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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005, 11:09 GMT 12:09 UK
Feedback - August 2005
What do you think of the stories we have covered? Do you have anything to say about the programme or the issues of the day? You can read and send us your views from this page.

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This month:

General comments
Tory leadership
Teenage drug addicts
Jean Charles de Menezes
Maziar Bahari's films from Iraq
Andrew Harding's VJ day report from Japan
Israeli withdrawal from Gaza
China land issues
London bombings
Richard Watson's film about two UK based Islamist extremists
Write to us


GENERAL COMMENTS

Top marks for the weather forecast for Barbados! Thank you. I insist you inform me when it pours on Campbell's parade too.
Tess Read, London

I like to watch Newsnight every night. The interviews, debates and presenters are of top quality and I particularly like the more thought-provoking stories from around the world that aren't covered by the mainstream news. Thank you. Keep up the good work.
Alasdair Braid, Bognor Regis

TORY LEADERSHIP

The recent piece you showed on the great Alan Duncan MP was nothing short of inspired. Why he has pulled out of the leadership race I will never know. Long live the Dunc!
Eddy Evans, London

I'm so tired of the Tories arguing about what's best for the party. What's best for the country? Be radical! We want change!
John Leebody, Blackpool

TEENAGE DRUG ADDICTS

Your "Teenage Drug Addicts" was riveting and shocking. Here in Malaysia drug trafficking is a capital offence, however the problem persists. Thank you BBC and Newsnight.
Peter Boyd, Penang, Malaysia

That was one of the most powerful pieces of TV I have ever seen. Superbly done, not sensationalist and very shocking. What Newsnight is best at.
John Morris, London

Yes, it does raise disturbing questions and serves as a shocking indictment of a society which tolerates (and in some cases condones) the glamorisation of drug culture. However, serious questions also need to be posed regarding the role and responsibilities of the parents involved. The seeming absence of a father figure or male role model is a contributory factor in the two tragic cases that were highlighted. Drug addiction can tear apart families and communities; I remember all too well the sudden explosion of heroin addiction on Merseyside in the early eighties. However, parents who fail to act or are complicit in their children's drug use fully warrant society's opprobrium.
Jim McCabe, Bootle, Merseyside

I'm moved to write after viewing the Newsnight segment on Monday. I've been an avid, daily news watcher for 30 years and have never been affected as emotionally as I was during this broadcast. I remember seeing the original piece on Andrew and Ashleigh three years ago. I instantly remembered the look of sheer desperation and anguish on 14 year-old Andrew's face as he described the terrible grip heroin addiction had on him. Seeing that clip again sank my heart and brought me to tears, something that has never happened to me before in all my years of watching and reading the news. I'd like to thank the entire Newsnight team for this follow-up article. If it moved me this much, I can only hope that it was also seen by members of the government who have the power and resources to act, and by individuals who may be subsequently motivated to help or reassess their own thoughts and prejudices. Thank you.
Miles Pearce, Bristol

Absolutely blown away by your VT tonight on drugs. Hats off to brilliant pictures, producing, sensitive voiceovers etc. We talk about drugs and their effects daily - your film showed us the reality. Fantastic journalism.
Katie Perrior, London

JEAN CHARLES DE MENEZES

Regarding the programme TX 23/08/05. ABSOLUTEY BRILLIANT. I'm really glad that somebody (namely you) has finally highlighted the glaring hypocrisy of Brazilian government officials in England questioning the police procedures regarding the shooting of Jean Charles.
Richard Bowen, Birmingham

I found it utterly disgusting that the BBC chose to bring up the issue of policing in Brazil now (Newsnight 23rd August). It seemed to me you were saying that it was OK for an innocent Brazilian to be killed in London. Shame on you.
S Panikker, Ormskirk

Tuesday 23rd. I am watching in disbelief the comparisons drawn between Brazil police shootings and that of Jean Charles de Menezes in tonight's programme. Brazilian police did not murder an innocent man. Shifting the blame and placing the Stockwell shooting in the context of Brazilian policing standards is irrelevant and completely misses the point. The Metropolitan police and Special Forces involved in the shooting and events leading up to it are the cause, not Brazilian police.
Ling Clayton, London

The coverage over the tragic mistake [of the death of Jean Charles de Menezes] has been far too much. There have been over FIFTY people killed, yet they are not even mentioned anymore! When the IPCC report comes out, it should be reported, not every single day! ENOUGH! It is clear this mistake is being used by certain elements to push their agenda. Enough is enough! Show some balance!
Ali, London

Michael Crick's assertion on Newsnight (19 August, 2005) that the Jean Charles de Menezes Justice campaign is supported by seasoned campaigners of the left which puts off mainstream politicians is a ridiculous notion. How many mainstream politicians has anyone heard of speaking out against the brutal murder of this Brazilian man by British police? Barely any. Come on Newsnight...don't tolerate such sloppy comment.
Patrick Black, York

Thursday, 18 August Newsnight re Ian Blair. I am a regular viewer of Newsnight. The quality of reports, debate and interviews is always top quality - until last night that is. The Ian Blair debate was poor; it did not reflect the full spectrum of opinion and did not focus on the main issue which is the deceit and misinformation allowed to propagate by the police as a result of this killing. Incompetence or a genuine mistake is one thing; lies and cover-ups are another.
Gary Lord, Buxton

Sir Ian Blair is not responsible for correcting the media. Frank Dobson should correct false media reports, not Sir Ian Blair.
Tom Clitheroe, Halesowen

MAZIAR BAHARI'S FILMS FROM IRAQ

Thanks to the BBC's website I was able to see Newsnight's documentaries on Iraq. I applaud Maziar Bahar, the producer of these films. Unfortunately in our neck of woods, the USA, we cannot watch programmes of this calibre.
James Rivera, Austin, Texas

