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BBC News
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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 January, 2005, 13:03 GMT
BBC News: What is your pick of the year?
Clockwise from top left: Ken Bigley, George Bush, Father and child in Beslan, Greg Dyke

From Beslan to Basra, BBC News covered it all in 2004 - on TV, on radio and online.

Embedded correspondent Paul Wood filed his much-praised report on the US Marines in Falluja.

Other memorable stories included Yasser Arafat's funeral and the Boscastle floods.

These stories are among pieces chosen by BBC news chiefs as their pick of the crop from the last 12 months but now we'd like to find out what you think.

Did the BBC focus on the right stories? Was it fair in its reporting? Have you noticed any changes post-Hutton? Did we miss stories you would have liked to see?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Very good, objective coverage
Thushara, Surrey, UK
My story of the year would be the SE Asia tsunami tragedy. However, as a previous comment said, BBC news coverage was a little slow compared to others at the beginning, but eventually very good, objective coverage with reporters posted in many places.
Thushara, Surrey, UK

Until the recent events in Asia, it was the coverage of the Maryhill factory explosion in Glasgow. Overall, the BBC News website is first class and free of the irritating pop-ups that appear on Sky News.
Neil Small, Scotland

The Olympics. For me, they showed that even in the midst of difficulty and the universal brouhaha that is affecting the world at the moment, the world is still capable of coming together, united under a common goal and doing something as one. Especially nice was to see an Iraqi AND a Palestinian team present this year.
Michael, Birmingham

I just want to say Thank You... the BBC is the only news service to provide clear, well-read information. It is so heartening that the BBC respects the need to pronounce all nations' names and places correctly. Sadly deficit in North American reporting. As for the Hutton thing, nothing is perfect but at least Auntie Beeb tries very hard to be so. Well done!
Sandy, Sarnia, Ontario

Being invited to speak on BBC northwest on Michael Howard's visit to Burnley and noting how any pro-conservative comments I made didn't reach the public!
Geoffrey Sturdy, Nelson UK

I don't know how to choose between Beslan or the tsunami
Paul Roberts (American in the UK)
To those who see the BBC as being biased I would like to say what annoys you is the fact people get to see both sides. That isn't bias - it is just the cold light of day. BBC, I like what you do and you do it well. I like the facts, I like the opinions and I like the depth. Of all the stories you focused on I don't know how to choose between Beslan or the tsunami but please keep doing what you do.
Paul Roberts (American in the UK), London

The BBC had the guts to publish the fact that a handful of 9/11 hijackers were found alive and well when our own American media still has failed to touched the story. This alone has won my heart concerning the BBC. I only wish more of my fellow Americans turned to foreign news media instead of our censored sources.
Charlotte Schnook, Wisconsin USA

I think the biggest story would have been the occupation of Iraq following the long campaign of misinformation given to us by the USA and UK governments. Now, however, the tsunami wins (unless Bush starts World War 3 tomorrow to liberate us from the forces of nature)
Jack, Essex, UK

BBC is the best news channel I know in Europe. They certainly do better than anything France or Germany has to offer.
Marcel, Rumelange, Luxembourg

Perhaps Marcel doesn't realise that UK citizens are forced to provide the BBC with 2.5billion pa. With those resources it would be shameful were the BBC to be bettered.
Shay, UK

BBC, an unbiased news source? Please, there's no such thing
Chris, TX, USA
BBC, an unbiased news source? Please, there is no such thing. I'm sceptical of all my sources of news. However, as an American, I must admit, for International news I go to the BBC. For me, the biggest news is the recent tidal wave. But, I like the BBC to provide me with the international perspective on all news.
Chris, TX, USA

The BBC is not a perfect organisation but it is generally trustworthy, reliable and non-sensational, and I value it. The one thing I'd like to have seen more of is reporting on European news and political issues. We have an important referendum in the near future and need all the information we can get from non-political sources.
Lorraine, St Albans, UK

