Last updated at 15:01 BST, Wednesday, 05 May 2010

News Words: Watchdog

A watch dog

The BBC's Clare Arthurs looks at some of the words and phrases often used in the news and their meanings in various contexts.

This week: watchdog


Clare Arthurs on: watchdog

Related vocabulary

to regulate

to control an industry by using rules

The US Treasury has revealed tough new rules to regulate the financial sector. (BBC News)

to oversee

to watch or check something to make sure it behaves properly and does what it is supposed to do

Volunteers are to oversee the use of closed circuit television (CCTV) by a police force. (BBC News)

a monitor

an organisation or person who checks that something is being done fairly and correctly

The complaints emerging about fraud in the Afghan presidential and provincial elections have thrust the role of international election monitors into the spotlight. (BBC News)


behaviour or action that is illegal

Two ex-ministers deny wrongdoing over reports they were prepared to use government contacts to help a lobbying firm. (BBC News)

A challenge for you

Are institutions and organisations in your country supervised by effective watchdogs?

Send us your short 'news story' on this topic and try to use some of the vocabulary from this page.

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    • 1. At 6:28pm on 06 May 2010, 2317 wrote:

      I'm just wondering whether is there any country in the world that has not a person or group of people who check that someone is not doing something illegal. I think that having a watchdog it is fundamental to keep people's rights within the limits of establishment abuses. Here in Argentina, we have several watchdogs,some of them work, others do not, but we have mainly those who control the citizens abiding by the regulations as regards taxes are concerned. I wish we had the same efficiency in all areas!!

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    • 2. At 10:06am on 07 May 2010, Pravin wrote:

      Indian Premium League, commonely known as IPL, is a mega event of cricket, organised evry year in India. Interesting thing is ,every team has mix of player from different country,and that seperates IPL from other league of Cricket around the world. Since it's part of BCCI,one of waelthiest sporting body in the world, and there is a so much of cash flow from sponser, and and franchisee, and now IPL has become a Billion dollar baby, which is why it has become cynosure for IT department.And nowadays They are acting as a watchdog , and they have started monitoring involement of evry other big tycoons in Country. In addition BCCI is in action to oversee what's happening with the IPL.

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    • 3. At 1:09pm on 07 May 2010, JamesGihm wrote:

      I believe the tightly watchdogs work, the more difficult it is to see
      corruptions and unreasonable practices happening in our midst. Obviously, they are necessary to oversee and monitor how the government and authorities serve the people. I often observe many cases of taxes paid by people or subjects being used worthlessly, just to show their achievements in order to impress men's heart, especially when the election day is nearing. In fact, I and many others know many officials have done wrongdoings legally, in other words, with legally justified but substantially useless and noneffective official documents, which are designed to draw taxes out of certain governmental projects, which is plotted to prepare fund for the next power-ship as a president or leader.
      As a result, many doubt the way the government deals with policies or work on new ones. Moreover, some exploit this situation to make unclean money and continue to create new lines of lies to confuse innocent, uninterested publics to lead them to accept their twisted opinions. Their selfish motives cause many others to suffer. This is happening to South Korea.
      I am so sorry to see many ignorant of this fraud concocted by the ruling party and their supporters. Still now numerous Koreans doesn't have the ability to monitor what is going in their country properly, with balanced eyes.
      This all makes many thoughtful people decide to emigrate to more socio-politically established nations such as UK, Australia, Canada, and the like. That is what I want, too.

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    • 4. At 3:25pm on 07 May 2010, Jose Daniel Gamez Rodriguez wrote:

      I think watchdogs are so important because nowdays around the world we have many areas which need watch and control. In Venezuela is common goverment´s practice violent human rigths such as imprisionet journalist, exiled opposition leaders, corrupt judges, etc, We need many watchdogs like Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, United Nations, American Court of Human Rights. They are ours voice out of the country and through they people worldwide to know the real situation in Venezuela. In dictatorial goverments like venezuelan, they always to want and need have control on media and to silence the truth, It they never couldn't be with watchdogs.
      Same case have been with nuclear weapon such north Korea and Iram, terrorism in Pakistan, Irak, Colombia and Spain

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    • 5. At 10:53am on 11 May 2010, Selina1984 wrote:

      We have watchdog for protecting our internet using in China,which calls "Great firewall of China".It is owned by Chinese goverment and started in 1998. The firewall system mainly responsibly test any website in real-time to check if it is accessible from China.It works very successfully to prevent from virus such as hacker.

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    • 6. At 9:41pm on 11 May 2010, NELSON wrote:

      I think watchdogs are very important for all of us. Here in Colombia, there are many organizations watching and controlling many of the problems we have. For instance, we have Human Rights Watch, an organizations that has advised the international community for the violation of human rights in our army, a problem that has been increasing in the last decade.

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