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tv   Newswatch  BBC News  March 16, 2018 7:45pm-8:01pm GMT

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on trust or challenged. some members of the audience felt the bbc had erred too much in the former direction, with derek culson writing... and george skinner agreed. the prime minister announced on wednesday a number of measures to be taken against russia, but not one that had been widely to be taken against russia — but not one that had been widely mooted, taking the television station russia today off the air in the uk. the broadcaster is widely regarded as a mouthpiece for the kremlin, which made the choice of one of the panellists on bbc one's question time a surprise to some people. a broadcaster with the russian—funded tv channel rt,
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and presenter of a weekly current affairs programme on that channel, afshin rattansi. that guest booking was already causing concern before the programme went out on thursday, with matthew holbert tweeting... and dan watched the programme and wondered... it's not the first time journalists from russia today have appeared on bbc news, and we asked the bbc whether it was appropriate for them to do so. they told us... the russian theme continued that evening, as newsnight on bbc two ran an item which irked some viewers,
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not so much for its content as for the studio background. did jeremy corbyn misread the mood of his party in the commons yesterday when he refused to point the finger at russia? last night, a group of labour backbenchers said it unequivocally. they accept the russian state's culpability for the spy poisoning. some people felt the photograph ofjeremy corbyn in a russian—style hat surrounded by a red picture of the kremlin portrayed the labour leader as a collaborator with moscow. susan was one of them, and recorded this video for us. i felt compelled to contact you regarding the newsnight programme last night. and the portrayal of jeremy corbyn in some kind of a russian hat next to a portrayal of the kremlin. i feel that this is a very biased depiction of the man, and those more gullible in society will absolutely associate jeremy corbyn with russia and russians. i'm only interested injustice and honesty, and i don't
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see any of that here. very disappointed. now, last weekend, the sunday mirror said it had uncovered written britain's worst ever child grooming scandal, with claims that up to 1,000 girls had been abused since the 1980s. over the next two days, other newspapers followed that up extensively. but there was only limited mentions on bbc news. scores of people wondered why — with one of them, david, leaving us this phone message on tuesday morning. hi, i woke up this morning to the horrific stories about the child abuse in telford, so i thought i'd go on to the bbc app, which i use regularly. and lo and behold, there was nothing about it. you've got five stories in the website. there's one about pork pies and one about the danger of chinese takeaways. are you going to cover this scandal? the bbc was accused in the press
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of ignoring the story, and adam paulson agreed, writing... andrew e—mailed... well, on tuesday, the victoria derbyshire show interviewed a victim of child exploitation in telford. but it wasn't until wednesday that bbc one bulletins ran a report on the subject, from sima kotecher. night—time in telford. recent reports say up to 1,000 girls could have been sexually abused in the town over the last four decades. the police here say at the moment they are dealing
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with less than 50 cases. for many, the bbc‘s reaction was to little, too late. trevor bell thought... and robert tweeted this question... well, let's put that to james stevenson, the bbc‘s news editor, whojoins me now. can we start with... the story broke in the sunday mirror. when did the bbc national news think it was worth reporting? so, immediately we could see that it was a good and strong piece ofjournalism by the sunday mirror. and it was widely covered in our paper review on the sunday. and we saw it was a story that we needed to follow up, and we began to do that. as early as monday morning, the victoria derbyshire programme was leading its output on this story. and later that day, the world at one
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interviewed the leader of telford council to challenge him about what was going on. which is radio. we quickly saw it was a story that needed to be covered, and that it needed our original reporting effort to follow up, and that's what we did. we heard from a viewer who said he used the news app. i was wondering, when did the story appear on the front page of the website? there was a story on the website on monday. that was on the england index. there were various developments in the story as the week has gone on, i'm sure you've seen and the viewers have seen how the story has developed. so, the initial suggestion was that possibly 1,000 victims. that was based not on hard information, but on an extrapolation based on work with an academic. so, we pursued it. and we waited the story. we look at it in depth. it's probably worth saying, to address your point directly, that we're in the middle of this huge spy drama and scandal, the poisoning scandal in salisbury, and that's consumed a huge amount of our airtime, as has
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the death of ken dodd, and then later in the week stephen hawking. even in a busy news period, this has been an exceptionally busy news week, and we've tried to cover the telford story in the mix amongst all of the other things that we've been doing. audiences would say, a really busy news week, this is a really important new story. that's certainly true. and i'd like to sort of challenge an idea that i think probably viewers might be left with by the sequence they've just seen. this is a scandal that's been unfolding in telford over many years, and we have been covering it in great depth and with great prominence during that time. so, the operation chalice brought to life the scale of abusing in telford. there was then the criminal prosecution, which saw seven men being sent to prison a few years ago. so, we have consistently been reporting this story as it's gone along, and we've done so again this week. the tv bulletins are where millions of people go expecting to be told
