08/09/2017 Newswatch


08/09/2017

Your views on the coverage of events by BBC News, answered by the editors and decision makers in charge.


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Transcript


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Now it's time for Newswatch, presented by Samira Ahmed.

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This week, the BBC expands its services in other languages.

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Welcome to Newswatch. Coming up... After recent nuclear missile test,

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is this a good time for the BBC to launch which service targeted at

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North Korea? Should BBC News be covering a story about an

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unfortunate incident in a toilet. First, many of those interviewed on

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news and current affairs programmes have been advised by public

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relations professionals on what to say and how to behave. If you are

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appearing on TV as a PR person yourself, what could possibly go

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wrong? On Monday's Newsnight, the co-founder of Belle Pottinger, which

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had been expelled by the PR trade body for unethical behaviour in

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South Africa, demonstrated the answer to that question. You were

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the man who went out to South Africa to secure this deal...

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, sorry about that. Don't worry about it. We went out to the people

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who represented the Gupta 's. He knew of all...

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One of the key things is the problem with the account. This reaction on

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Twitter was called... There was more embarrassment on

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Tuesday for the Home Office after the Guardian published a draft

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document it obtained containing proposals aimed at cutting the

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numbers of low skilled migrants from Europe following Brexit. The BBC

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followed up the story but one viewer rang us with his concerns over the

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journalistic ethics. How do the BBC and other media sources justify

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broadcasting information to the public from so-called leaked

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documents? They are not leaked, they are stolen. The media should be

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forced, by law, to divulge their informant's details so be made them

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be prosecuted and lose their jobs. Which they are obviously not fit to

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be in any way. It is theft. We have had reaction to panorama, showing

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distressing footage from an immigration removal Centre,

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Brockhaus, which had been filmed secretly by a member of staff. BBC

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News picked up on the story last Friday. Undercover investigation

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mark, abuse or assault detainees. The incident is picked up by the

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hidden camera worn by another officer.

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He has worked here for two years and he approached Panorama after

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becoming disturbed about the working practices he saw. He was applauded

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the documentary and Tracy Jensen called it...

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The BBC's motto going back 90 years has been nations shall speak peace

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unto nation. But which nations? The BBC is updating its provision of

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language services by adding several new ones, including one in pigeon.

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It is spoken by 75 million people in Nigeria and many more elsewhere in

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Africa. The introduction last month of audio

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updates in pigeon with daily video bulletins due to be added in

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November, has already had an impact on social media and it is part of

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what the BBC World Service is calling its biggest expansion since

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the 1940s with 1400 staff being hired, backed by ?289 million of

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government funding. 12 new language services are launching. They include

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one targeted at North Korea, where, particularly at this time of

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heightened international tension over nuclear missile tests, it seems

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unlikely the BBC will be greeted with open arms.

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To talk about what the BBC's changing with its language services,

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I am joined by the deputy editor of the BBC world language group. We

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mention Korean and pigeon, what are you expanding and why? We are

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opening 11 language services. The Korean service for the Korean

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peninsula and Korean speaking audiences around the world. We have

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done this because there has never been a greater need for the reliable

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and independent language the BBC provides. In some countries where

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some news is available, but in many countries where there isn't very

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much all reliable international news, it has been part of our

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mission since the war. It is a continuation and extension of that.

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In deciding what languages you offer, a lot of countries don't have

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independent news. Those audiences who don't have a lot of choices. A

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number of the Bridges services, we are opening a number of languages to

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cover Ethiopia and Eritrea because we see a lack of free access to

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independent and reliable news in that market. We have three

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additional Nigerian languages. Audiences watching Newswatch, we pay

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a licence fee, where is the money coming from? The extension is coming

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from new government investment. It was done because it felt there

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wasn't a commercial case, you could never run these services on a

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commercial basis. The licence fee payers pay for existing World

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Service? They pay for a certain amount of it and the government has

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come in with the money for the expansion of these language

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services. The BBC is supposed to be independent and when you are

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expanding into places like the Korean peninsula with government

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money, doesn't it look political? The BBC has had grand and aid

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funding from the government over a long time to pay for the World

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Service. In that time, we were confident our own independent

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editorial content. We wouldn't take money from the government if it had

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editorial strings attached. The government understand that and they

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don't want the BBC News to be viewed with suspicion as the voice of the

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government. For the government, they have pagan expansion of the

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services, it was the BBC who decided which languages we added. Although

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the government retains a role in deciding if any future services are

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close, the BBC has editorial independence on what goes on those

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services. The BBC of professional diplomats. The North Korean

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government has told the BBC it is not happy about this new language

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service. Is it provocative to go ahead? We think there is a value in

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areas of tension for there to be access for impartial and reliable

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and independent news. We think it helps de-escalate points of

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international tension. Our view is, the BBC will help in the long-term

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with access. There is a huge amount of concern about fake news on how it

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is being manipulated by countries to ferment into ethnic problems in

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different territories around the world. The BBC has an important

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mission to get into that space and make sure that a free and impartial

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and accurate information is available as a gold standard, if you

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like. We help it de-escalate 's political tensions, not the other

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way around. What about the journalists providing the services,

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some will be based in London, but in places like North Korea, where you

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have no presence on the ground, how dangerous it might be to provide a

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service tailored for a local market? We don't have an operational base in

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North Korea, but the BBC does periodically get access inside North

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Korea, albeit under restrictive and you are monitored and surveilled by

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the authorities. But the issues of whom are the journalists providing

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that language service, who maybe the National is from there? The

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objective of this service is not political. We do language and

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countries. It is a Korean language service for all Korean language

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speaking services. We're not setting it up as a platform for dissidents

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or to destabilise the North Korean government. If we did do that, in

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that political weight it with the and devalue the BBC's international

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bases around the world. It would be counter-productive and we would not

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do it. We are doing it on the same basis as other International News

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service to provide independent, trusted, free news, but for the

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values as journalists and not as a political objective.

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Jamie Angus, thank you. A light-hearted story that has been

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fascinated but disgusting some viewers this week. Because it

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concerns a toilet mishap. It is about an unnamed woman from Bristol

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on a first date. What happened when she went back to his house and

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needed the toilet. Are you ready? Here is headache,

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Liam Smith. Unfortunately it wouldn't flush and she decided to

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throw it out of the window. My house is quirky and the bathroom doesn't

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open into the outside garden. It opens to an air gap and there is a

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double glazed window between that and the outside garden. She was

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reaching in to try and get the to out of the window. She asked me help

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to get out and she was stuck. Embarrassing, certainly. Unpleasant,

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undoubtedly. Newsworthy? Some people had their doubts, including Michael

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Hill e-mail... Thank you for all your comments, if

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you want to share your opinions on BBC News and current affairs or

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appear on the programme, you can call us on...

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Do have a look at our website. That is all from us, I will be back in a

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fortnight and Roger Bolton will be here next week to hear your thoughts

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about BBC News coverage. We are still dodging downpours this

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evening but some will be turning dry as the evening goes on. We will keep

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a feed of showers coming over Northern

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Your views on the coverage of events by BBC News, answered by the editors and decision makers in charge. Each week we look at how the BBC is covering major stories and put your criticisms to the powers behind the presenters.