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How the BBC coverered the Wikileaks story

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Rajan Datar | 14:53 UK time, Friday, 14 January 2011

This week on Over to You, as legal proceedings got underway in the UK to decide whether or not to extradite the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden, we hear your judgments on the BBC's coverage of the whole Wikileaks story.

What listeners, viewers and online users think of the Wikileaks story and how the BBC has covered it has been the subject of a recent questionnaire which invited members of the BBC's Global Minds panel to give their views. Global Minds is an online group of more than 10,000 people around the world who discuss the BBC's English-language radio, TV and online output.

Most of those who replied said they had been following the story closely or fairly closely so we wanted to hear more from this group of expert Wikileaks watchers. Interestingly, more Global Minds from in Africa and North America (both 44%) followed the story "very closely" - compared to the rest of the World.

Fifty three percent said they weren't surprised by the revelations, while just over a third said they were slightly surprised" and only 12% said they were very surprised.

Most thought that Wikleaks are doing a good job - with several people making the point that the website is doing the job the mainstream media ought to do but is not. Others were critical of the media saying they were now controlled by power and money.

We invited one of the Global Minds panel to discuss his views on the media and Wikileaks with Simon Cox, presenter of a documentary for Assignment called The Rise and Fall of Wikileaks, which went out earlier this week on the World Service. Their discussion covered several fascinating aspects to the issue, and looked amongst other things at the relationship between Wikileaks and the media.

You can listen to Simon's documentary Assignment The Rise and Fall of Wikileaks by following the link on our webpage. And if you want to join the Global Minds forum go to www.bbcglobalminds.com

Meanwhile in the Over To You in-box, the documentary series, The Foods that Make Billions series presented by Louise Hidalgo has come in for warm praise and some criticism.

Chris Green from Jakarta, Indonesia emailed to say that while the programme on the phenomenal popularity of bottled water raised some interesting points, he was worried that it focused too much on the developed world.

And Donnamarie Leemann, contacted us from Chaux de Fonds in Switzerland, which is a place with plenty of water both in the lakes and in bottles , and she said she was disappointed by the programme.

Following last week's discussion between presenter Peter White and listener Joshua, a fellow blind listener Tolja Karatas emailed from London to say can the BBC please make more programmes to do with people with disabilities?

Finally, our inbox has also been filling up with questions not only about World Service programmes but also with queries about how best to listen to them. Your emails come from as far ranging locations as Uganda, Dubai and Bucharest. We asked Simon Kendall who is the Head of the World Service's Business Development Unit to answer as many of them as possible - you can hear how he did it on this week's programme.

Rajan Datar is the presenter of Over To You

Over To You is your chance to have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes. It airs at 00:40, 03:40 and 12:40 every Sunday (GMT).


As ever we endeavour to be your ombudsman of the airwaves ...so do keep sending us your comments and emails.

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