BBC BLOGS - The Editors

The BBC's Paralympics coverage

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Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 12:19 UK time, Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Paralympic Agitos outside the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park

The Paralympic Games start in London on Wednesday. The television rights were awarded to Channel 4 by the organisers, Locog, and although we can't provide live TV coverage, BBC Radio 5 live and Radio 5 live sports extra will provide live commentary and reporting from the Games. Our local radio stations will follow the athletes from their home patches.


BBC TV News outlets will also report the stories of the Games, but we are restricted in the amount of footage we can use to illustrate reports and interviews and our TV crews have limited access to the Olympic Park. The sports news bulletins on the BBC News Channel will be presented live from our studio overlooking the Park, bringing the latest interviews and reaction.

Online, the 2012 portal will pool the best of the BBC's digital offerings across News, Sport and Regions. There will be dedicated Paralympics sections on our web and mobile sites, with the latest news, results, medals table, schedule and photo galleries, and a live text commentary page. And the team from the Ouch! disability blog will provide reports from the various venues, for their own blog and for the News website.

You can read more about the BBC's coverage of the Paralympic Games in this blog from BBC Sport's head of major events Dave Gordon, and this from 5 live deputy controller Jonathan Wall.

Kevin Bakhurst is deputy head of the BBC Newsroom and controller of the News Channel

How has social media changed the way newsrooms work?

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Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 10:30 UK time, Friday, 9 September 2011

Earlier today I gave a talk at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam about how social media has changed the way newsrooms work. The full transcript of the speech is below.

Read the rest of this entry

Interview with Jody McIntyre

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Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 12:47 UK time, Tuesday, 14 December 2010

We have received a considerable number of complaints about an interview Ben Brown did last night on the BBC News Channel with Jody McIntyre. The context of the interview was that Mr McIntyre was on the student demonstrations in London last week and video emerged yesterday of him being pulled out of his wheelchair by police.

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I am aware that there is a web campaign encouraging people to complain to the BBC about the interview, the broad charge being that Ben Brown was too challenging in it. However I am genuinely interested in hearing more from people who have complained about why they object to the interview. I would obviously welcome all other views.

I have reviewed the interview a few times and I would suggest that we interviewed Mr McIntyre in the same way that we would have questioned any other interviewee in the same circumstances: it was quite a long interview and Mr McIntyre was given several minutes of airtime to make a range of points, which he did forcefully; Ben challenged him politely but robustly on his assertions.

Mr McIntyre says during the interview that "personally he sees himself equal to anyone else" and we interviewed Mr McIntyre as we would interview anyone else in his position. Comments more than welcome.

Kevin Bakhurst is the controller of the BBC News Channel and the BBC News at One and the deputy head of the BBC Newsroom. As per normal practice, this post is now closed to new comments.

Access All Areas

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Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 10:48 UK time, Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Yesterday we started our coverage exploring disability issues and the lives of people with disabilities in the UK and around the world, anticipating Friday's United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Peter White

Disability affairs specialist Peter White

Access All Areas week includes themed coverage on TV, online and radio and our colleagues at 5 live will also be discussing the issues.

We hope the week will challenge assumptions, air the views and concerns of people with disabilities, tell some extraordinary stories, look at some of the changing attitudes towards people with disability and reveal some areas where it is argued that attitudes need to be changed. We also look at the financial costs of living with disability - for disabled people themselves and for businesses and government.

It's important for the BBC to reflect all aspects of life in the UK and this week gives us a chance to highlight and explore a range of topics related to disability issues. Although we've been making progress in many areas reflecting the lives, the abilities and the challenges of people with disabilities, this is still something we hope to build on.

The guidance of some members of our teams who have disabilities and have experience in this area has been crucial. We have arranged the content around five themes:

Changing attitudes: Forty years since the first disability act, disability affairs specialist Peter White looks through the archives to see how language and attitudes towards disabilities have changed and interviews the man who designed the first legislation, Alf Morris. A survey examines the shift in attitudes and we explore what life is like for people living with disabilities around the world.

Employment: Political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue explores issues around employment and age and disability correspondent Geoff Adams-Spink looks at how many people with disabilities fall through the net on education and provision of benefits and services.

