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Broadcast students help the Audience Council to gauge the performance of the BBC’s News services

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Royal Television Society's Expertise Exchange
Participants felt that radio in Wales has a better range of voices than TV and that there was a good range of demographics, geographical locations and ages in the radio coverage

The BBC Audience Council Wales' recent audience outreach event featured eight of the School’s post-graduate broadcast journalism students.

It was one of a series of audience events to gather the views of audiences regarding BBC Network News services so as to inform BBC Audience Council Wales’ advice to the BBC Trust as it conducts a Service Review of Network News.

Council member Bethan Darwin and Council member Rob Humphreys led the discussion.

JOMEC’s students stated they felt the BBC was good at providing background information to news stories – with the news story of the commemoration of the centenary of the Senghennydd colliery disaster in 1913 on the day of the meeting being a good example. Participants felt that the coverage of Radio Cymru, Radio Wales and the BBC Wales News website had all done this well.

BBC News was considered too ‘safe’, and sometimes suffered from a boring image because there was not enough comment. However, the feeling was that the BBC’s News output was accurate and to be trusted.

Generally, while the BBC was praised for its investigative journalism, it was felt that even more could be done in this regard.

With reference to Network News coverage for Wales, a number of participants felt that only tragedies that had occurred in Wales were covered e.g. deaths of soldiers on the Brecon Beacons or the murder of April Jones.

They also felt that too little was heard about what was happening in Wales on Network News. This was also the case for Scotland – with the exception of the independence debate.

The BBC was thought to cover major stories “very well”. This was even the case when covering stories relating to the BBC itself, such as the recent travails to have hit the Corporation. It was felt that these had been covered in an impartial and transparent way.

Participants said that they were glad that broadcast news had not been part of the remit of the Leveson enquiry.

A full summary of the events findings are posted on the BBC Trust website.

Related Links

BBC Audience Council Wales

See Also

Leveson and the use and abuse of history via JOMEC Blog

Dip/MA Journalism at Cardiff