England riots: Our coverage
As many people have said, 2011 is proving an extraordinary news year, and August is proving no different. BBC News teams have been flat out the past few days covering the shocking and fast-moving riots in London and other cities and towns in England.
The story's unpredictable nature and wide geographical spread has been a challenge - getting rapidly to the various locations across London and around England and dealing with the safety issues for our teams on the ground. For instance, last night in Manchester a BBC camerman and two BBC vehicles were attacked, which affected our ability to get live pictures for a while.
The main task so far has been to cover the first Ws of good-old fashioned news reporting. The who, what, where and whens of the story. This is what our audiences have been turning to us for in droves with some of the highest ever audiences for our website, TV and radio coverage - and record audiences for instance for the Live page coverage.
Among the feedback for our coverage, one issue has been raised about use of language. Some commentators have suggested that we have been using the word "protests" to describe what's happening, rather than riots, or looting. A Telegraph leader even says we "insisted" on calling them protesters.
It's simply not true to suggest the BBC has portrayed these events as protests. Our role as with any story is to accurately reflect what is happening - from the original protest in Tottenham on Saturday night through to the subsequent riots and looting. We have clearly reported the riots, looting and mayhem of the past few days. The word protest or protester may have cropped up in live fluid coverage, as has been the case with other broadcasters, but none of our audiences to any platform can have been left in any doubt that we have been reporting riots and looting.
Of course there's a fifth W too - the why. You could also add a couple more: what next and what does it all mean...the debate has already begun. We've reported the different comments and arguments from politicians, police, community leaders, local people about possible causes - criminality, alienation, poor parenting, gang culture, cuts, the list goes on. And the discussion has started too about what to do to prevent such devastating events happening again. Tomorrow these issues will be debated by MPs recalled to parliament and we'll be covering that as it happens.
This is where our specialists come in - Nick Robinson, Mark Easton, Clive Coleman, Emma Simpson to name a few - as well as our London and UK-wide correspondents who will continue to report on the events and aftermath. Our audiences have been eager too to join in with their thoughts on causes and consequences - on 5 Live, Breakfast, and comments on stories.
So as we report on last night's riots and looting and the clean-up our job remains to report the facts and air the debate, which will go on a long time after burned buildings have been demolished and broken windows have been mended.
Mary Hockaday is head of the BBC newsroom.