Sport: We look at sports funding and ways to make sport accessible for children with disabilities. Newsnight's Jonathan Bell describes how sport helped him when returning from his army service and how it is used to support those coming back from Afghanistan with life-changing injuries.

Technology: Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones looks at how technology can transform the lives of people with disabilities and Gary O'Donoghue talks about the big and small changes in technology which have developed in his lifetime and transformed how he lives.

Invisible disability: We explore less visible disabilities and the arts and culture surrounding disabled people, as well as their portrayal in the media. Scotland correspondent James Cook finds out how a company in Scotland was created specifically to open up employment opportunities for people with autism.

I hope you'll find our coverage engaging and thought-provoking; personally, I hope it'll play a role in putting some of the issues at the heart of discussion, debate and daily coverage. Yesterday Peter White explored what has been done to end disability discrimination during the past 40 years and today Gary O'Donoghue looks at the challenges faced by disabled job-seekers. If you miss some of the coverage, you can find the key online features by searching for "Access All Areas" on the News site.

Kevin Bakhurst is the controller of the BBC News Channel and the BBC News at One and the deputy head of the BBC Newsroom.

BBC News Channel audience figures

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Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 16:16 UK time, Thursday, 25 November 2010

Following Jana Bennett's announcement of BBC TV viewing figures, I'd like to give a few more details about a record performance for the BBC News Channel.

This year has seen many major news stories, including the UK general election, the Haiti earthquake, the Pakistan floods, the shootings in Cumbria and the Chilean miners. During events like these, some traumatic and some complex, many people turn to the BBC. In the year so far, 9.6 million people have watched the channel each week: a 24% increase on 2009, when the average was 7.7 million.

The highest reach recorded for a UK news channel and for the BBC News Channel (7.4m) was on 11 May, the day that Gordon Brown resigned and David Cameron became prime minister. This was closely followed by 7 May, the day after the general election, when 7m watched and 13 October when 6.9m watched the rescue of the Chilean miners.

The channel is also watched live on the BBC News website by a large and growing number, often as part of the site's live pages on major stories.

The day after the election, there were more than 5.5m requests for the live page and there were around 3m requests for the live page on the day the Chilean miners were rescued.

Kevin Bakhurst is the controller of the BBC News Channel and the BBC News at One and the deputy head of the BBC Newsroom.

BBC reports on pagans at Halloween

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Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 15:30 UK time, Monday, 1 November 2010

How many of us really know what Halloween is about and why we're celebrating it? Yesterday on the News Channel and this website we covered a pagan festival and explained what paganism is, prompting some newspapers to accuse of us down-playing Christianity. A Telegraph blog post describes our religious affairs correspondent as "enchanted by paganism" and a Daily Mail headline reads "BBC accused of neglecting Christianity as it devotes time to pagan festival".

Robert Pigott

 

It was Halloween. A good chance, we thought, to explore the background to paganism. I would simply suggest that the decision to cover some aspects of paganism on one day indicates an interest in the fact there is in the UK a range of faiths - and among some a lack of faith. Our reporting should be seen in the context of BBC News's wider coverage of religion and religious events where stories, as ever, are based on topicality and editorial merit. And Christianity - being the country's main religion - still remains the faith with the most coverage.

The idea yesterday was to look at a range of beliefs - outside the majority faiths - which have been on the increase around the UK. Interestingly, as Robert Pigott reported, druidry has just been recognized by the Charities Commission.

Only a few weeks ago, there was debate about the BBC's coverage of the Pope's visit to Britain, with some arguing that we reported too much on the visit. This included much discussion on the role of the Catholic Church, Christianity and the values of modern Britain.

We will continue to explore and explain the background to the events that our audiences celebrate - no matter what their religion might be - and will do so without downplaying anyone's personal beliefs.

Kevin Bakhurst is the controller of the BBC News Channel and the BBC News at One and the deputy head of the BBC Newsroom.

The Budget: Live TV audiences grow online

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Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 14:25 UK time, Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Budget told us many things yesterday about the state of the British economy, politics, the future of some public services and so on. It also told us a bit about the changing face of news audiences in the UK which I thought was quite interesting.

