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tv   Newswatch  BBC News  November 20, 2021 3:45am-4:00am GMT

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yes! now it's new and i hope it will be very usual and common for us in the future to have this kind of help. how interesting was that? absolutely. that wasjen in pompeii. that is it for the shortcut of clicks, the full—length version is waiting for you right now on iplayer. as ever, you can keep up with the team on social media. find us on youtube, instagram, facebook, and twitter at @bbcclick. thanks for watching. we'll see you soon. bye— bye.
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hello, and welcome to newswatch with me, samira ahmed. should the bbc have broadcast in full the racist language this cricketer experienced? and after sunday's attack in liverpool, should the bbc have shown repeatedly the moment the bomber died in the blast? select committee sessions in parliament can be dry affairs, but the evidence given on tuesday by the former cricketer azeem rafiq
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to a group of mps was anything but. over the course of two hours of often emotional testimony, he related his experience of racism at yorkshire cricket club, including the offensive names he'd been called. the latter were broadcast in full as the hearing was shown live on bbc television, prompting occasional interventions like this from the presenter in the studio. it's... it's pretty clear. it's there. some people are still pretty scared, and they are... apologies for the language there that you heard. we did warn that there would be some offensive language most likely to be heard in this live hearing. obviously some swearing there. azeem rafiq recounting something he says was said, so apologies for that if that caused offence to you. chris mitchell thought it was... but ed round objected to the broadcast of one particular racial epithet.
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subsequent news reports bleeped out some of the racist words used by azeem rafiq, though what he could be heard to say was still harrowing. how are you feeling, azeem? his allegations have already plunged yorkshire cricket into crisis. today, azeem rafiq brought them to westminster, laying bare the ordeal he says he and other asian players were subjected to at his former club, including a racist term aimed at his pakistani heritage. it was comments such as, "you lot sit over there near the toilets." elephant—washers. the word bleep - was used constantly. that practice led hilary price to comment...
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clearly a difficult area for broadcasters, and to discuss it i'm joined byjamie angus, the controller of bbc news. the evidence was harrowing, but hearing those racist words has caused distress and offence, too. you must�*ve known that we would happen by showing the hearing live. that's absolutely right, and let's be clear, there's no single view on this that is going to keep all parts of the audience happy. this is controversial and difficult language, and many different parts of the audience have different views about how it should be treated. in the context of the live broadcast, we really took the view that there was a case to hear the language used in the raw. this was a live parliamentary testimony, and as some of your correspondents have said, it was important at that stage, as the events
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were unfolding live, to hear azeem rafiq in his own words. so, that's why during the live broadcast, we did carry the testimony without a delay and without bleeping. but we did feel it appropriate that at that stage to warn people that there was racially offensive and other offensive language recurring during the hearing and to apologise on occasion for instances where that was heard. of course, at times, this testimony was being broadcast notjust in the uk, but around the world and glibly on our global news services. some viewers were actually annoyed by the apologies. they felt it undermined what azeem rafiq was saying. indeed, and i understand that, but i think we have to try and take into account the different expectations of different groups of people tuning in perhaps unexpectedly to this broadcast. not everyone tuning in to the bbc news channel between 9—10:30am on a weekday morning would even be aware that the hearing was taking place or would be expecting to hear this very inflammatory and difficult language, so i feel for that reason that offering an apology
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was genuinely meant and intended to help the audience navigate what could've been unexpected content for that time of day. so, once the live hearing finished, any news reports bleeped out the racist words, and some viewers felt the bleeping actually watered down the impact of his evidence. what do you say? well, we decided to draw a distinction, samira, between as you said the live transmission of parliamentary testimony and the subsequent packaging of that material into news packages later in the day. and to that end, we took the view that we were quite a long way into the story, the story had been running for a large number of days, and we felt it was more likely than not that most people in the audience would be aware what the language specifically was. and then therefore the need to repeat it in multiple outlets and at multiple times of the day across the rest of the day was not justifiable given the offensiveness of the language used, and that's why we decided while we weren't using
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the material live, to bleep it to avoid giving needless offence. by from your own listener comments the written into newswatch and indeed across a range of views in our own newsroom, there is no single hard and fast way of reaching these decisions that will please all sections of the audience. we just tried to balance the need for the audience to understand the story and understand what was being said and alluded to with the need to avoid giving offence by repeatedly using the language across multiple outlets across the rest of that day, because as it was a fact that this was the lead story and was covered very heavily across all bbc news outlets. given that this could be an ongoing issue, does the bbc have a policy of always consulting journalists who are people of colour about racist language in the news? well, interesting you mention that because of course we do take soundings and hold discussions in our own newsroom with our own staff, and we also
