simonjessop had this response. the top story on all bbc one news bulletins on tuesday was the latest in a long—running transport saga. a third runway at london's heathrow airport. the government finally gives the go—ahead, saying it will help the uk thrive after brexit. after almost two decades of delays, the transport secretary said the controversial £14 billion runway would be in the national interest. one viewer rang us with this response. why is heathrow airport receiving rolling news all day long? 55 million of us do not live anywhere near heathrow airport.
i don't care if heathrow airport is there or it is not there. this is pure london based news which is a big problem with the bbc. nearly all of our news is london based. after last week's comments after the irish referendum on abortion, that subject attracted attention again this week, following an item on wednesday's outside source. now in brazilfour women die every year while trying to end a pregnancy. that is according to government statistics. the country has some of the harshest abortion laws in the world. it is considered a crime. it is only allowed in extreme cases like rape. fiona gatto wrote to us with her thoughts. media outlets around the world are proliferating fast, producing a huge quantity of reports and news flashes, not all of them reliable, so there is a greater need than ever for a body which gathers, translates and evaluates
that information. such a body exists as part of bbc news. bbc monitoring, as it is known, has just moved here to broadcasting house in london, but it has a long and distinguished history at its home of 75 years at caversham park. the listening posts at caversham are a major source of news and information. by earphones, a close check is kept on what the rest of the world are saying. bbc monitoring was founded at the start of the second world war, to inform the war office of broadcasts by nazi controlled media outlets. since then, from its base in berkshire, it has continued to work for governments around the world, and commercial organisations like think tanks and groups as well as servicing other parts of the bbc. over the years, it has played a crucial role in events like the cuban missile crisis, the break—up of the soviet union and the gulf war. and now listens to, analyses and summarises news from 150 countries in 100 languages. technology has moved on and social media provides new sources of information,
with tweets from ukraine proving crucial in verifying that malaysian airlines flight 17 had gone missing four years ago. so in an era of social media, multiple news sources, fake news and budget cuts, where next for bbc monitoring? sarah beck is the director of bbc monitoring. welcome to newswatch. in the day of the cold war, the role was focused on broadcasting, how different will it be now in the age of social media? it is already different, to be honest. with digital media and the explosion of what is happening has been a part of our work for some time. if you look at how we are working into the future, we need to be even more able to follow that huge range of sources. if we the monitors cannot keep up with the media we are following, we are in trouble. that keeping up with the changes,
keeping across which sources are relevant, which sources you need to listen to, whereas which ones are less influential... how do you do that? i would like to bust the myth of a pair of headphones tuning into a crackly radio station. our monitors are very fluent in the digital media they are following. they might be following four or five broadcast screens at the same time as looking at tweets and threads across a range of sources. it is a very fluid, fastjob now. at the same time as i am talking about digital sources, maybe for the iranian elections, politicians in iran where using live social media feeds to do their press conferences. on the other hand, when there was a recent ebola outbreak in the democratic republic of congo, we were trying to access regional vernacular radio stations. there is a huge range. it is not an equal level field right now. and the real skill for monitoring journalists is that they know
what is relevant and what is important and that is the essential insight into what the human journalist brings which you cannot get with an algorithm or a search. what is bbc monitoring is doing specifically about fake news? you could say that we are really needed more than ever right now. we are able to service a much broader range of fake news stories orjust disinformation, misinformation, because we are following our sources all the time. when you have a much broader lens, if you open up the lens, you are able to see that these incidents, or this way of messaging is happening in lots of different countries. it is not the sole subject of the white house or the brexit debate. we had a recent story about the venezuelan elections. there were a lot of fake news stories around the venezuelan elections. you know that monitoring has cut staff and budgets.
what have you lost and why? we did have to make some serious cuts over the last two years. we had a savings target to meet, and just like the rest of bbc news, monitoring was not exempt from that responsibility of having to find cheaper better ways of doing what we do. we looked very hard at what we did and we prioritised the areas where we have real strength. there would be a lot of distressing imagery uploaded, for example by jihadist fighters, how do your staff deal with monitoring that kind of stuff? that is a really good question. i'm glad you asked about it because it is incredibly important. you cannot control what you are monitoring and we have specific teams. we have a jihadist media team which is an exceptionally strong team and quite unique when you think about it. we have a team dedicated to following the output of some of the jihadist movements across the world. they have supported each other but we have recently commissioned
a report at looking at what else we can do in that area. that is the trauma and vicarious trauma that can be received in other parts of news organisations, notjust news monitoring. it is also an area that is developing and finding new approaches as we go. we tried to plug into those specialists. what would you say are the big issues that bbc monitoring is focusing on now? i would say for our future it is about focusing on technology. we are trialling new tools, new systems, that can help us take some of the craft work, if you like, out of the basic work, the translation or transcription. if you can use machine learned translation to get the information the information into the system.