I like the way the BBC is almost always accused of being anti-something or pro-something as soon as someone hears news that doesn't fit in with their view of the world. If you guys are able to lift that kind of response, then keep it up! You're doing something right!
Jonathan, UK

If the postings here are any indication, this forum is a really transparent excuse for the BBC to pat itself on the back. How tacky!
Angelo Morata, Chicago, IL, USA

Nothing in American news can compare
Holly, Virginia, USA
I really appreciate the diverse and balanced coverage that BBC has put forth this past year. Nothing in American news can compare. Keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to 2005!
Holly, Virginia, USA

BBC news is absolutely marvellous; I rely on their reporting to ensure I know what is going on in the world not just where the American border ends. I believe the torture of Iraqis by the US soldiers was well handled and is my pick of the year.
Karen Jones, UK expat (exiled in DC USA)

The BBC has the most amount of information in the world. The links and ease of use of the web is second to none. There isn't another site that houses the ability to educate humans on global matters as well as the BBC. Thank You BBC!
Kevin, CA. USA

BBC and the news are almost like synonyms to me. Sometimes i say BBC when i actually meant to say News. Penetrating ... isn't it?
Manav Sharma, New Delhi, India

What about interviewing reporters and presenters about how they felt and coped while reporting on these horrific stories.
Donald, Aberdeen, UK
I lost faith in the quality of BBC news reporting after the Hutton inquiry. It's failed to stand up to the Government since then. The BBC is running scared. We need balanced reporting from the BBC and it always seems to stop reporting on major issues too soon. Why not report on Beslan 6 months later, or Madrid 6 months later. What about interviewing reporters and presenters about how they felt and coped while reporting on these horrific stories. We need the BBC, but we need it to report in an unbiased style. Perhaps start by pointing out the flaws in this Government. I'm not holding my breath though!
Donald, Aberdeen, UK

I feel that for the most part the BBC is fair and balanced and obliviously compared to others like ITV, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS etc it is the greatest editorial organization in the world by far.
Darryl Matheson, Elgin, Moray, UK

I like the way the BBC is almost always accused of being anti-something or pro-something as soon as someone hears news that doesn't fit in with their view of the world. If you guys are able to lift that kind of response, then keep it up! You're doing something right!
Jonathan, UK

I really appreciate the diverse and balanced coverage that BBC has put forth this past year. Nothing in American news can compare. Keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to 2005!
Holly, Virginia, USA

For TV visual impact, it would have to be Boscastle or Beslan. For web coverage, the Olympics, which were brilliantly covered by the website, although let down a bit by a drop in standards of TV coverage, particularly too many sports Celebes and not enough sports JOURNALISTS.
A Legge, Leeds, Uk

The coverage of the Iraqi debacle continues to excel. I will never forget your reporter being shot at by US forces while he was on the air. The Iraqi interpreter next to him being killed.
Ulme, Tallinn, Estonia

The story of the year must, unfortunately, be the tsunami catastrophe in Asia.
Colin Reid, Ickenham, UK
The story of the year must, unfortunately, be the tsunami catastrophe in Asia. The upcoming story for next year must be why China, Russia, the Arab and the Muslim countries are conspicuous by their governments' absence from the list of donors to the tsunami relief appeals. Colin Reid, Ickenham, UK

May we never forget Beslan. The pain at this time of year must be beyond anybody's wildest nightmare. The world cried for the families who suffered loss, this will never become yesterday's news. My heart and soul goes out to such brave people, living life for the sake of their lost loved ones, carrying with them a pain almost too intolerable to bear. You are not forgotten.
Paula, Essex, UK

During the US lead invasion in Iraq BBC broadcasts were totally absurd. They were holding the flag of the coalition. It was totally unexpected for the enormous numbers of Muslim viewers around the world.
Ashek Ahmmed, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

We watched last night's news special in silence - unheard of in our house
Lisa, Manchester, UK
I find BBC news, whilst informative, not exactly intellectually demanding. If I want hard line journalism and in depth reporting I have to go over to Channel 4. However, your coverage of the recent catastrophe in Asia has been second to none - we watched last night's News Special in silence - unheard of in our house.
Lisa, Manchester, UK