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told what are the big, important stories, and it wasn't until wednesday, three days later, that there was a report about telford on the national bulletins. why? so, it was covered in brief on the news at ten on tuesday night. a 15—second read... as i've explained, we've got a very busy news period and there's a limited number of stories we can cover. the reason it became a network tv bulletin story on wednesday was because of partly ourjournalism. so, we interviewed the police in telford, we interviewed a social worker in telford, it was raised at prime it was raised at prime minister's minister's questions, and the prime minister reacted to it. even, as i say, in this busy
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period, that obviously deserved the attention it got in the main tv bulletins that day. you will know what bbc viewers are saying, and we've had hundreds of complaints into the bbc, it's that it looked like the bbc felt awkward giving this story prominence because it was about white victims and pakistani—heritage abuses. i know that's a view that some people hold, i really don't think it's the case. we've done a great deal of coverage of this area of abuse and this terrible story in telford, but also elsewhere in the country. the bbc has just won a royal television society wward for the excellent documentary, incredible documentary, about abuse in the north—east of england based around newcastle. that was the second story in the tv news three weeks ago. so, we've done a great deal of work on rotherham, on a lot of this stuff initially, when this terrible situation came more fully to light. so, we've certainly committed to covering what is a harrowing and terrible story, and we've done it consistently over time. you will know, as newswatch has debated it before, but coverage of the previous grooming scandals with this racial
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element, viewers every time feel the bbc runs shy of reporting stories prominently. do you think the bbc needs to have a rethink about how it runs and reports on these stories? no, i think we are doing the right thing and i think we are very determined to get to these terrible and dark and difficult stories, notjust this one, but across the whole range. what i do think is true to say is that before the full nature and scale of what was going on in bodrum and rochdale and oxford and other places came out, there was not as great an understanding of how, you know, profound a problem and how deep this ran. so, if you go back a decade, i think you can definitely say this story or this issue didn't get the attention it probably deserved at that point, that is something everyone has had to reflect on. james stevenson, thank you. thanks for your comments this week. if you want to share your opinions on bbc news, current affairs, or even appear on the programme, you can call us. or you can e—mail newswatch.
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you can find us on twitter, @newswatchbbc. and do have a look at our website. that's all from us. we'll be back to hear your thoughts about bbc news coverage again next week. goodbye. thanks forjoining me. in case you you hadn't noticed, we are in the broadcasting business, whilst your weather may not look like thatjust at the moment, if i show you what happens as we move on tomorrow, noticed that incredible drop., there's quite a change on the way. i hope your weather looks like this and that you enjoyed it, as we move through the next few days, the story is about snow and ice, and your travel plans may well be disrupted. that may show you what will go on overnight. the weather front on the eastern side of the british isles tumbles further south. this will spread a period of continuous snow towards the southern half of
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britain, leaving behind snow showers given that already temperatures have fallen away. why is that? well, overnight we are really going to tap into the cold air already there, ever present this time of year over northern scandinavia, working its way across the north sea. and i'm showing you only the snow showers. i've taken away the cloud. if you see white here, it is no showers, and there are plenty of them were many eastern and southern parts of the british isles —— snow showers. it isa the british isles —— snow showers. it is a bitterly cold day. even the strength of the wind, it will feel like —7 or minus eight degrees. the latter pa rt like —7 or minus eight degrees. the latter part of saturday afternoon, met office have issued three amber warnings for the snow and ice issues as those showers continue to gather in and stream off the north sea to affect humberside, yorkshire, the southeast and parts of south wales and the south—west. through the course of the night, on they come. you can imagine that by this stage
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there will be significant apps of lying snow. i've put the cloud aiken because as we get on through the day —— act in. things will begin to quieten down. but it will be a pretty cloudy day, a bit of brightness coming in off the north sea eventually, but look at the temperatures. 0ne, sea eventually, but look at the temperatures. one, two, three, 4 degrees, still feeling small. it's not until we get into the start of next week that we have our own area of high pressure keeping things at least in the first part of the week of wee bit more settled, feeling less cold and a bit unsettled later on. this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines... police launch a murder inquiry into the death of another russian exile in london — they say there is nothing to link it to the poisoning in salisbury. police activity continues here at the home here in new malden after what was initially called an unexplained death has now been labelled a murder. an 18—year—old is convicted of attempted murder following a tube
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bombing in west london — it's emerged ahmed hassan was on the government's anti—radicalisation programme, prevent. is the beast back? snow, high winds and sub—zero temperatures could mean disruption in parts of east and northern england, especially. the former south african president, jacob zuma, is to stand trial on 16 charges of corruption in connection with an arms deal. also this hour... rescuers in miami say there are no more survivors following yesterday's bridge collapse. at least six people died. authorities now say the focus is on recovering bodies
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