Page last updated at 01:10 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 02:10 UK

BBC news of UK nations examined

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BBC News has faced "new challenges" since devolution, the Trust says

The BBC Trust is to publish a report on the way news is covered in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The review, commissioned in November, looked at the accuracy and context of the BBC's reporting, particularly in the devolved nations.

It will consider if the nations' differing policies, and other issues, are properly reflected in the BBC's TV, radio and online output.

Viewers have complained that too many stories are relevant only to England.

BBC media correspondent Torin Douglas said when Labour failed to gain a majority in the Welsh Assembly last year, many people in Wales felt the story and the subsequent coalition negotiations received too little coverage on the national news bulletins.

Licence fee boycott

There have also been complaints that since devolution too many health and education stories apply only to England, where policies differ from those in other parts of the UK.

The Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price said if things did not improve he would be prepared not to pay the licence fee.

HAVE YOUR SAY
News is not regionally distributed but prejudice is
Peter Cook, Bristol

But some in England say they do not need to hear about events in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly that do not affect them.

BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons told BBC Five Live that BBC News was not the sole cause of the problem: "This problem is not entirely of the BBC's making," he said.

"There is a propensity for ministers, and government departments, to talk as if devolution hasn't taken place, and to act as if they are now speaking for the whole United Kingdom on issues of health and education when in fact those decisions are taken elsewhere."

The BBC appointed Anthony King, professor of government at the University of Essex, as independent author of the review.

He was supported by Mike Robinson, a former BBC news and current affairs programme editor, as the review's project director.

They looked at network coverage of the four nations - particularly on devolution and devolution issues - during the English local elections and national elections in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in spring 2007.

The aim was to assess the impartiality of the BBC's network news.

It is the first impartiality review to be undertaken by the trust since it was set up in January last year.



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