The BBC's Budget programme was watched on BBC2 by an audience that peaked at 1.3m and was also simulcast on the BBC News Channel. What stood out to us, though, was that the programme was also watched 500,000 times via the BBC News website.

203x122_bbc_news.jpgAnd this isn't a first - it looks like a growing trend. The BBC's coverage of President Obama's inauguration was watched by a huge audience on BBC One, peaking at 6.9m. It was watched live via the website 700,000 times.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the online figures seem bigger when lots of people are in their offices and places of work and want to keep up with major events - but they are also growing strongly at weekends.

The BBC News Channel has been streamed permanently on the website for some time and now regularly receives around 350,000 visits a week online - with big news stories obviously driving the figures much higher. On the main day of the UK snowfall, the News Channel was watched across the day by 5.24m viewers (3 min reach) on TV - with an extra 200,000 online views. Figures for streamed coverage of the Madrid air crash reached around 400,000. And during the G20 summit and protests in London on April 1st, the BBC News Channel was used 364,000 times online.

Of course, the majority of the audience still watches live coverage conventionally on the TV, but a rapidly growing and significant part of our audience is now watching live BBC News coverage online.

Too much from Portugal?

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 19:37 UK time, Friday, 18 May 2007

The coverage of Madeleine McCann continues to cause debate and discussion, particularly now in some of the newspapers. This is something of course that we spend a lot of time talking about within BBC News and it does pose us some dilemmas.

BBC News 24 logoFirstly some facts: even now as we move into the third week since Madeleine's disappearance, the story is still resulting in very high news audiences. This isn't always the decisive measure but it does seem to represent a high level of interest from the audience. Secondly, the number of complaints to the audience log at the BBC over the amount of coverage are still at a low level: yesterday, there were ten complaints. I personally have a number of e-mails complaining about the coverage, but they are all from one person.

In the Guardian today, Simon Jenkins takes up the theme complaining that the coverage has been "absurdly over the top" and is surprised that we sent out a presenter to back up "at least two other on-screen reporters in place".

I have the highest respect for Mr Jenkins and his record in print journalism but I'm sure he would also recognise that in order to provide coverage around the clock for Breakfast, BBC World, BBC News 24, the One, Six and Ten O'Clock News and Newsnight, as well as to gather news and report from at least two locations in the Algarve, that TV News needs rather more than the three people he outlines.

Mr Jenkins also asserts that the coverage of Madeleine led the Six O'Clock News ahead of Gordon Brown's leadership bid. This is just wrong. Gordon Brown winning the leadership led the Six O'Clock News on Thursday night. So far this week, the search for Madeleine has led the Six O'Clock News on one evening, though it has obviously been given prominent coverage elsewhere in the bulletin.

We have been particularly careful to avoid entering into a round of speculation and rumour, though this has surfaced in some other media. And we have tried to satisfy the genuine interest among a huge portion of our audience and strike the right tone. There have been days - such as when Tony Blair announced his departure and when power was restored to the Northern Ireland assembly - when we have done very little coverage.

Last weekend, we specifically decided that we should cover many other stories while giving the search for Madeleine appropriate prominence. But we decided not to do rolling coverage all day when there were really no news developments and it would - in my view - almost have seemed exploitative.

I'm sorry if some viewers feel - as Mr Jenkins and one or two other commentators do - that we have done too much. I'm also sorry if others feel we haven't done enough. But we have tried to tread this difficult line.

Avoiding intrusion

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 16:48 UK time, Thursday, 10 May 2007

There's no doubt in a week of major news stories, that Madeleine McCann has captured the thoughts and hopes of the British public and there's a real desire for the latest updates. I thought it may be interesting and useful for the audience to have an insight into the decisions on coverage and the arrangements on the ground.

BBC News 24 logoNews 24's Jane Hill has been in the Algarve since Saturday morning as part of a sizeable BBC team and we have strived to try to get the tone right as well as the amount of coverage. Both in the Algarve and here in the UK, we have liaised closely with Madeleine's family and the British authorities on the wishes of the family and the facts and tone of the reporting. Early on, both ITV and Sky joined an informal pool operation in the Algarve around the family where we only showed Madeleine's parents and family by consent so as to try to avoid intrusion. The BBC helped to organise the televised statement by Mrs McCann which was pooled to British and Portuguese TV stations. Even in these difficult circumstances, the McCann's know that publicity for Madeleine is important as the search goes on.