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look at evidence from audience research collated by our own editorial policy department as to what level of offence people attach to particular language and particular words. so, we do try to take dynamic decisions over time which reflect the context of a story and the frequency of use essentially of a word across a day. so, there is not a hard and fast rule for these most offensive words, particularly to do with a racial swear words, but our editorial policy guidance is that they can be used on occasion where there is a strong justification for doing so. but they should be used with a great deal of care, and i think is probably a fair summary of the position we reached earlier this week. do stay with us, jaime, but for now, thank you. details have been emerging during the course of the week about the bomb blast that took place in liverpool on sunday. here'sjune kelly on
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tuesday's news at six. at the women's hospital, while staff look after patients inside, outside the police are continuing their work, gathering any potential evidence. and liverpool is learning more about this man, the asylum—seeker who launched the attack on his adopted city. the image that followed that was one which has been seen frequently, sometimes two or three times in the same report over the past few days. the moment the attacker pulled up in a taxi outside the hospital and his bomb exploded, killing him and causing injuries to his driver. john griffiths was one of those concerned about the use of those pictures, and he recorded this video for us. did bbc news have to repeatedly show the cctv footage of the moment the taxi exploded outside of the liverpool women's hospital killing a passenger and injuring the driver? i can understand why it would be shown, but to show the same footage repeatedly in the same report seems to be
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excessive and adds nothing to the reporting of the story. whatever the circumstances may have been, this was the moment a person died and another was seriously injured and should've been treated with some dignity and respect. well, jaime angus is still with me. jamie, what is the bbc�*s policy on showing the moment of death? our editorial apology guidelines say we should be very cautious about showing the moment of anyone's death, but of course sadly we live in a world where terrorist action, warfare and other violence does mean that there are important news events where we have to consider the value of showing newsworthy pictures against that guidance for caution. and this was indeed one of those events. it's worth adding that in the early hours after this incident, it wasn't at all clear what had actually happened at the hospital, and some of the information circulating subsequently, as demonstrated by these pictures, turned out to be false. so, we felt that there
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was a strong public interest in showing the pictures in orderfor people to understand what had actually happened, also because they showed the escape from the vehicle of the taxi driver and the presence of eyewitnesses who we were subsequently able to interview and gather their own testimony. those images were shown multiple times this week, including in headlines, so how do you answer those viewers who said it's just not decent to show that moment of death repeatedly? as i say, we have to strike a balance between public sensitivity around difficult and distressing images and the need for those images to be understood by the audience in order to interpret events that have happened. so, we have tried to use these pictures proportionately. if people had been upset by their use in headlines or feel that their use has been overly repetitive, then i'm sorry about that. it's a conversation
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that we take very seriously in the newsroom. we spend a lot of time thinking about, and i think broadly we reached the right decision about the news value that these pictures and the need for the audience to see them with appropriate context in order to understand the story. jamie angus, thank you. and thank you for all your comments this week. if you want to share your opinions about what you see or hear or read on bbc news, on tv, radio, online or on social media, e—mail newswatch@bbc.co.uk or you can find us on twitter @newswatchbbc. you can call us on 0370 010 6676, and do have a look at previous interviews on our website, bbc.co.uk/newswatch. that's all from us. we'll be back to hear your thoughts about bbc news coverage again next week. goodbye. hello there. if you haven't already heard, the weather story is on the change, certainly to the feel of our weather over the next few days. in fact, we'll start to see the first signs of that this weekend, gradually turning colder from the north.
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and it's this weather front that's producing some rain, the cold air tucking in behind the front, with a scattering of showers waiting in the wings. that gradually slips its way south into northern ireland and northern england. ahead of it, we should see early—morning cloud, mist and murk starting to thin and break, for some glimpses of sunshine and highs of 13 celsius. plenty of showers following into the far north of scotland, and already the first signs of that colder air arriving. but the real cold air pushes through saturday night into sunday, and the wind direction changes to this northerly flow. so, for all of us, we'll notice the difference first thing on sunday morning. there'll be more in the way of sunshine right across the country, but it will be noticeably colder, particularly when you factor in the strength and the direction of the wind.
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this is bbc news. i'm mark lobel. our top stories: a us teenager who shot dead two people and injured another during racialjustice protests last year has been found not guilty of murder in a trial that polarised america. gunfire. covid cases rise in europe, police in the netherlands fire warning shots at angry protests against new restrictions. belarus's authoritarian leader alexander lukashenko speaks exclusively to the bbc. he admits that his forces may have helped migrants cross into the european union. translation: i told the eu i'm not going to detain migrants - on the border, hold them at the border, and if they keep coming from now on, i still won't stop them.
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the women's tennis association threatens to pull out of china

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