Thank god for the Beeb. Living in the USA, if you want to know what's going on in the world outside the US borders, then the BBC is the only way to go. The USA media only reports on stories outside the USA if they feel we are affected or have a vested interest. Pitiful. Thank you BBC!!!
Amanda Bradley, Edmonds, Washington,USA

If, as some claim, the BBC is a biased, anti-American leftwing media organization, I'd like them to show me one unbiased, not-so-hateful rightwing media organization. There aren't any.
Pradeep Navaratnam, Ontario, Canada

I now know a bit of German and Spanish. Thanks BBC !
Kaushik, Mangalore, India

Since going away to University, and being without a TV (but with a high speed internet connection) the BBC news website has done a fantastic job of keeping me up to date with the world. Praise also to Radio 4 and Today, for waking me up nice and slowly, and pushing current events into my sleepy brain. My news highlight of the year? Watching the first presidential debate at 3 in the morning with my American flatmates.
Tom, Norwich, UK

BBC news was slow in coming and absolute rubbish compared to SKY
Mick Gill, London, UK
I was watching the latest tragic events as they were unfolding in Asia. I was switching back and forth watching BBC news 24 and Sky news and I have to honestly admit that BBC news was slow in coming and absolute rubbish compared to SKY. ... Sky news is free as well! Sky news had pictures and videos as it was happening. You can go on singing your own praises and convincing people in the undeveloped countries with poor infrastructure what a great marvel you are ...but we know you're just a waste of public money.
Mick Gill, London, UK

My BBC pick of the year? When the head of the BBC was forced to resign in disgrace after the BBC was found to have lied about PM Blair supposedly "sexing up the intelligence," regarding the Iraq war.
Ed, Chicago, Illinois, United States

Hutton or post Hutton, the BBC remains the finest news organisation in the world. The BBC is truly unbiased, and I believe that the BBC is generations ahead of the other major news networks around the world. All the best!
Karthik Dinakar, Bangalore, India

America, Age of Empire was about as oblique and obtuse a presentation of any subject as I have ever heard. I'll pick that as a new low for BBC.
Mark, USA

Feels the heartbeat of the people of the British Commonwealth
Harshana Somapriya, Sri Lanka

The BBC is the only international news agency which feels the heartbeat of the people of the British Commonwealth.
Harshana Somapriya, Sri Lanka

The very convincing evidence in support of the BBC is the range of attacks on its impartiality i.e. from extreme left through to the extreme right. It fails badly, however, when criticised for its part in making the news. I have in mind how quickly the remarks of the Chief of Defence Staff were buried when he said the media had responsibility in the deaths of five members of the Black Watch. The same reason that this and my other memos on this topic, and those of other correspondents, never see the printed page.
J Westerman., Leeds. UK

BBC. the (B)est, (B)eyond compare, the most (C)comprehensive network in the world. I can not explain in words how excellent your coverage is of each and every event.
Hardik Desai, London, UK

If you want to know how good the BBC is, just try watching the appalling CNN
Anthony Merryweather, Windlesham, UK

The BBC is the definately the best mainstream media organization. However, it is still too far from being totally independent from government and corporate power. Self censorship is still an issue in the BBC and I wonder if this thread is not right now being censured. If it is not, this post should be published.
Antonio Sanchez, London, UK

I think the BBC fairly represents the richness of British society, culture and values overseas
Ray Grikstas, USA (ex. Scotland)
Is the BBC's reporting fair? Everyone has their own definition of what "fair" means and the Beeb helps us appreciate each other's definitions. I don't know of any other organization - on this planet - that has both the will and the ability to do this. I think the BBC fairly represents the richness of British society, culture and values overseas.
Ray Grikstas, USA (ex. Scotland)

Thank You BBC, You Rock!! Truly the innovator of World News!! No one can even come close.
Carol, NJ, USA

