28/10/2016 Newswatch


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At ten o'clock, Rita will be here with a full round-up of the day's


news, but first, Newswatch. Hello, and welcome to Newswatch


with me, Samira Ahmed. Coming up, how to be impartial


and objective in reporting an issue as emotive as the closure


of the Calais migrants' camp. And in the days of catch-up viewing,


should the News at Ten have done a sports-style spoiler warning


about the winner of First, it took a long time to arrive


but, when the decision came from the government to support


an expansion of Heathrow Airport, it was reported and discussed


extensively on BBC News. Now, a third runway here at Heathrow


is a long way away from being Political, planning,


legal, environmental opposition is inevitable


in the coming months but, in arriving at today's decision,


they've achieved what previous But was the scale of the coverage


on BBC News warranted? Since it started to hit the news


headlines in the summer of last year, the issue of how to treat


the huge number of migrants travelling into and across Europe


has proved a difficult one This week, it again attracted


the attention of Newswatch viewers with the clearing of the so-called


Jungle camp in Calais and the transportation of over 200


minors from there into the UK. Here are clips from two reports


shown on Monday night's bulletins from John Kay in Devon, and first,


Lucy Williamson in Calais. Among those joining the queues today


were four siblings from Afghanistan, clinging


to an English-speaking friend. Their mother had asked him to take


her children and make their case Four small lives among the thousands


saying goodbye to Calais, unsure of what the future


has in store. We are a local, small,


close-knit community But this man told me many locals


are angry that the child migrants have been brought


here without public consultation. We can't look after our own so why


look after everybody else? Apparently, they won't be


here for very long, they will be Wednesday, I was told,


but that's two days too long. That view and its appearance on BBC


news concerned some viewers. But most of those who contacted us


felt the BBC was being overly sympathetic towards the migrants.


One describing himself as a disillusioned proud Brit e-mailed...


Toby Castle is with me now. The majority of the comments that we got


is that the BBC has an instinctive liberal bias on the side of


migrants, including economic migrants. Your queue was proved that


there are two very differing views of the BBC's coverage and that


reflects the fact we're getting it right. We have a responsibility to


provide balanced coverage of the very pop complicated story, to give


our viewers the context around what is going on by providing eyewitness


journalism on the ground. The eyewitness stuff is part of what


people are concerned about. A lot of coverage they feel is very personal


stories. Especially with young children. But we do not happen. Ray.


A handful of cases may simplify the bigger issue or the dealing with the


bigger political issue. It is a story which you could say is easy to


oversimplify. In our coverage and what we have done across television,


radio and online, it is an attempt to pick up personal stories and on


occasion challenged the stories and ask individuals questions about the


decisions they have made and how they ended up in the camp in Calais


and their decisions not to be resettled around France and that


they want to stay and still attempt to get across the channel into the


UK. The Home Office are somebody else we want to challenge. We want


to challenge one of your comments of one of your viewers who was


criticising us listening to the refugee support groups and


charities. I would say, if you are watching and listening to our


coverage, we have challenge them on some of their views and some of


their language has been very emotive and strong. We have challenged that.


What you have highlighted there is how divided viewer reaction is on


this. People either feel BBC challenges to emotional and


unquestioning, and those who feel worried about xenophobia attitudes


getting airtime. It is a line we have to talk about and consider.


Editorial discussions within programmes in output and


correspondence on the ground. It is healthy for a newsroom in editorial


meetings to have conversations about the way we are covering stories and


the use of language, how we refer to unaccompanied minors, we use that


term in some of our reporting, and sometimes we hear about NGOs talking


about children. But then you have government MPs referring to these


individuals as, they did not look like children. Is there a knee jerk


liberal reaction to that, to want to the underside of being generous? We


have got to question all sides. We have to be the independent observer


in this and challenge each group. I think we have talked in editorial


meetings about challenging those that have found themselves in the


camp. But the government are at the moment having to challenge those


individuals and checking their status and what they are telling


them. We're challenging the government. On our audience's Behar.


The biggest row was led by newspapers demanding dental checks


because of claims of adult men claiming to be child refugees. How


did the BBC approach that issue? The MP that raised dental checks, those


were public comments. Some of the images we saw on the front page of


the newspapers showed individuals that, on the face of it, did not


look like children. I think in our coverage, we looked at that, we


spoke to David Davis, and we did question those groups and the


government on something that our audience, your comments there,


referred specifically to, that there are individuals that may be taking


advantage of our hospitality and we need to challenge everybody involved


in the story on that. Do let us know your thoughts on the BBC's coverage


of migration or any aspect of BBC News. The highlight of many people's


television viewing this week came on BBC One on Wednesday night and for


those who have not watched the Great British Bake Off, a headline gave


away the result. Candies! The Baker from Bedfordshire wins the Crown in


the final Great British Bake Off on the BBC. Although the BBC's news


website and breakfast included spoiler alerts for those who had not


watched the programme and did not want to know who had won, that


headline level the scores of you was frustrated and angry.


With a week and a half to go into the presidential election in the


United States, opinion polls suggest Hillary Clinton is pulling away from


Donald Trump with all other candidates trailing far behind. What


other candidates, you might ask? There is actually quite a few people


standing to be President, mostly independents but also the Green


Party and Gary Johnson from the Libertarian party, 15% of the


electorate are considering voting for one of them, so why have we not


heard more about the third-party contenders? Dan Curry e-mailed us to


make that point. There is a long history of reporters


being upstaged by something or someone in the background of the


shot and the Downing Street cat, Larry, has a history of hogging


attention. Larry was added again on Monday while Norman Smith was


discussing a meeting the Prime Minister had just had. Theresa May


did not want to stand up in row with Nicolas Di adjourned. She has gone


enough on her plate. Luckily, it was on the news channel. -- Nicola


Sturgeon. Who are all these people? Why would they not just let him in?


He made it through the door eventually but not before he had


thoroughly distracted Edward Stone. Thank you for your comments this


week. If you want to share your opinions or even appear on the


programme, you can call us. Or you can e-mail us. You can find us on


Twitter and do have a look at our website. We will be back to hear


your thoughts about BBC News coverage again next week.


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