Trust to host seminar on economics coverage

Vice chairman Diane Coyle Diane Coyle calls for constant scrutiny

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The BBC Trust is to host a seminar about the challenges of reporting on the state of the economy impartially.

The seminar, to be held on November 6, will be the first in a series that will examine a high-profile and contemporary topic that has been covered by the BBC.

The event will be chaired by Ritula Shah, presenter of The World Tonight on Radio 4, and will include contributions from academics, economics experts and economics correspondents in front of an invited audience.

The seminars will complement the Trust's existing in-depth reviews of BBC output, the latest of which was the corporation's coverage of the Arab Spring.

The November event on the economy will focus on issues such as public spending, unemployment and growth and how the BBC can fully reflect the economic crisis without giving undue prominence to specific institutions.

'Dilemmas and challenges'

Diane Coyle, the Trust's vice chairman, says: 'Impartiality is one of the reasons the BBC is trusted by audiences. So we should constantly scrutinise our coverage to ensure that standards of impartiality are continuing to meet audience expectations, and the Trust has ongoing discussions with the BBC Executive on achieving this.

'This seminar, which was first announced in April, will also help us do this by considering the dilemmas and challenges faced in covering high-profile topics like the economy impartially.'

The Trust will publish a summary of the seminar and the discussion, although the event itself will be subject to the Chatham House Rule.

The Trust regularly carries out reviews on the impartiality of BBC output. Recent reviews include the BBC's coverage of business affairs in 2007, the BBC's network news and current affairs coverage of the UK nations in 2008 and the BBC's science output last year.

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