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tv   Newswatch  BBC News  September 1, 2018 3:45am-4:01am BST

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hello and welcome to newswatch with me, samira ahmed. the bbc has decided not to appeal against the courtjudgment that it seriously infringed the privacy of sir cliff richard. what lessons has it learned from the episode? and with the bill for fighting the case set to rise beyond £2 million, will anyone be losing theirjob as a result? sir cliff richard announced this week he would soon be releasing a new album, which would reflect, as he put it, a bad period in his life. the singer was referring to bbc broadcasts four years ago of a police raid on his house following an allegation of sexual assault which was later dropped with no arrest and no charges being brought. sir cliff then sued the bbc for invasion of privacy and mrjustice mann found in his favour, saying the bbc had infringed sir cliff's privacy rights in a serious and sensationalist way. and he awarded him over £200,000 in damages. since we discussed this on our last programme injuly, there has been a development.
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the bbc says it won't appeal against a court ruling that it breached sir cliff richard's privacy by covering a police raid on his home. that decision a couple of weeks ago not to appeal against the ruling which the bbc had said they were considering doing was broadly welcomed. but some newswatch viewers remained angry that that appeared to be the end of the story. ian frost mused... hazel newry was unimpressed with the corporation's defence. and david james advised:
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no—one from the bbc was available to speak to us about this before. i'm pleased to say we're now joined by david jordan, the corporation's director of editorial policy and standards. thank you for coming on newswatch. do you accept as many viewers say that the bbc has fallen below the standard expected of it? well, we're very clear we regret some aspects of the way in which we covered the cliff richard story at the beginning. we made clear that we think that the use of a helicopter was inappropriate in the circumstances, and that there were some other things about the way in which we covered it, the proportionality of it and so on, which we, with the benefit of hindsight, now regret. so yes, there are certain things about the way in which we did the story which we regret. but we have never conceded the principle, and that's why we got
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involved in the court case when sir cliff took a case against us. we've never conceded the principal, never wished to concede the principle, that we should not have reported the matter at all. the editorial misjudgement is the one we want to talk about. you mentioned the helicopter going up, which was defended at the time. leading bulletins with it and going live, those were areas, too? those were all the areas which the judge criticised in hisjudgment. and do you agree? and which the bbc has conceded that, with the benefit of hindsight, we might have done differently, if we did the story today. entering it for an award, despite all the criticism? the bbc has said that was a misjudgement. sir cliff offered to settle this without going to court and the police of course did settle. it has cost the licence fee payer £2 million so far. would you like to say sorry? well, it's not true that sir cliff offered to settle it. we offered to settle with sir cliff on a number of occasions,
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but what sir cliff's lawyers wanted was not a settlement but a surrender. they wanted us to concede the principle as well as to acknowledge that the way in which we'd done things was not appropriate. so it isn't true to say that sir cliff offered to settle. i'm afraid he didn't, otherwise we could have prevented us having to go through all of the ensuing case. can you talk about this point of principle? if it is a big point of principle you feel journalistic freedom is threatened, why are you not appealing? well, we've made it clear we considered appealing very carefully. the problem is that legal advice we were given is that the prospects of success in a legal case were very small. so the judgment we had to make was whether it was worth going forward with a small likelihood of being successful, or not to go ahead at all. given the costs of litigation in this country, which are very considerable, and given the extra pain that would have been caused to sir cliff and all for the unlikely to result in the outcome that we wanted,
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which was to contest the principle involved in this case, we decided it would be better not to do so. given that he was not arrested at the time and was not subsequently charged and no one had ever covered a case like this, sending up a helicopter before. people are asking why did the bbc claim there was a public interest defence to this? this took place in 2014 in the context of a number of sexual abuse cases involving high—profile people in the entertainment industry. it was the case that in some of those cases where people were named, it resulted in other allegations coming forward and other victims presenting themselves, and thereby making the case against them considerably stronger. we've had something similar happen in the united states recently with the naming of harvey weinstein as a... the accusation he's a sexual abuser, bringing forward a lot of other cases of a similar sort. so that is where a considerable part
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of the public interest lies. there's also a public interest in the public knowing about police investigations and the media's ability to scrutinise those public investigations and scrutinise the work of the police. there is a public interest and the public‘s right to know things that are going on in our society and that is always the presumption from which we start. you're the head of bbc editorial policy and standards. you heard the court evidence of bbc journalist joking in e—mails about jailhouse rock, "congratulations and jubilations". is that acceptable by bbc editorial standards? we've made it clear... it's not an editorial standards matter as such, but we've made it clear that was not appropriate, however, let's be clear, who of us have not issued at some point in our lives an e—mail which, if read out in a court room, blasted all over the national press, would not look slightly awry? this is about a serious... it was people who are covering a story and they were celebrating the fact that they had covered the story — and they did it in an inappropriate way,
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in a wrong way, but he who cast the first stone, etc. jonathan munro came on newswatch after the story ran and defended it and defended the helicopter and it is interesting, with the benefit of hindsight, but the bbc is supposed to have editorial standards and judgment and what viewers are really concerned about is the bbc did not seem to have them at the time of the cliff richard case. i think some misjudgements were made. they were made in good faith at the time. they were made within the context of the law that applied at the time and nobody was trying to do something wrong. it was at that time completely standard practice to name a person who was the subject of a police investigation. this case has altered case law on this question. inaway... mrjustice mann... i'm afraid it means he has not read his own judgment. you're saying he was wrong? i'm afraid his judgment says this. it introduces a huge chasm of uncertainty into whether or not you can name a suspect in these circumstances. he does say if the police name them, you can do so, but he introduces and he does say if it is manifestly
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in the public interest you can do so. yes. but then he says it wasn't in the public interest in this case. which involved a sexual abuse case. you have made that clear, that is a legal issue. about whether the balance between the public interest and the right to privacy and that is a case—by—case basis says thejudge. can you tell me why no one at the bbc has resigned over this cliff richard case? it's not always the right thing to do, to sack people or make people resign when something goes wrong. it is important we learn lessons and we have done and are doing, and we will do things differently in the future. but the people who made the decisions about how this story was going to be covered did so in good faith, they did so within the context of the law as it existed at that time. it is not always appropriate to sack people and get people to resign for doing theirjob in the way they thought was proper at the time. david jordan, thank you. thank you. do let us know your thoughts on that or on any aspect of bbc news. details on how to contact us at the end of the programme.
