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UK news coverage

Mark Byford Mark Byford | 14:02 UK time, Wednesday, 11 June 2008

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.

BBC Television CentreThe 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.

BBC news studio galleryHowever, 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.


  • Comment number 1.

    Thanks for blogging Mark. Could I make a suggestion please? While you're focusing on the big stuff, please don't let the everyday, low-level Anglocentricism go unchallenged.

    Far too often, reporters say "xxx, in Scotland" when they should be saying "xxx, in Fife".

    This should be the rule even when your reporters are writing or presenting primarily for an audience within one of the home Nations because the material is these days almost always accessible throughout the UK, thanks to this website.

  • Comment number 2.

    How apposite - on the same page which links to this blog, a headline story is running about unemployment rising in the UK; but the story completely fails to note that the same figures show unemployment has in fact fallen in Scotland to a record low - fewer people out of work than ever.

  • Comment number 3.

    About time !! I am growing increasingly exasperated at the way the BBC seems to assume we all live or work in London and will know all about what goes on there and will be totally familiar with all the suburbs and their individual 'personalities'.

    This 'city' myopia, which seems to think that anything outside Greater London is of little relevance, and anything outside the M25 does not actually exist is beyond annoying.

    Yes, of course, London is the home of our legislative branches of Government - but to assume that all business occurs there is very superficial, and it is about time that large swathes of the BBC were relocated outside London to get rid of this metropolitan bias and snooty condescension of the 'countryside' and non-urban areas.

    The vast majority of the country don't want to live and work in London through choice, and their views should be heard far more clearly than they are at the present day.

  • Comment number 4.


    Part of the problem is that the huge majority of the UK population do live in England - 83.8% according to the latest ONS figures. Only 8.4% in Scotland, 4.9% Wales and 2.9% Northern Ireland.

    I don't envy you in trying to balance this brutal reality with the siren voices especially in Scotland who talk as if the nations of the UK were roughly equal in "clout", whereas they patently can never be.

    I can well believe that "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." I'm sure the UK population are much more intelligent and intested in non-parochial issues than usually assumed.

    But I doubt very much that they want political correctness to over-ride news values and balance, and hope you will resist that.

    So YES to more accuracy in reporting where stories affect only England eg health, but NO to over-representing particular parts of the UK in BBC output to appease the strident voices. And that means Scotland and Wales have to remain minority partners, because they are the minority.

    Unpalatable to some, but the truth.

  • Comment number 5.

    You ask the question 'How can we improve our coverage?' - How about by giving me a job?

  • Comment number 6.

    The latest news report about this issue on the BBC website

    contains views from people in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, but no views from people in England. That tells you everything about the BBC's attitude to England.

  • Comment number 7.

    Thank you DoogieH! Exactly what I was thinking!

    I hate they way that the links to Education and Health down the left hand side of the website are more often than not about English stories to do with Health and Education.

    Those stories should be covered in the "England" section, just like the Scottish devolved issues are most of the time.

  • Comment number 8.

    Well said badgercourage.
    These are the bare facts and there is no more to add. You speak for the silent majority.

  • Comment number 9.

    Possibly this is a chance to explain some of the differences in the UK. I'm in England; I'd be very interested to see programs that explained to me e.g. what the range of opinions are in Scotland on Scottish Devolution - why do some people want it, and what do they think they'll gain. What would be the implications for the rest of the UK.

    Targeting a program like this for non-Scots will probably have a different tone to one targeted at Scottish people (in that it'd probably have to explain more background material that most Scottish people already know, e.g. exactly what the Scottish parliament can and can't do). But it'd be a good thing if it was part of a more detailed coverage of what goes on there.

    I suspect Scottish devolution may well be a hot issue over the next decade - I'd like to be informed on it.

    I've concentrated on Scotland as an example, but similar programs on Wales and Northern Ireland would be very appreciated to.

    I hope this doesn't come across as patronising - I'm genuinely interested in what goes on everywhere in the UK, I just need some help to understand some of the background.

  • Comment number 10.

    At the most basic, as the report suggests, you need to make clear that the 'Health secretary' is, in fact, the Health Minister for England only. So no more headlines saying, simply, 'Major changes to hospitals planned' without some acknowledgement of where these hospitals are and which administration is planning the changes. All you need is judicious use of the words 'England' and 'English' in most cases (or all 136 according to the King report!)