and story areas or regional areas? if you look at where monitoring's real strengths lie, we are more or less in the geopolitical hotspots as it is. we have a very strong russian and former soviet union team, thejihadist team, the middle east, iran, north korea. those are our real areas of strength. if you think about the news agenda, these stories which are not which are not going away at the moment. thank you. before we go, carol kirkwood has presented weather bulletins for breakfast in the company of a number of animals, including a dog going to the loo behind her and a penguin biting her on the hand. on thursday, she was at the south of england show in sussex with some little pigs. you can also see tomorrow across south—west england, an isolated one, maybe across the midlands and also east anglia. by the time we get to saturday, i'm being eaten alive, by the time we get to saturday there will be cloud to start the day but you will find it will brighten up. there will be some sunshine around. still a few showers and they are more likely to be
in northern ireland and western scotland. i am being eaten alive by this wee pig! don't put biscuits in your pocket! opinion was divided about that encounter with carol downes considering it... and janet waite thought... but clare wood was more positive tweeting. .. and for martin smith, this was tv genius. thank you for all your comments this week. if you want to share your opinions on bbc news and current affairs and even appear on the programme, you can call us or e—mail newswatch.
you can find us on twitter. and do have a look at our website. that is all from us. we will be back to hear your thoughts about bbc news coverage again next week. goodbye. hello, good evening. it should be a good weekend for many of us. lots of dry weather around, some warm sunshine, temperatures into the low 20s. sunshine, temperatures into the low 205. a sunshine, temperatures into the low 20s. a chance of catching a few showers. the greatest risk will be across mainland scotland. today we have not had blue skies everywhere. we have had cloudy conditions across parts of the midlands, wealth and the north of england. the heavier showers have been in the slow—moving thunderstorms across northern
ireland and a few developing in scotla nd ireland and a few developing in scotland as well. those will slowly become fewer and lighter. probably not completely fading away. more low cloud coming back in of the north sea down the eastern side of england and scotland. a bit chillierfawn north—east scotland and england. we are in the height of the pollen season. are in the height of the pollen season. grass pollen and it will be high or very high levels in northern ireland and the bulk of england and wales. helped by some more sunshine. the cloud should then and break. we should see showers developing again across northern ireland but especially across scotland and ever higher ground. even in dumfries & galloway you could season downpours. in northern ireland it will be cooler and cloudier. some sunny spells across scotland. a few thunderstorms possible across northern ireland. a risk of a shower in south—west england and wales. for the bulk of england and wales it
will be a nice warm day. typical temperatures into the low 20s. into the evening the downpours continue to rumble away. as we head into the second half of the weekend, probably drive the northern ireland but some storms possible across scotland. elsewhere, it should be dry. more sunshine for england and wales, except for the channel islands where we could get some showers. temperatures will be a bit higher. 24 temperatures will be a bit higher. 2a or 25 at best. we are on the edge of really warm weather. it has been pretty hot across southern scandinavia, eastern europe and the eastern mediterranean this weekend. that heat comes with some heavy rain and thunderstorms. those should be steering clear of our shores. some dry weather on monday. this is bbc news. the headlines at 8pm: theresa may has said she is determined to deliver brexit for the whole of the uk after borisjohnson was secretly
recorded suggesting the government lacked guts in its negotiations with the eu. people like boris have strong views on brexit, but so do i. i want to deliver brexit for the british people, that's what people want. and i'm getting on and doing it. president trump has suggested russia should be readmitted to the g7 group of economies, four years after it was expelled because of the annexation of crimea. they threw russia out. they should let russia come back in because we should have russia at the negotiating table. it's been revealed that the queen had eye surgery last month to remove a cataract. in recent weeks, the queen, who's 92, been seen wearing sunglasses at a number of public events. what a laugh!