We have called Madeleine by her full name (not Maddy), at the request of the family because it is what they call her. We passed on the accurate details of Madeleine's pyjamas, at the family's request, correcting the police's initial description. For several days there were many developments that we reported as they unfolded and large audiences watched News 24 over the Bank Holiday weekend, concerned for Madeleine. For the last couple of days, there have been fewer concrete developments (at time of writing) and the temptation for some seems to have been to report unsubstantiated rumours of which there are many to try to keep the story going - particularly when there is self-evidently high audience interest in the story itself. We have looked into many of these rumours on the ground and that is all they have so far turned out to be.

We all sincerely hope that there is a positive outcome for Madeleine and the McCanns and we will continue to try to provide the high volume of coverage and updates that the audience obviously wants, whilst respecting the family's privacy and needs and whilst striving to separate real developments from rumours.

Sensitive events

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 11:08 UK time, Friday, 13 April 2007

There's been some discussion in the papers about the access given to broadcasters when the bodies of the four British soldiers were flown home yesterday. Not all of it is accurate.

BBC News 24 logoThe BBC - like Sky and ITV News - treat these sad events very seriously and we try to cover them in an appropriate tone and with the prominence and time they deserve. Yesterday, the Ministry of Defence denied the broadcasters access to film the arrival ourselves and instead provided their own recorded footage soon after the event. This seems to be an increasing trend at the Ministry to try to control what is filmed at sensitive events.

There is no dispute over the quality of the footage, which was fine and we still devoted considerable time to the ceremony. However, we would have liked to cover it more fully as it happened and we have done this in the past. The Ministry of Defence says that they wanted to do it in this way to safeguard the privacy of the families. However, in the past we have always respected the wishes of the families absolutely at this desperately difficult time.

Captive images

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 18:15 UK time, Wednesday, 28 March 2007

The pictures shown by Iranian television of the British sailors and Marines have obviously raised a number of issues for us.

BBC News 24 logoWe had discussed the way we would handle such a situation a couple of days previously and decided we wouldn't show the pictures without trying to give the families of those held as much notice as we could. We also wouldn't show them if the British captives looked to be in undue distress or injured. The pictures would inevitably become a major part of the story and be shown around the world.

Today we actually had a few hours notice that the pictures were likely to appear as they were trailed by the TV station involved. When we found this out, firstly, we spoke to the Ministry of Defence to ask them to inform the families that this was likely to happen. We also explained the circumstances in which we would use them - and those in which we wouldn't. We liaised with Sky News, who agreed with our thinking.

captured British female sailor Faye Turney When the pictures came in, we watched them all and although the British personnel looked strained and were almost certainly acting under duress, they looked in good health and said they had been treated well. The Ministry of Defence said that it hoped that this would be some comfort to the families and Naval colleagues at the moment - a sentiment we share.

Double-edged sword

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 12:35 UK time, Friday, 9 February 2007

It emerged late yesterday that from the Spring, if Ofcom approves, Sky News will no longer be available free to viewers on Freeview.

BBC News 24 logoThey currently get around 845,000 viewers a week on this platform out of their weekly total of 4 million. For us at the BBC, I think this is a double-edged sword.

Sky have already rather given up on viewing figures as BBC News 24 has moved substantially ahead of them (6 million a week versus 4 million). Whereas, a few years ago audience size was their preferred measure of success, it has now been quietly dropped. The move on Freeview will almost certainly be another big blow to their audience size.

I can fully understand why Rupert Murdoch and BSkyB have taken this decision on commercial grounds alone: you can make money out of movies and sport but not easily from news. However, I do think it's a real shame for TV News coverage in the UK.

We are very fortunate to have two thriving 24-hour TV News channels and I firmly believe competition is a good thing for the audience. Sky's decision will be a bad thing for news audiences, particularly those who can't afford subscription services and choose Freeview for that reason. I would just say that for us at BBC News 24, we put immense value on our audiences and their views - and will continue to do so whatever platform they watch us on.