  • Comment number 11.

    I am somewhat alarmed at the notion of "different UK nations" that is suddenly being bandied around.

    Where did this sneak in from?

    There is only one nation in the United Kingdom, the British Nation.

    Don't try to divide us up when there are minimal differences between the people on these islands.

    On the other hand, it might be nice to get away from the Metropolitan focus that sometimes seems to manifest itself.

  • Comment number 12.

    I applaud the openness. Please consider having more bylines - who wrote the articles? Also please remember the basics - tell us the most important facts in the first few sentences or have a highlights/fact box (see the CNN web site). I have seen some laughable reports - especially in the sports section - where it took me a long time to work out what the score actually was.

  • Comment number 13.

    it is surprising to me that there is any debate about news coverage from the BBC. Most of their staff live inside the M25 circle and for them this is the world. Anything happening outside is of small consequence and something of a joke. I can tell you that from North East Scotland, News 24 for example could easily being broadcast from France. It's not is it ? Our First Minister has got it completely right. I think it is all too late however. The beeb is populated with a self perpetuating species which shows little or no interest in change. I know because I have had correspondence with some of them in BBC Scotland and they all think they are doing a great job ?

  • Comment number 14.

    I've worked very closely with the BBC's reporting staff over the years, and here's my assessment.

    1. Most BBC reporters will happily hop on a plane to Beijing, but not a train to Birmingham. (This is only human nature, but they should remember who pays the licence fee.)

    2. Lead-in writers and reporters treat the nations and regions as amorphous territories, saying 'in Wales', or 'in Scotland', rather than narrowing the descriptive tag down to a town, as they would do with an English story.

    3. Many too many pre-filmed case studies and live reports happen in London, (often west London, often Ealing). West of Shepherd's Bush must be the most intensively filmed area in the world.

    4. Stop making such a self-congratulatory fuss about taking the news out on the road, as with Rory Cellan-Jones's UK broadband tour. Reporting from around the UK should be the norm, not a special effort.

    5. Extend the regional balance to Radio Five Live's sports news team. It is common to hear extended coverage of the English football team - but much less about Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. A case in point: the coverage of Steve McClaren's departure compared with similar managerial changes in Scotland and Wales. Where is the editorial leadership on this?

    6. If 'stars' don't want to relocate from London to Manchester, let them take their chances on the open market. Everyone's replaceable. Everyone.

    7. Think long and hard about why events in London (murders, local politics, even freak weather occurrences) get SO much more coverage than comparable events in the nations and regions.

    8. It would be nice to think that someone actually reads this blog. Do you read the comments, Mark?

    9. I could tell you the story about the reporter who faked a car breakdown rather than drive from W12 to the English Midlands, but I won't.


  • Comment number 15.

    I agree with Chris at comment 1. All too often locations in England are given in precise detail but once you go into WSNI it's a different matter entirely; our towns have effectively been wiped off the map.

    I also agree with Townie Taff at comment 10. Whilst I appreciate that English political stories are frequently big and will affect the devolved jurisdictions, several government departments only have responsibility for England, or at most England and Wales(e.g. Health, Communities, Education). There's rarely any mention of the fact that policies can and do differ outside of England.

    I could go on. And on and on and on. But I offer this as a simple example: apart from the opening of Victoria Square in Belfast earlier this year, I cannot think of one Northern Ireland story that made it onto the national news that wasn't related to the Assembly or First Minister. Why?

  • Comment number 16.

    I think that Stumo is referring to Scottish INDEPENDENCE and not Devolution - which we already have - but the point is valid and well made. It would be especially useful for people to know that without their Scottish MPs, Labour would never be the Governing party of the UK - which has a huge influence over its position towards independence.
    I would like to understand more about the issues that are faced by different areas of the UK - I was in Northern Ireland recently and could not believe the number of important issues going on that had never reached "UK" news.
    I think that it is appropriate for the BBC to review and to improve as a result. It is important to say that this will be an improvement to an existing high quality service - since, owing to the football, I tuned into another channel's news - and it was more like a magazine programme - awful!
    I would like to see a far better balance of news from Europe and the EU. People in the UK are completely ignorant of the fact that some 70% of policy is determined by Europe - and then gets repackaged and served to us as if it was determined at Westminster. We have never had a programme explaining how the EU works and what is going on there at the moment.
    I would love to know Devolution is working in NI and how Stormont links to Ireland - and also the issues for NI given that corporation tax is so much lower just across the border.

