UK news coverage
The BBC Trust has published today its review of BBC network news and current affairs coverage of how the UK is governed in its four nations. The report includes an independent assessment by Professor Anthony King and research analysis from Cardiff University about our content and audience research from BRMB.
The trust concludes that the BBC needs to improve the range, clarity and precision of its network (UK-wide) news coverage of what is happening in the different UK nations and regions.
The audience research shows that 82% of the UK population are interested in news about other parts of the UK and 62% think it important to understand the different politics and policies within each nation.
The report highlights the major changes in the governance of the UK since devolution of power from Westminster began 10 years ago. The research shows that the BBC's performance in this area is "constantly superior" to that of other broadcasters and the trust welcomes the clear conclusion from the review that BBC network coverage of politics and policy across the UK is impartial.
However, Professor King, in his independent assessment, concludes that the BBC's network news and current affairs programming has not kept pace and responded adequately enough to the changing face of the UK.
While the trust acknowledges the improvements in performance there have been in the reporting in this area, we, the senior BBC management, accept that we need to do better and we are determined to improve.
Alongside the trust's review conclusions, the management has published its initial response and come up with a range of proposals to address many of the challenges that have been identified. These include better labelling of stories to explain how they may apply differently across the UK to improve overall accuracy; more case examples of the differences and devolved decision-making to inform all UK audiences more fully; better planning between the UK-wide news operation and our news teams across the UK; and increased training. Clearly improving further our reporting of the whole UK is an important objective for us in the coming year.