Saddam's execution

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 14:53 UK time, Saturday, 30 December 2006

The execution of Saddam Hussein was always going to pose us some dilemmas.

BBC News has kept a constant presence in Iraq this year, despite the safety issues and the cost of doing it, because we judge events there to be such a big and important story. A few days ago, when it seemed that the execution was imminent, world affairs editor John Simpson and Clive Myrie went into Iraq to reinforce the bureau - without knowing exactly how long they would have to stay there.

As it turned out, the execution came rather quicker than many expected. Many of our competitors don't have any permanent presence there and took the decision not to send in anyone to cover this story.

As it became clear that Saddam would probably be killed last night or today, there were several conversations between the senior figures in BBC News about what we would probably show if the execution was televised - which seemed likely. One decision was that we wouldn't show the moment of execution itself - even if it were made available (which it wasn't).

This morning I was in the building as the pictures actually came in from Iraqi television. We showed them on a time delay first on Breakfast to give us the option of cutting out - which we did on first showing.

We quickly reached the decision on Breakfast (and for the early part of the day and evening on BBC One) not to show the noose being put around Saddam's neck as there could be many children on school holiday watching - possibly passively. Even then, we gave a warning ahead of John Simpson's report.

For News 24 and for the late evening bulletin tonight on BBC One, we decided to show all the pictures of the execution as people are choosing actively to watch a news channel - and the late bulletin is on after the watershed.

We have also tried to reflect all the voices and views: Shia and Sunni, Arab world, European and American - although no British government minister wants to comment on camera today, nor does President Bush.

I hope the decisions we have made have allowed us to tell the story properly and well across all the channels whilst respecting the audiences they all have, at this time of year in particular.

Your News

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 15:48 UK time, Monday, 27 November 2006

At the weekend, BBC News 24 launched the first news programme entirely driven by our audience. It is a short pilot run at first to see how it goes, but the first edition was watched by more than 300,000 people (you can watch it by clicking here).

BBC News 24 logoThe programme's name has been used by the BBC News website for around a year along with 'Have Your Say', 'Your Pics' and so on and this underlines the close relationship with the website - it shows which stories have been most popular online that week; it shows pictures and video clips sent in by our audience; and it asks for ideas for stories we should be covering.

This week we followed up a moving story of one viewer who tried to honour his late wife's request to donate her tissue to research and the obstacles he found at the local hospital.

It's work in progress - and it is Your News - so we would really welcome views, ideas, story ideas and pictures...

Live issue

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 16:13 UK time, Friday, 10 November 2006

BBC News 24 logoNews 24 has just carried the live statement by the BNP's Nick Griffin and Mark Collett after they were acquitted in court.

The comments were highly charged and Mr Griffin attacked the government, the Crown Prosecution Service and the BBC. They called the BBC "cockroaches".

griffin.jpg
Of course it's always a risk carrying these live events when they are heated and the individuals have a track-record of controversial and outspoken views, and it's an interesting position for the BBC to be reporting in an impartial way while being attacked like that.

Yet I'm sure it's absolutely right that we were there and carried the comments live. Today's case raised the very current issue of freedom of speech and what is - and isn't - acceptable in today's Britain. Carrying - and testing - a complete range of legal views that represent the various constituencies across the UK is crucially important to the BBC's reputation for fairness.

The verdict

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 17:29 UK time, Monday, 6 November 2006

News 24's rolling coverage of the Saddam verdict on Sunday morning attracted big audiences, hitting a peak of well over 6% of all viewers.

BBC News 24 logoIt's not always easy to judge the appetite for big international stories but looking at our audience numbers and the huge number of hits for the BBC News website, this was one of those that people really wanted to see.

We had our world affairs editor, John Simpson, in court to witness events as they happened and Andrew North was in central Baghdad to describe reaction. The deployment underlined the BBC's commitment to the reporting of Iraq despite the obvious dangers of doing so and contrasts with some of our competitors who didn't feel this was a significant enough event to send a correspondent to Iraq.