  • Comment number 17.

    You've done it again.

    No sooner does the PM programme report on complaints of an anglocentric BBC ignoring Scotland than the next 'article' is about a lady seeking the right to assisted suicide in the 'High Court'.

    This is the High Court for England and Wales, it sits in the Strand, London... It is not the High Court for Scotland, which sits in Edinburgh.

    Do you not realise that Scotland has a seperate legal system and that you should distinguish between the two ? Is it any wonder that 45% of Scots think you anglocentric? You are.

  • Comment number 18.

    Sorry, Heliograph (post 11) even arch-Unionist Gordon Brown seems now to have acknowledged that the UK is a multi-national state.

    I live in England, but often wonder what the Scots, particularly, make of BBC news coverage, which seems to consist predominantly of English news.

  • Comment number 19.

    Maybe as a 'Top Tip' you should spend more time listening to the BBC World Service, or even better, get them in to give you advice on how not to assume that your listeners are all living in the 'Home Counties' of England, white, middle-class, smug and slightly pretentious.

    Also, don't correct the problem of mentioning Westminster at the expense of the Welsh Assembly by then focusing exclusively on Cardiff life, at the expense of the rest of Wales - thus replacing one 'metropolitan' bias to the South East of England with one for the South East of Wales !

  • Comment number 20.

    I've seen this sort of thing before, but from an English angle, and was quite amazed by what happened....
    My son entered a Blue Peter competition, and was delighted when the winning names appeared as a ticker-tape along the bottom of the screen There he was - "James x of Little Witcombe near Gloucester". Watching on, I was surprised to read the next name as a girl from "Scotland", followed by another girl with full address in England, then another boy from "Scotland". I had assumed that Scotland may have stricter rules for not disclosing too much detail about child locations, but having reading all this I'm not so sure.

  • Comment number 21.

    I live in Scotland and don't believe the BBC is biased towards England. The make up of the UK population is: - 83.8% live in England, 8.4% in Scotland, 4.9% in Wales and 2.9% in N.Ireland. Do we really want to hear news stories that are relevant only to a tenth of the UK population? Scotland could do with having a far less parochial outlook.

  • Comment number 22.

    Good to hear; there's little doubt that the BBC's output is hugely capital-centric. The coverage of that warehouse fire a few months back; it was all over the webpage, constant updates etc - that was simply Not News. It was hard to shake the feeling that it was reported on simply because it was in London.

    Another thing I'd like to see toned right down is the amount of space devoted to vox-pops on the Beeb. I watch the news to get an informed comment and debate on what is going on in the world, not to hear the opinion of some random punter stopped on the high street, no more qualified to talk about the topic than I am.

    Requests for comments, opinions etc - they're everywhere across this site. I can't be the only person who thinks they're utterly pointless and a waste of space/bandwidth?

  • Comment number 23.

    I'm sick of the BBC describing an event happening in Scotland as ' in Scotland', while describing an event in England as 'in Essex or in Yorkshire'. We do have counties and cities in Scotland too. If you are not more specific as to where the story is coming from in Scotland, how am i to know whether it is happening near me or several hundred miles away in Shetland?

  • Comment number 24.

    Stumo wrote : "Possibly this is a chance to explain some of the differences in the UK. I'm in England; I'd be very interested to see programs that explained to me e.g. what the range of opinions are in Scotland on Scottish Devolution [Independence] - why do some people want it, and what do they think they'll gain. What would be the implications for the rest of the UK."

    I live in Scotland. I'd also like such a programme, but our 'masters' in the BBC seem too scared to air these views, presumably in case they are accused of adding to the Independence debate.

  • Comment number 25.

    Another issue i have picked up on with BBC NEWS reports, is that when a national story breaks in a far flung region of the UK, initially, local correspondents will start reporting from the scene. Then, by the time of the BBC NEWS at 6, or BBC NEWS at 10, some major "celebrity" correspondent or presenter with no local knowledge has come in from London to take over... why?

  • Comment number 26.