The most toughest, saddest, and memorable story was the terrorist attack in Beslan, Russia. Terrorists are animals, no discrimination when they kill and instead they will be punished severely, if not by man, but by divine intervention. BBC did an exceptional job to bring us the reality of what terrorism does, and WHY we need to stop it NOW.
Mark Soni, Waldorf, MD USA

Thank you for another 365 days of keeping me in the loop
Matt Robinson, Halesowen
People need to realise the how impossible it is to cover all aspects of world news. The BBC continues to prove that the near impossible is just as acceptable. Thank you for another 365 days of keeping me in the loop and I wish you many more to come.
Matt Robinson, Halesowen

The world wide disaster of Bush being re-elected.
T.Gill, UK.

BBC is the best Newschannel I know in Europe. You certainly do better than everything France or Germany has to offer.
Marcel, Rumelange, Luxembourg

I found your coverage of the UN Oil for Food corruption to be to little to late. You still are not investigating the many nuances involved.
Eric, Berkley MI USA

The BBC has stood firm on many issues, and has on the whole avoided any bias more easily associated with its competitors. Despite increasing pressure to conform on many issues the BBC has respectably reported with clarity and resolve. One small suggestion is the need for the BBC to follow up on its stories and issues and not just pay attention to breaking news.
David Jones, Brighton, UK

BBC News gets more robotic and controlled every year
James, London , UK
BBC News gets more robotic and controlled every year with no regard for possible alternative points of view about 9/11, the 'insurgency' in Iraq- only ever the official view, but them what can you expect from the bastion of 'officialdom'?
James, London, UK

Only second to Al-Jazeera. I appreciated the documentary style coverage of Islam.
Ali, Sidi Hajjaj, Morocco

My BBC pick of the year? Easy choice. The Talking Point section!
TM, Virginia, USA

The siege at Beslan. I will take the images of those three days to my grave. Thanks BBC for telling the truth and for your reporters who daily risk their lives so that we know what is going on. Keep asking the questions and searching for the answers.
Christopher Linthwaite, Beverley England

I've been using this site now for a few years, and I have to say, it's simply the best. All the awards you already received... they were deserved! Besides that, it's also good to read stories about my own country, which tell me how others think about my country and the problems it has... thanks and keep up the good work!
Senno During, The Netherlands

The BBC have too many left wing views and are too politically correct, after the Hutton report
Wayne, England
Disgraceful! The BBC have too many left wing views and are too politically correct, after the Hutton report, and the way they broadcast, I would never watch these clowns again!
Wayne, England

This is what makes England unique despite the bad weather and rubbish food!! I particularly appreciate Radio four which I have been listening to since I was 15 and I am in my mid 40's now!! The breakfast programme in particular because they take no prisoners!! Well done BBC!! May you long continue what you do so well.
Ola, London, England

Excellent unbiased, thoughtful coverage of truly major issues, things that are portrayed as major issues by vested interests and bold investigative reporting. BBC News 24, Radio 4 news and BBC News online must be unrivalled in the world as a genuine news source. The "competition" comes nowhere close. Of course Government and commercial companies want to get rid of the licence fee - which is precisely the reason to continue to pay it.
Edwood, Malvern UK

I followed the coverage of Ukraine votes, and Yukos, and I feel there were incredible gaps in information.
Tanya, Kaliningrad, Russia

I have followed BBC on SW most of my adult life
Salim Sachedina, Toronto, Canada
BBC is the world's most balanced media. I have followed BBC on SW most of my adult life. To me BBC is as reliable today as it was when one morning in 1963 or 1964, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, I got up amid sounds of distant gun fire and did not know if I should go out to work. Not everybody had telephones; the local radio was "dead". I turned on the radio at 7:00AM (Tanzania time) for BBC World News. And there it was - there was an army coup in Tanganyika. Need I say any more?
Salim Sachedina, Toronto, Canada

