42 Facts About BBC News


BBC News is an operational business division of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs in the UK and around the world.

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In 2019, it was reported in an Ofcom report that the BBC spent £136m on news during the period April 2018 to March 2019.

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BBC News is a quasi-autonomous corporation authorised by royal charter, making it operationally independent of the government.

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The BBC gradually gained the right to edit the copy and, in 1934, created its own news operation.

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Greene made changes that were aimed at making BBC News reporting more similar to it competitor ITN, which had been highly rated by study groups held by Greene.

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Black and white national bulletins on BBC 1 continued to originate from Studio B on weekdays, along with Town and Around, the London regional "opt out" programme broadcast throughout the 1960s, until it started to be replaced by Nationwide on Tuesday to Thursday from Lime Grove Studios early in September 1969.

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BBC News won the BAFTA for its actuality coverage, however the event has become remembered in television terms for Brian Hanrahan's reporting where he coined the phrase "I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back" to circumvent restrictions, and which has become cited as an example of good reporting under pressure.

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Six O'Clock News first aired on 3 September 1984, eventually becoming the most watched news programme in the UK.

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The BBC News report shocked Britain, motivating its citizens to inundate relief agencies, such as Save the Children, with donations, and to bring global attention to the crisis in Ethiopia.

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The Six O'Clock BBC News became double headed with George Alagiah and Sophie Raworth after Huw Edwards and Fiona Bruce moved to present the Ten.

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The individual positions of editor of the One and Six O'Clock BBC News were replaced by a new daytime position in November 2005.

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BBC News became part of a new BBC Journalism group in November 2006 as part of a restructuring of the BBC.

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BBC News is responsible for the news programmes and documentary content on the BBC's general television channels, as well as the news coverage on the BBC News Channel in the UK, and 22 hours of programming for the corporation's international BBC World News channel.

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BBC News content is output onto the BBC's digital interactive television services under the BBC Red Button brand, and until 2012, on the Ceefax teletext system.

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The BBC News channel is available to view 24 hours a day, while video and radio clips are available within online news articles.

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In October 2019, BBC News Online launched a mirror on the dark web anonymity network Tor in an effort to circumvent censorship.

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BBC News is required by its charter to be free from both political and commercial influence and answers only to its viewers and listeners.

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BBC News is regularly accused by the government of the day of bias in favour of the opposition and, by the opposition, of bias in favour of the government.

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Similarly, during times of war, the BBC News is often accused by the UK government, or by strong supporters of British military campaigns, of being overly sympathetic to the view of the enemy.

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Prominent BBC News appointments are constantly assessed by the British media and political establishment for signs of political bias.

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Mark Thompson, former Director-General of the BBC News, admitted the organisation has been biased "towards the left" in the past.

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BBC News said, "In the BBC I joined 30 years ago, there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people's personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the left".

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BBC News then added, "The organization did struggle then with impartiality.

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BBC News says this militant nationalism is "not even subtle", and, citing Glasgow university, says BBC News is a chief example of "manufactured production of ideology.

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For instance, in 2018, the BBC News received complaints from people who took issue that the BBC News was not sufficiently covering anti-Brexit marches whilst giving smaller-scale events hosted by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage more airtime.

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In 2008, the BBC News Hindi was criticised by some Indian outlets for referring to the terrorists who carried out the November 2008 Mumbai attacks as "gunmen".

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In March 2015, the BBC News Hindi was criticised for airing a documentary interviewing one of the rapists in India.

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BBC News was at the centre of a political controversy following the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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BBC News faced an important test, reporting on itself with the publication of the report, but by common consent managed this "independently, impartially and honestly".

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BBC News has faced accusations of holding both anti-Israel and anti-Palestine bias.

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Critics of the BBC argue that the Balen Report proves systematic bias against Israel in headline news programming.

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An independent panel appointed by the BBC News Trust was set up in 2006 to review the impartiality of the BBC News's coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

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BBC News further opined "My sense is that BBC news reporting has lost a once iron-clad commitment to objectivity and a necessary respect for the democratic process.

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Description by one BBC News correspondent reporting on the funeral of Yassir Arafat that she had been left with tears in her eyes led to other questions of impartiality, particularly from Martin Walker in a guest opinion piece in The Times, who picked out the apparent case of Fayad Abu Shamala, the BBC News Arabic Service correspondent, who told a Hamas rally on 6 May 2001, that journalists in Gaza were "waging the campaign shoulder to shoulder together with the Palestinian people.

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BBC News faced criticism for not airing a Disasters Emergency Committee aid appeal for Palestinians who suffered in Gaza during 22-day war there between late 2008 and early 2009.

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British journalist Julie Burchill has accused BBC News of creating a "climate of fear" for British Jews over its "excessive coverage" of Israel compared to other nations.

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However, in July 2017, BBC announced a new partnership with CBS News allows both organisations to share video, editorial content, and additional newsgathering resources in New York, London, Washington and around the world.

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The BBC News was banned in Zimbabwe under Mugabe for eight years as a terrorist organisation until being allowed to operate again over a year after the 2008 elections.

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BBC News was banned in Burma after their coverage and commentary on anti-government protests there in September 2007.

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In June 2015, the Rwandan government placed an indefinite ban on BBC News broadcasts following the airing of a controversial documentary regarding the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Rwanda's Untold Story, broadcast on BBC News2 on 1 October 2014.

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In February 2017, reporters from the BBC News were denied access to a United States White House briefing.

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In 2017, BBC News India was banned for a period of 5 years from covering all national parks and sanctuaries in India.

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