    The problem is the current regional coverage is inferior to the main news coverage. I'm in Scotland and most of the stories covered on Reporting Scotland are not that huge. It's the same kind of stuff every day. It is far better focusing on the issues that really matter in a balance and in depth manner, instead of doing news for news sake. I would be very disappointed if Scotland was given it's own six o'clock news- I'd probably switch to BBC News 24.
    If something happens in the regions worthy of national attention then report it, if it is not worthy of national reporting why devote 5 mins to it at all- although there are obviously political issues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that require coverage and require regional reporting.
    If anything regional television is too extensive, we are in a "global village" and the main BBC News is much better placed to report of the news.

  • Comment number 27.

    Well the news channel has said unemployment is up, ok but where in Scotland? no numbers. two stories regarding housing each keeps saying house prices fall but as i understand it that is not the case in Scotland.
    You could keep going on and on, Plus you see the bbc bring on those nice Scots or uncle toms say how they understand.
    well i am not and i don't understand, i pay the same as someone in london i don't get a discount for having half the service

  • Comment number 28.

    Keep up the good work of years past and don't get cold feet now, keep on going with your political agenda.
    We will soon be free of the EBC and its ignorant, biased and smug approach to Scotland.

  • Comment number 29.

    Perhaps the BBC should recognise that the constitutional changes are making anything "British" irrelevant. News from Scotland is as relevant to me as news from Latvia or any other small European state - ie generally no interest whatsoever. If the BBC goes down that path I guess that many listners will reluctantly switch to CNN.

  • Comment number 30.

    The BBC news as a whole is biased to the south of the nations be it Belfast,Cardif or Edinburgh.
    I'm an expat living in London and the"English" news covers London and the south.Reporting Scotland covers Edinburgh,Glasgow and some of Fife and by reading other comments the Welsh edition covers Cardif.
    When visisting my parents or my partners parents Reporting Scotland fails to realise that electricity and communications reach way far and beyond Edinburgh and Glasgow!
    The main issue I have with the BBC is sport.
    Why have we had an interview with the new England manager on EURO'08 coverage are we going to have the same interviews with the new managers from Scotland.Wales etc?
    Why didn't the BBC pick up coverage of saturdays rugby union game between Argentina and Scotland?The answer I believe was lack of interest!! BY WHOM???
    Thats why all us second rate nations will be busting our gut on Saturday at 1200 when New Zealand beat London or England I can't remember it's the same place!!!!!

  • Comment number 31.

    i think that the bbc covers all of the regions equally and fairly.

  • Comment number 32.

    BBC news is great apart from one thing. You keep saying 'the health secretary' 'the education secretary' 'the cheif inspector of schools' all of whom are only in that role for England not the UK but listening to your news it sounds like they are whole UK roles. This is very confusing for the three non English nations being broadcasted to.

  • Comment number 33.

    Interesting that a member of the public finds a sensitive document on a train and hands it to the BBC not the police. Also, with 'Property of HM Govt' on the front the BBC spend 10 mins on the 1000 news telling people about it and Frank Gardiner is shown to be reading it - is he cleared, should anyone be reading it with caveats on the cover? Responsible reporting?

  • Comment number 34.

    Whats that?
    Are they saying something about Haggis?

  • Comment number 35.

    The BBC has always been pro-England and been very arrogant with it. Why do we have BBC West, BBC North etc etc. The West of the where? The north of where? Maybe this comes from the English hang-up with the lack of identity.

    Please stop using that phrase 'Nations and Regions'. Where are these regions? We have regions in Scotland, Wales and NI too.

    When I press my 'red button', why do I have to navigate 'regions' to get Scottish news?

    The news problem has existed long before big Donald said 'There shall be a Scottish Parliament'. Scotland has had a separate health system since the NHS began. The education system has been separate for over 100 years.

    Why can't we have TV equivalent of BBC Scotland Radio news. BBC Scotland have been producing radio news that covers Scotland, Britain and the world for years. There's no such thing as a Scottish news programme on Radio Scotland. There's no 'Reporting Scotland' equivalent. It's just news. News that's relevant to me a Scot. News that covers the Scottish education story in as much depth as the latest crisis in Iraq.

  • Comment number 36.

    Revised to my original statement @ 9:44 pm on 11 Jun 2008...