The most important event of the year is the modern Guernica; the destruction of Falluja. The BBC coverage and analysis was no better or worse than the rest of the press; economical with the truth. Still, BBC now is far better than what Murdoch would do when he takes over the corporation.
Dr Yousef Abdulla, Orpington, UK

I don't know what you did best, you do everything so well. I grew up in England and so am very familiar with BBC and especially the sterling job it did during WW2. I read the BBC page every day. Keep up the standards and never let yourselves become "privatised", that would be the ultimate disaster.
Peter Dewsnap, Conway, SC, USA

I would have to go with the heady publicity given to Dr. Wanagari Maathai; here, in the US, this momentous event of a pioneering African woman Nobel Peace Prize laureate was accorded nothing more than just a passing mention.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Bronx, New York

Your work sets a high standard and pursues the facts. Keep up the good work and uphold a high regard for the truth. Too many networks are turning their journalists and reporters into "Opinion show host!"
Paul, Gainesville, FL, USA

Two things about the BBC. First, reduce your coverage of the US, and focus more on the rest of the world. Secondly, please try to include more domestic (UK) political programs in your BBC America channel, and less of those childish comedies. I wish the BBC would be a little bit more balanced in its reporting, present both sides of the argument and try to hold what seems to be anti-American sentiments to ethical limits, e.g coverage of the Argentina Kyoto summit, or the War in Iraq. From an American point of views, your reporting portrays global politics as America vs. the rest of the world. .
Ife Ebenuwa, Urbana Illinois USA

Embracing objectivity by shunning the many prejudices we all carry
Arshad Anis, Karachi, Pakistan
Over the years I have come to the conclusion that of the many English language channels that I have watched, BBC happens to broadcast its news and other programs with the least bias and with the fairness and balance that others only propound but don't actually practice. I wish the media in general and the individual journalists in particular realize what a difference they can make to this world by being total professionals and thus embracing objectivity by shunning the many prejudices we all carry.
Arshad Anis, Karachi, Pakistan.

The coverage of the Beslan tragedy was sensitive, poignant and accurate.
Rick Hough, Knutsford, Cheshire, UK

The greatest gift BBC has given me is the chance to speak about Nepal on the Talking Point.
Suraj Chhetri, Kathmandu, Nepal

Kilroy-Silk on Question Time. Please continue to give him the opportunity to embarrass himself so successfully.
Dean, Bristol, UK

Please ignore my fellow Americans and their prattling about anti-Americanism. The right-wing media over here has convinced people that ANY news that casts the slightest shadow on the current administration is automatically anti-American. This, of course, is nonsense. Americans have been trained to believe that they should NEVER hear bad news, and when they do it reflects bias. That said, I think the biggest story of the year is the continuing crisis in Darfur.
Scott, Columbus, USA

I became a fan of the BBC after the coverage of the Bosnian War especially by a correspondent by name Martin Bell. His fearless, frank and direct style of reporting greatly appealed to me. As for the current year the programme I liked most was The Power of Nightmares, The Shadows in the Cave.
R.Venugopal, Delhi

The stories you missed or stopped reporting too early are too numerous to mention however the BBCs complete lack of high profile reporting of the post US Presidential election court cases challenging many of the counts in that election has been appalling. One fraternity member conceded an election to a fellow fraternity member and the BBC accepted it and moved on. Compare the coverage of the Ukraine elections.
Mick, Leeds, UK

BBC your news programmes have gone down the sink, often patronising, mostly immature as though they are produced for toddlers and the under tens. Newsnight fell apart a long time ago. You really need a more upbeat style.
Jo Green, Hove

It was impossible for anyone to be unmoved by the plight of the hostages in Iraq and their wider effects
Stuart, UK
It was impossible for anyone to be unmoved by the plight of the hostages in Iraq and their wider effects. To say the BBC reporting is biased misses the point entirely. The BBC are accused of left and right wing bias by people who would only be happy if their own extreme views were reflected by the Beeb's news reporting. Good honest news reporting is an essential for a civilised and healthy society. It reminds the corrupt, immoral, incompetent and despotic that the world is watching. Keep it up.
Stuart, UK