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just time for a couple of your other comments in a week when the pope visited ireland. his first visit was to the residence of president michael d higgins. he moved on to a meeting of civil leaders and the diplomatic corps. it was here at dublin castle that the taoiseach, leo varadkar, raised the issue of child sexual abuse that has threatened to dominate the visit. bbc religion editor martin bashir reporting on saturday's late news bulletin. but scores of you objected to the reporting along the lines described here: and maureen hogg sent this e—mail about the coverage more widely:
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finally, one piece of footage from theresa may's trip to africa this week garnered a great deal of attention on both social and mainstream media, as dan walker acknowledged on wednesday's breakfast. when trade is on the agenda, the news footage is usually full of factories, hard hats and the occasional high—vis jacket. but it's a rather different image that has attracted much comment so far. the prime minister dancing with schoolchildren in cape town. the pictures have gained a lot of attention, but is it the sort of attention her advisers had been hoping for? further attention was then given to the prime minister's dancing
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style with a discussion on the subject prompting ann channon to write... and anne—marie plant agreed... thank you for all your comments this week. if you want to share your opinions on bbc news and current affairs, or even appear on the programme, you can call us on: 0re—mail: you can find us on twitter. and do have a look at our website: that's all from us. we'll be back to hear your thoughts about bbc news coverage again next week. goodbye. some of us this weekend are in for a
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little dose of summer. nothing too hot but certainly warm enough. and actually today, the first of september, is meteorologically speaking the first day of autumn, so the nights will be drawing in now, we have to make the most of any warmth we get. but into the weekend, high pressure's going to be very close to the uk. around southern parts of scandinavia there. weather fronts try to push in but really ahead of it what's happening is we see some of that warm air from spain and france push in, so we see that warmth reaching our shores over the next 12—24 hours. this is what it looks like early hours of saturday morning, still pretty nippy in some of these eastern areas where we would have had clear skies overnight, temperatures down into single figures. but across western areas here where we have a bit of cloud and some of that warmth from the atlantic, around 1a in belfast. let's look at the forecast first
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thing in the morning, the winds are coming from the south, that's always a warm direction. temperatures and 9am already 1a in cardiff. noticed there's a lot of cloud in western areas and a few spots of rain and if you squint you can just about make it out there, and in one or two places, further north in the northern isles as well. the morning itself will remain bright in many eastern and central areas, that's how we're going to start the afternoon as well. but in the west, it will remain fairly cloudy at times but it won't do completely overcast, the sun will be poking through from time to time so all in all not a bad date. temperatures widely in the low 20s, possibly hitting the mid—20s in the south—east. that was saturday, this is sunday now. there was a weather front approaching the far north—west of the uk here, probably really late in the day we could get some rain in belfast and glasgow. could be approaching western isles here with some stronger winds quite early in the afternoon but for most of us sunday is a very warm day with
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partly cloudy skies, and the best of the sunshine the further east and south you are. in fact temperatures could top 25 on sunday in london, and when he expected in belfast as well. the outlook for the next couple of days as we head into next week, it cools off a little bit and essentially speaking the weather remains unsettled across most of the uk. bye—bye. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is nkem ifejika. our top stories: the trump administration confirms that it's stopping
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all funding for the un agency that supports palestinian refugees. a week of talks, but no deal. the us and canada fail to forge a new north american free trade agreement. a star—studded send off for aretha franklin at a funeral ceremony in her hometown of detroit. the world is celebrating you. and the world is mourning you. and the world is going to miss you.

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