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29/07/2010

BBC's 'Misleading' Coverage Improved

The BBC Trust have found that "significant improvements" have been made to devolved nations news coverage once described as "misleading" and "confusing", but concerns still remain.
The latest report, follows on from a study published in June 2008 which found that the BBC needed to improve the range, clarity and precision of its network coverage on what was happening in the different UK nations and regions.
The follow up report, carried out by Cardiff University, focused on the four UK nations BBC network news coverage and found a "significant" increase in BBC coverage of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not on devolution-related issues and television.
14.2% of news items on BBC television related to the nations during their study carried out in 2009, compared with 7.8% in research published in 2008. Location reporting in these countries also increased - to 12.3% on BBC television compared with 7.7% in earlier research.
The report, based on a sample of four weeks of news and current affairs coverage in October and November 2009, highlighted dramatic change in the number of explicit or implicit references BBC reporters made to devolved powers generally - 480 in the latest study compared with 71 in 2008.
Researchers examined thousands of news items covering television, radio and online, including Newsnight, The Politics Show and The One Show.
The report also raised concerns about stories which fail to make it clear they apply only to England rather than the UK as a whole, in particular English institutions and Westminster political parties failing to announce where their policies and initiatives applied.
In response, the BBC executive have accepted criticisms and said a daily "devolution reminder" section would be added to programme running orders in the newsroom computer system.
(BMcN/KMcA)
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