    I saw the report could do some readjusting in how the BBC does reporting on stories and given resources to the staff.....

  • Comment number 37.

    Hi Mark, my sister passes on her regards
    (she was with you on your course at the Leeds Met all those years ago)....

    ANYWAY - to be honest, I am fed up with constantly complaining to the BBC regarding your coverage. For instance, the nuclear power stations story. Brown sold it to us as a UK initiative. But I know, and no doubt Gordon knows that he was only talking about England - he has no power on planning issues other than England. However, the BEEB reported the story as power stations being built across the whole of the UK. Same thing happened regarding the building of 3 million houses - again, it ONLY applies to England - NOT the UK.

    You have also muddied the waters reporting what drugs NICE does and does not make available to the population - you ALWAYS say it is a UK issue - it is not, again it is England only.

    I've also complained about the stuff you put on your news web site. You ALWAYS seem to put bad news that only affects the English onto the UK page - and don't put it on the English news page at all!

    I find this to be outrageous. IMHO, the BBC is attempting to do the propaganda work of the governemnt by deliberately confusing what issues apply to which country. (As a general rule of thumb, the English have the least spent on them per head out of the 4 nations, they don't have any national representation, so obviously, they get the rubbish end of the deal - always).

    You will not get anywhere until you actually admit to the existence of England as a country. It is NOT a collection of regions, it is NOT 'Britain-Lite'.... you can recognise this by doing 2 things. Firstly, please tell John Motson that 'God Save the Queen' is not the English national anthem (we are not allowed one apparently, as it will cause the union to disintergrate). Second, you could instigate a 'BBC England' outfit to sit with the other countries of the UK - BBC Scoland, BBC Wales and BBC Northern Ireland.... not too much to ask for, is it, Mark?

  • Comment number 38.

    The BBC can't even report on the British weather without bias towards London, much less anything else. Does anyone else remember (some years ago) the footballer Robbie Fowler being told off for revealing a T-shirt informing us of a strike by the Liverpool dockers? That's right, to get the news we had to rely on a footballer. What else is happening in England, and the rest of the UK, that I don't ever hear about because it doesn't happen in London?
    I come from Brighton, which is about as close to London as you can get without actually being there, and I get annoyed by the blatant London bias.
    Parliament in London is without doubt an important part of English and (to a lesser extent) Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish politics. But it's not the only part, there is actually a link to the rest of the UK you know, it doesn't operate in a vacuum without consequences for anything outside it, as you and so many of our politicians seem to think.
    It seems that most people think you're the best sorce of news around. Fair enough, so do I. But, let's face it, the competition isn't exactly strong is it? I'm more athletic than Stephen Hawkins but that doesn't really qualify me for the Olympics. Perhaps you should let Robbie Fowler take over the news, and you can get on with trying to score goals for England, NI, Wales or Scotland, provided of course, that you can find these places on a map.

  • Comment number 39.

    Personally I have no interest at all in Scottish news - I think we have too much Scottish influence over our affairs already.

    I think it will badly detract from the quality of the news if every broadcast and every web page has to have a token story from a nearly empty foreign country.

    What's wrong with the Scotland page you have on the website and the local news service you have for them on the TV ? Could those be increased in some way?

  • Comment number 40.

    I'm looking forward to the voxpops along Oxford Street asking people if they think the BBC covers the regions adequately :-)

  • Comment number 41.

    My views on BBC news is that whilst I reguard it as probably the best, most informed, relevance and importance of issues portrayed, stories relating to government are very biased torwards the government, and the feeling of the general public is not portrayed, for example the recent uproar about petrol prices, the government is responsible for the 50%+ tax they put on petrol, yet no news bulletins I watched allayed to that and how the publics views were on the matter.

  • Comment number 42.

    -The basic problem is that English Nationalism is institutionalised in the BBC. It is the reaction to this English Nationalism at the BBC and other institutions that more than anything is driving devolution. Here are a few of the more obvious examples to be found in the way the BBC reports.

    The Queen of "England" - the last one died in 1603.

    "We" when reporting about an English Team

    Nearly all statistical reports are for England and Wales, and increasingly for England only - this is total laziness, ever heard of the telephone or internet to get the figures for the whole country?

