender. You can watch the full documentary


on the BBC I player. Behind the scenes with Camila


Batmanghelidjh as kids company crumbled. Part of that deal was I


stepped down as chief executive. You can watch the full documentary, the


inside story, this Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One.


Andy e-mailed us asking: the biggest story involving the BBC


itself this weekend on Sunday, when the death was announced of Sir Terry


Wogan. But unlike the hundreds of complaints we featured a few weeks


ago on Newswatch, the reaction from viewers to this coverage was more


balanced. But it wasn't all compliments, I'm


afraid. Several of you are commenting on this.


David Sillito is outside BBC Broadcasting House. A tremendous


talent but also a man who inspired a lot of devotion from his fans? An


extraordinary day, so many tributes far and wide. This is what James


Kelly had to say: thank you for all of your comments


this week. You can contribute to Newswatch and could appear on the


programme. Please call us with your views on BBC News and current


affairs, on the number on screen. All of our programmes from the past


year can be viewed on our website. We will be back with more of your


thoughts on BBC News coverage again next week. Goodbye.


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