23/06/2017 Newswatch


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much indeed. Over 800 households being evacuated from Camden, that


just being announced in the last hour. More on that on the ten


o'clock news, but now it is time for Newswatch.


Hello and welcome to Newswatch. Many questions remain


after the Grenfell Tower fire, but some viewers questioned


whether BBC news coverage served to incite anger amongst residents.


You could stop it spreading by spending ?2 more...


The interview Emily Maitlis conducted with Theresa May last


Friday seemed to unfairly lay all blame for the fire personally


How Huw Edwards occupied himself for the first four minutes


In the very early hours of Monday morning, the sound of multiple


police sirens was heard again on the streets of London.


And the BBC's overnight news service reported the facts,


We start with breaking news this hour.


A number of people have been injured in North London after a vehicle


The Muslim Council of Britain has said that worshippers were hit


by a van as they left prayers at the Finsbury Park mosque.


One eyewitness has told the BBC that at least three people


Some hours later, it emerged that one man, Makram Ali,


died in the attack and that another, Darren Osborne, had been arrested


on suspicion of attempted murder and terror offences.


Before that, though, a number of viewers objected


to the way the incident had initially been


One of them rang Newswatch with his thoughts.


I am calling about your recent coverage of the


I just don't understand why the mainstream media right now


is not calling this out as a terrorist attack.


At the moment, which is very disappointing.


Considering that, if it was a Muslim, you would be


very quick to point out that it is a terrorist attack.


But for a white guy or anyone else who's running people


over, for some reason, you have a different way


Well, we put that view to BBC News and they told us...


Last Friday afternoon, the distress and anger which had


been building up in the wake of the Grenfell Tower


Here is Jeremy Cooke reporting on that night's News at Six.


A crowd storms Kensington Town Hall demanding action.


How could this tragedy have happened, on this scale?


That evening and through the weekend, BBC reporters heard


many appeals and complaints of that kind from residents of the estate


I just want to know how many people have died.


Why are people being rehoused outside London?


These are fundamental questions and only, we are days


It is always the public that runs to rescue.


Those questions were heard many times on camera


And others were put to the Prime Minister on Friday.


That was in an interview by Emily Maitlis of Newsnight.


There were two types of material that could have been used


used in the cladding - one was flammable


and one was fireproof, and the fireproof one cost ?2 more.


We have yet to find out what the cause of the fire was.


You could have stopped it spreading by spending ?2


The Fire Service are looking at what the cause of the fire was.


And it is important that we get to the bottom of this, that we find


But you were recommended this, in 2013.


You were in government, then, and the coroner said you could have


stopped this with a sprinkler system in every block.


And the government has taken action on the recommendations


Lots of reaction from Newswatch viewers to that interview.


Typical was Ian Whitehouse, who recorded his thoughts


We all have the utmost sympathy and sadness


However, nothing can justify the appalling


viciousness of the haranguing of the Prime Minister


It was more like a kangaroo court diatribe, based on assumptions


of responsibility and guilt which hadn't yet


even been discussed, let alone proven.


Other viewers contacted us with their concerns about reporting


And the allegations and emotions expressed by residents.


Here are the views of David Shute and Alan Cummings.


The BBC was on the spot for immediate eyewitness accounts,


in competition with rivals which reached fever pitch, recently.


And because of that their obligations for broadcasting


accurately and with accountability is being compromised.


They have proved, in the event, to being totally inaccurate,


highly emotive and often personally influenced accounts broadcast


I think that in the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy we saw


reporting which was actually starting to incite violence,


incite further trouble, which is not what reporting is about.


Another viewer who got in touch on the subject was Jon Brookes,


and he joins us now from our Ipswich studio.


Jon, there were lots of concerns about coverage


Last week a number of viewers commented on it being used


as a backdrop to news bulletins when it was still burning.


There was no real need to have somebody on the scene standing


It seemed as though you were dwelling on...


In a way, it was a type of hysteria, because in the end it wound a lot


of people up to make protests when they might


The BBC need to realise that perhaps they were part of the megaphones


talk by a lot of people, including politicians,


who incited those people to behave like that.


In filling the air time in the days after the disaster,


did you have views about people discussing what might have


Normally, when this happens anywhere, in any factory,


the health and safety people come in, the police


and the inspectorates, and they decide what's caused it.


But the speculation on there was massive.


It may well be, that it was the panels, it


seems to be the case, but speculation without


One of the other issue you wanted to raise and some other viewers did,


was about interviews with the Prime Minister


and the way she was treated in relation to the fire.


Mrs May, I'm not one of her supporters, but


how could she be held responsible or blamed for what's happened there?


Now we know that those panels are in place all over the UK


and that is down to planning people making sure that they are


She can't be responsible for that, and yet, some people


You think the BBC was doing interviews in an irresponsible way?


I don't think you helped matters by allowing those people to say


what they were saying, particularly outside when they were


Well, as you know, we did want to talk to someone from the BBC


And they have given us this statement.


Any thoughts in response to that statement,


particularly when they talked about accountability in interviews?


Yes, how can you judge accountability when you have no


facts to back up the claims that it was the cladding?


I've never heard a producer admit he is wrong about anything.


They can waffle all they like but, in this case,


To accentuate it to the degree that they did.


After all, there was no need to have them there every day


And I just think that people who had relatives in there,


how do you think they must have felt?


Finally it has been an extremely busy news period,


most of it very bad, so it is understandable


if some of the audience, perhaps even some of the journalists


wanted it all to occasionally just calm down and stop.


On Tuesday night it did just that as those watching the ten o'clock


evening bulletin on News Channel were treated to this...


There followed four minutes of Huw Edwards waiting patiently,


checking over his script and taking notes, all interspersed with some


Viewers on BBC One only had a bit of that before the presentation


announcer took over with a holding message and some music.


Apparently the BBC News technical system crashed seconds before ten


o'clock and although Huw Edwards wasn't told he was on air


for a couple of minutes, having heard pandemonium


in the background, he thought he would take the conservative


approach and just sit there, quietly.


The glitch prompted a flurry of reaction on Twitter.


Thank you for all your comments this week.


Please send us your thoughts on BBC News and current affairs.


And you can catch up on a programme any time you have missed it. We were


back to hear your thoughts about BBC news coverage this time next week.




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