    "UK" is used in such a way that I am not exactly sure what is meant. We live in a nation called "Great Britain and Northern Ireland". The nationality of the population and the general adjective is "British". There are many, many sub-sets within the generic word "British" but please use the correct word.

    The "Weather Map" is dreadful - Scotland is geographically so much bigger that Cornwall or Wales. The distortion on the weather map does nothing other than confirm an English sense of superiority to viewers.

    The list is endless - but I hope you see my point.

  • Comment number 43.

    Thanks, leoCWD for reminding us of the difficulties that sports reporters have in distinguishing England from the other home nations - particularly on 'the News Channel' (formerly News 24) and Radio Five Live.

    Frequently, sports corrs talk about 'the national team' or 'our squad' when they mean England.

    Mihir Bose seems to have learned the distinction - but maybe it's his job as Sports Editor to filter the message down through the ranks...?

  • Comment number 44.

    If the Scots really believe that the BBC is biased against them, they can take comfort that the same certainly does not apply at Westminster!

  • Comment number 45.

    As a (further) passing thought, the Politics section on this site already has sections for Welsh, Scottish and NI politics. Perhaps a section for 'English' politics, where HMG announcements and Commons/Lords debates on devolved matters are reported, could be set up, leaving 'UK politics' for non-devolved matters? So the row on '42 days' could be in the UK section and the polyclinics arguments could be in the English section.

  • Comment number 46.

    The same is true at the regional level. Cheshire isn't even worthy of a "where I live" section on the bbc website.

    If I type in my postcode I'm usually forced to either choose Stoke or Liverpool. Our local TV region is North West, but our local Radio originates from Stoke which comes under BBC Midlands. As a result we are woefully underserved. The exception to this was when we had ourselves a little by-election recently.

    On a related topic, I think it's a complete waste of time for regional news programmes to report local news and sport which has been deemed important enough to feature on the national news 5 minutes previously. There is limited time enough for local news but to waste 10 minutes talking about how Man U got on in some match or other when the national news has already covered it in depth is pointless. In these situations the local news should ignore the national story and give some time to the smaller stories/teams. They should also stop shoe-horning local angles onto national stories just for the sake of reporting an important story - again.

  • Comment number 47.

    Can someone please explain to me why the BBC wasted licence payers money sending a reporter to cover Wayne Rooneys wedding.

    I expect this sort of hysteria/attention from the celeb magazines but surely the BBC are meant to do better!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    It's perfectly simple, ros1957. David Sillito needed the opportunity to stand on a Mediterranean quayside and explain that this was a story with no pictures and no access.

    With any luck, Mr Sillito will now be equally as enthusiastic about travelling to arts/ents stories in Cornwall, Carlisle, County Down etc etc.... (and programme editors will be equally keen to cover the stories).

  • Comment number 49.

    The news item on this mornings news about slimming and Pink Patches was irresponsible as it gave enormous free publicity to the product and will surely encourage more underage teenagers to use it.

  • Comment number 50.

    I've been going on about this topic for ages, so here goes:

    The BBC, with it's huge network, could do much better on its News Channel, and BBC four. Localism can make good national news and drive up national journalism standards. Why ca't one hour out of twelve (in the peak hours) be broadcast from rotating regional newsrooms and radio studios? Why can't issues not being given the time of day because of important breaking news get a look in?

    Why, oh why, does BBC news have to be so formulaic and over produced?

    The more we, as a nation, understand on a local (micro) level, the more cohesive our nation becomes. Come on BBC, be a groundbreaker, show the world how a national news channel should operate.

  • Comment number 51.

    i just saw this on the bbc website....about the bbc and the coverage it provides!


  • Comment number 52.

    AND this morning on Breakfast, Julia Botfield live from.... a school in Ealing. Glad to see that West London aston hasn't been completely retired!

  • Comment number 53.

    So there we have it. Mark Byford has had two months to reply to these comments, but has declined to do so.

    It's old-school BBC management: "We'll give you the party line, but we won't get drawn into debate."

    Maybe they'll all start listening again the next time the Charter's up for renewal.


  • Comment number 54.

    What has Audience Research had to say about the very intrusive banging of drums that now accompanies the newsreaders and those providing information on many other programs? Is it a brainwashing technique? If not, what is it?
    What does it tell us about the BBC's opinion of the viewer/listeners?


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