BBC News 24 has benefited from the BBC's commitment to having a correspondent - Andrew North - resident in Baghdad throughout the year: a decision that has helped us to give day-to-day coverage of one of the world's biggest stories as it unfolds. It represents a very significant proportion of the BBC's weekly world news coverage budget but we feel it is a story we have to cover well and in depth. The challenge in the next few weeks will be reporting on the fallout from Sunday's verdict, the various viewpoints on the judicial process and the death penalty, and how we cover the execution itself - if it happens.

Private emotions

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 15:58 UK time, Friday, 1 September 2006

The story of why Molly Campbell left Scotland with her father to go to Pakistan has raised a number of difficult issues about the way we have covered it - and led to a number of discussions at our editorial meetings.

BBC News 24 logoInitially, the story seemed pretty clear: a schoolgirl abducted by her father in defiance of a court order. Her emotional mother and grandmother - and the police - asking for her return and some of her family raising the fear of an arranged marriage. This latter line was picked up heavily by many parts of the media. It became apparent the next day that the story was quite different and more complicated than that.

I think we now feel that we probably didn't show enough sophistication in covering the story on the first day. We accepted on face value the words of Molly's mother and her grandmother. However, I don't think in hindsight that we should necessarily have accepted this so readily and we should have tried to find out more about the father and the family as the day went on. I also think that is particularly the case in that some of the suggestions reinforced some stereotypes.
_42038968_newmollybody203getty.jpg
As more facts came out over the next couple of days, we have strived to be as fair and accurate as we can in reflecting all sides. We carried the press conference by Molly and her father - indicating that it was Molly's wish to go to Pakistan. We have interviewed friends of the father before that to put his point of view. Hopefully we have now given the best all-round picture we can of a complicated and sad story.

One other point that has arisen is the personal nature of some of the comments made at the press conference today by Molly's brother about members of his family. As the story was unfolding, we carried this press conference live on News 24. As sometimes happens, live events can turn up unexpected and unfortunate comments. His words underlined how difficult it is for us to tread the line of reporting stories of wide public interest when they could trespass on private family emotions. It is something we try to avoid as far as is possible - and we won't be repeating the personal comments or re-running those parts of the press conference on News 24.

World Cup fever

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 12:08 UK time, Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Quite a strange - but nice - one this.

BBC News 24 logoThe BBC News team out in Baden Baden were talking to the England squad last week and the players said how much they would appreciate getting a feel of the World Cup fever back home.

But they can't get British TV in their hotel. After a brief conflab, my colleague Kevin Bishop and I suggested a possible idea: that we could arrange with the BBC engineers to provide them with News 24, and arrange a time for them to see a special World Cup Sportsday to see how England was reacting to the tournament so far.

The players were very keen - so we're up and running. We're also asking for viewers' messages for the team, with some help from Breakfast and Newsround. It's 18.30 UK time on Thursday - straight after their dinner.

Risk of swearing

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 15:07 UK time, Tuesday, 13 June 2006

In a news conference this morning given by the two men arrested - and now released - after the Forest Gate raid, some strong language was used.

BBC News 24 logoOne of the men, Mohammed Abdul Kahar, said: "He [a policeman] just kicked me in my face and kept on saying 'shut the fuck up'. I said: 'Please I cannot breathe'."

What to do when you're broadcasting it live, as we were on News 24?

Well, we try to assess the risk of swearing or legal issues before we go to a live event and minimise this if possible. Sometimes we even use a minor delay. In this case, I'm afraid it was unexpected and unforeseen - and the brothers said they were directly quoting the police.

We apologised afterwards - but I think the audience understand that sometimes these things are out of our hands, and viewers on a news channel are very understanding and tolerant when it occasionally happens.

In the mix

Kevin Bakhurst Kevin Bakhurst | 17:40 UK time, Friday, 26 May 2006

A few weeks ago, News 24 decided to refresh/modernise the countdown music at the top of the hour to give it a bit more zip.

BBC News 24 logoThis was done by Dave Lowe (the original composer) and we asked online for viewers' responses. There has been quite a big and very positive mailbag - and several viewers have even taken up our challenge to remix the music themselves. You can hear the best of their efforts here.

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