Unlike Richard Watson's film on UK based Islamists, Maziar Bahari's programmes on Iraq are clear examples of journalism at its best. We don't expect less from Newsnight.
Imad Iqbal, Leeds

I salute Maziar Bahari, Tim Whewell and the Newsnight team for producing two extraordinary films about Iraq in the past few weeks. Mr Bahari's previous film about Shias in Iraq showed the Iraqi people's frustration with three years of occupation. And his recent programme on British abuse claims in Iraq explored an inevitable aspect of occupation further. In the past three years Mr Bahari has explored parts of Iraq to which no other journalist dares to go and as a result his films have told us stories about the country which we would never hear or see in any other programme. I look forward to seeing his future work.
Natasha Ferguson, London

ANDREW HARDING'S VJ DAY REPORT FROM JAPAN

The attention which Andrew Harding's VJ Day report drew to the predicament of Okinawa was more than welcome. Nevertheless, it was disappointing that the report failed to mention the most pressing base-related issue facing Okinawa: The threat to the island's environmental heritage posed by the plan to build a new offshore US base on the Henoko reef off the north-east coast of the island. This proposed new base would have given the report a more contemporary context, as it would have allowed Andrew to expose the reality behind the rhetoric of "democracy" and "liberty" which invariably accompany US military occupation.
Peter Simpson, Okinawa

ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL FROM GAZA [09.08.05 AND 11.08.05]

I found Mark Urban report from the occupied Gaza Strip very disappointing and misleading. He failed to mention that the Jewish settlers live on land occupied in violation of many UN resolutions. He also failed to mention that their presence has been a thorn in the sides of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians squeezed into the most crowded area on earth.
Sam Rose, London

CHINA LAND ISSUES [02.08.05]

Mary Wilkinson, Deputy Editor, replies: Although we intended to include Taiwan on the map because of its geography, we didn't mean to highlight it with China. We apologise for any offence caused.

I watched the report about the land problems in China and I was furious that when the report displayed the map of China, they included Taiwan in it. Taiwan is a multi-party democracy, not an authoritarian regime anymore. Taiwan has moved on. China has not.
Sam Huang , Leeds, UK (formerly Taipei, Taiwan)

I found the countryside land conflict in China intriguing. People usually only praise the enormous growth of Chinese economy, but ignore those peasants who live in the lowest level of this society. However, does this issue also matter in Taiwan? Taiwan does not belong to the PROC and is out of this problem. So why did you include the island next to China in the map when you explained the conflicts happened around China?
Stephen Shih, Southampton

LONDON BOMBINGS

I am seething. A Muslim woman [02.08.05] suggests that young Muslim men feel alienated because they can go to college and university here but cannot find jobs subsequently. Tell this to all the young boys and girls who grew up in northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland (including myself), who battled during the 80s and still are battling to support their families through hard times while successive UK governments destroyed this country's manufacturing including mining, shipbuilding and steel industries. Allowing this woman onto your programme reinforces the widespread opinion that all Muslims believe the world owes them a living and embarrasses hard working Muslims.
Simon Thompson, Purfleet

RICHARD WATSON'S FILM ON TWO UK BASED ISLAMIST EXTREMISTS [01.08.05]

Ben Rich, Assistant Editor Newsnight: We understand that some viewers do not agree that this sort of material should be broadcast. In the end we consider the need to understand and report on matters took precedence over the revulsion people might feel on listening to such views being expressed.

We believe it is a legitimate part of our role to identify and debate current issues of extremism and how they should be addressed. Newsnight considered it important to explain who these people are, challenge their views, and debate whether the banning of such groups would be of help. The reporter Richard Watson was clear that these views are almost universally regarded as abhorrent, and challenged the two interviewees. Both people he interviewed were members of a perfectly legal organisation - indeed whether it should continue to be so was the issue.

In the debate which then followed, Bukhari Asghar was invited to discuss the issue of extremism. He condemns the London bombings but is known not to feel the same about suicide bombing in Israel. He is the official representative of a legal group which operates among the Muslim community here and argued against banning the group featured in Richard Watson's earlier report.

The issue is whether the BBC should specifically exclude anyone known to favour (or at least not to condemn) terrorist acts either here or elsewhere. We do not operate such a policy of exclusion. There are many things that people may find abhorrent, but it has never been a condition of appearing on the BBC that interviewees views must pass a test of, as it were, not agreeing with objectionable practices, or holding objectionable opinions.

In each individual case we have to weigh the importance of the issue being discussed, the relevance of the potential interviewee, and whether their views on matters not directly under discussion render them an inappropriate participant.

We understand this item annoyed some viewers but believe we are right to explore and debate these issues.

The showing on Monday of two very extreme individuals justifying and glorifying the horrific bombings in this country and elsewhere was deeply irresponsible. This report reinforces the perception that Muslims support such horrific criminal acts, and that Islam justifies terrorism. Please don't get swayed by cheap sensationalism.
Moadh Kheriji, London

The views of two men featured on Monday from an Islamic group will only add to the increasing backlash and hatred towards the Muslim community. These people do not care for anyone other than their own interests. While it is a fact that a certain number of people in this country have such views, and their goal is to be seen and heard by many people as possible, the large majority of Muslims completely disagree with their views and condemn the actions of such groups. These people clearly intend to incite hatred and they should not be given the glory by allowing them to use the media to spread hatred and create divisions amongst people.
A R Maqsood, Manchester

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SEE ALSO:
Your views: Global terror threat
04 Aug 05 |  Newsnight
Feedback - July 2005
15 Jul 05 |  Newsnight


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