19/03/2016 Newswatch


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which are the important issues to report on conference of late? And so


for wars. He sits on the left and she sits on the right. Coincidence


or something of a power game? The economy took centrestage this week


with the Chancellor unveiling a budget. The BBC's economics editor


was crunching the numbers on Wednesday's news bulletins. This


graph shows the government will borrow more over the next four


years. Unmounted borrowing higher than falling more slowly. -- on


amount. That will still turn despite all the economic gloom, says the


Chancellor, into a ?10.4 billion surplus the following year come just


in time for the election. That mention of the election is an


increasingly political area with every statistic and forecast


disputed and fought over by government and opposition. But could


the BBC be more objective and factual in this area? James thinks


so, writing the following. Another criticism we have received


is outlined by Godfrey. And then there is the problem of


varied levels of knowledge about economics among the audience and


this colour would like a little more explanation of the terminology


used. When you say something on the news, and you might use the initials


GDP, not everybody knows what it stands for. So would it be possible


to every so often, when you say something, say it in. We know what


you're talking about? We don't all know what GDP is. At the end of a


very busy budget week, come all on the joins us now. Let's start with


that last point. Many people if they are honest would admit that many


people don't understand quite basic economic terminology, so how do you


pitch your coverage? You do try to steer clear of acronyms. I think the


lady makes a very good point about GDP on the gross domestic product,


no one uses that in normal language down the pub. I try to speak, I am


just one of a big set of people in the BBC's economics unit for the


BBC, I try to use national income so at least you have a notion of how


much the country is earning as a nation, which I think is slightly


more helpful in trying to get across the idea of GDP. Then also trying to


get across the idea that it matters because economic growth is how we


create more jobs, is how we create higher wages for everybody, and how


we create a degree of prosperity. Is always helpful to drive economics


coverage so is engaging to people in their realise. Let's talk about


budget week. It is the most important time in your job among


many people would think, and there is so much information packed into


that speech. How do you deal with trying to unpack it under the time


pressures you have without compromising on getting things


right? Absolutely. It comes down to the fact that I am just one of a


whole group of people who are outputting tons of information about


that online and across all our broadcast channels and radio. My job


as the economics editor of the BBC is to really try and pick out two or


three big themes that are important for our viewers, our listeners, our


online readers to understand what George Osborne, the Chancellor, is


trying to do or at least selling to the public. Paul Johnson of the IFF


was on the Newsday quite recently and he bemoaned the pressure for


having overnight analysis of something more complex. Can you see


his point? I think we have to do both, sadly. The BBC can't be in a


vacuum all we go into our chance chance for a bit and wonder what


this really means. You have to give some type of news with your


expertise, some type of instant response on the programme live. But


let's not forget, the following day I was back on the Ten O'clock News


the day after the budget, giving a more 24-hour view. So yes, instant


response, but Paul Johnston is absolutely right, we need to give a


considered view with a bit of time and perspective. One of the


complaints that came in was from that third-year economics


undergraduate saying, actually economics is neutral and you should


be able to say if a policy is sound and is going to do what it says it


is. Is that true? There is the old jokes, if you lined up every


economics person and, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion. It is


not a science in the same way that physics is a science. If you drop a


ball it goes down. Economics is full of a lot of opinion and judgement,


and therefore I don't think there can be a simple right or wrong.


George Osborne is simply wrong to do this or John McDonald the Shadow


Chancellor is wrong to argue this. I think we need to give people an


understanding of the cases for what George Osborne is doing and the


criticisms of some of what he is doing. But in economics, there is no


right and wrong. It is really interesting how much the speculation


in the air around economics exists given that people are always talking


about real numbers. One of the other big complaints we have had it


Newsday is the amount of airtime filled in the run-up to things like


the budget with speculation. Asking people in workplaces about stuff


they don't know. Does it annoy you? There is no point asking people who


don't know things to tell you their opinion but the public, the opinion


of the public, this is real stuff. This is about people's wages, jobs,


where their children might go to work. The global economy is vital to


us in terms of trade. These are vital issues to our country and to


our viewers, listeners and online readers. I think it is important


that we give lots of time to consider these things and to allow a


whole host of voices to be involved in this debate. Because if you


forget that this is about real people, and it is all academics and


politicians who supposedly know everything, it would be a very


sterile debate. I say bring in the people who are actually at the sharp


end of this whether they are hairdressers or academics or have


but kids or not the kids or drive a car or don't drive a car. Is really


important and I think it is great that we do that. I think we should


get involved in idle speculation, he may do this and this may happen and


I hope I don't do that and they don't believe the BBC does that.


Thank you. Do let us know your thoughts on the BBC's coverage of


economics or any aspect of its news output. I will let you know how to


get in touch with us shortly. Before that, we've got used to Top Gear


controversy in the days of Jeremy Clarkson but now when you presenter


has taken over and it seems the trend is continuing. Last weekend,


one of the new hosts, Matt LeBlanc and a professional driver performed


handbrake spans known as doughnuts near the Cenotaph in London. After


protests that the filming was disrespectful, the Top Gear team


said the footage would not be shown on the programme. But in reporting


on story on Monday, BBC News showed video of the stunts shot by


onlooker. That elicited this reaction from Phil. The Top Gear


stunts at the Cenotaph had been deemed to be tasteless and


disrespectful and do have rightly been dropped from erring on the


programme. They had even been apologised for by the programme's


co- presenter Chris Evans. What on earth are BBC News staff thinking in


showing it on the Six O'clock News therefore? Does the right hand not


know what the left hand is doing? This is just tabloid sensationalism


and it is a shame and disappointment that the BBC saw fit to show it.


When will they learn to live up to the reputation they have is a series


news provider? We put that point, made by number of viewers, to BBC


executives and they told us the following.


Finally, a can of worms was opened On Breakfast this week on a subject


that may never have crossed her mind before. Who sits where on the sofa


and why? Hello and welcome back, this is Breakfast with Bill Turnbull


and Louise Minchin up late until he left the programme recently, Bill


Turnbull said on the left of the screen with Louise Minchin or


whoever else was reporting with him on the right. His replacement, Dan


Walker, seems to have inherited his seat but it turns out that the


so-called camera left position is associated in TD convention with


seniority. So why hasn't it been taken by the more experienced Louise


Minchin? That appears to have been causing some disquiet, widely


reported in the press this week. In a statement, Breakfast told us the


following. But some have detected sexism at play here because it turns


out that left of the green position always seems to be taken by a man On


Breakfast. That is normally true elsewhere on television as well with


the occasional exception. Many programmes have decided to shake it


up on Wednesday that bill but what side shall we sit down on the sofa?


Is the question. Some of you might be freaked out but we have been


hearing that the male presenter always sits on the left and we had


decided to switch it up. Twitter has gone into meltdown. Some people are


watching the show in the mirror so we are the right way around. This


apparently has to do with the fact that you lead from left to right. Is


there sexism going on here or not? Lese thought to not. -- not. Tell us


what you think about that and about any aspect of BBC News. You can call


us at the following number or e-mail Newsday at the following address.


You can find us on Twitter and to have a look at our website. The


address for that is on your screen now. We are off air next week over


Easter but do join us again the week after that. Goodbye.


It has been a predominantly dry week, but each


day we have been chasing cloud amounts around, and that has had


A drab day with a lot of cloud pushing in from the North Sea.


Where we did have sunshine in north-west Wales,


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