The most delicious story was Hutton where we watched the BBC report that its own Director General had been given the boot, especially after weeks of accusing the Government of falsely inserting spin into Intelligence documents. The accuser became the accused. Still, the BBC is much better off now and I hope they can carry on being the best news source in the world. Let's hope for more balance of opinions so we can make up our own minds on the contentious issues.
Tim H, UK

Great comments from your fans. It is interesting that there seems to be an awful lot of non-licence payers making comments. I don't think they realise that BBC news is the most expensive in the world with a vast number of staff. Who else has web site like it. As far as reporting is concerned, I notice that nobody seems to decry the lack of precise use of words in reports. For example the use of words such as "agony" when someone is distressed. I could go on and on but the whole tenor of reports is distorted by the subtle use of hype. I agree that there is general high standards despite the left wing bias of lots of reports.
Basil Smith, Fleet England

I have been reading the stories regarding music downloading with interest over the past year, learning (and then trying out) many of the newly formed legitimate sites - most of which wouldn't have had anywhere near enough coverage without the help from new sites such as this. I also enjoy the articles in the Magazine section. A little more in-depth, different and through provoking. Superb work!
Paul O, Rotherham, UK

I just love BBC World! A thanks to the folks who stay up in London for bring me the news in Mexico.
Marc, Mexico

I think your coverage this year has been superb. However, from a personal perspective I would like to see more articles like "Madrid - 3 months on" just to see how the people are coping in the aftermath of such terrible situations
Edward Lyne, London, UK

I appreciate the BBC news and read it a good bit. I feel you have an anti-Christian bias because any time I or any of my friends mention the Bible in reference to anything you do not print it. Since 69% of Americans use the Bible as a guideline in all moral issues you are shutting the comments of a majority of Americans out. Is that fair?
Dennis, Joppa , Al. USA

The knowledge from your reporting around the world is phenomenal
Weldon Hosten, St. Georges Grenada
I have been a news Junkie for most of my 33 years and I have never managed to get more accurate unbiased reporting from any other news source other than the BBC. I listen and I watch your broadcasting and reporting and compare it with several different news groups around the world and sometime the difference are so great that I often ask myself if they're reporting on the same story. You are not just a source of news but the knowledge from your reporting around the world is phenomenal. You have made parts and people of the world unknowing to most of us known to us. You are truly a pioneer.
Weldon Hosten, St. Georges Grenada

I like the BBC because it does not tell me what to think. It just reports the news and does not go on constantly about Jennifer Lopez and Catherine-Zeta-Jones.
Neil, Sacramento, California USA

I personally think that your criticisms of Bush have not gone far enough at times! Actions such as Kyoto show this man up for what he really is.
James Young, London, UK

Like so many other expats I find the BBC news website invaluable. I've accessed it on tropical Thai Islands, in Scandinavian winters and even wirelessly on an Australian beach. The non football sporting coverage could be improved considerably mind you. PS What happened to the max/min climate averages history for all over the world that you used to be able to get via the weather section? It's gone!
Alex, UK

Massively disappointed by the BBC's complete lack of fencing coverage at the Olympics
Tom Franklin, London, UK
Most memorable are my fits of laughter when listening to Jack Straw on Radio 4 claiming there were WMD and dodging questions on the Today programme. Have never heard such piffle in all my life. Massively disappointed by the BBC's complete lack of fencing coverage at the Olympics and shall remember checking every day wondering how they could leave out this incredible sport altogether. Shameful.
Tom Franklin, London, UK

The reporting for the Asia/Pacific region could be improved on. The quality is good, there's just not enough of it. I thought the coverage of Margaret Hassan's kidnapping and eventual death was very sensitively done under what must have been very trying circumstances for everyone.
Alex, UK

I liked the Bhopal hoax, how the BBC fell for it, and the hid a correction away on its site so no one would notice.
Tony, UK

Since the BBC is funded by the British public, I think it would be an excellent show of good faith for it to poll and publish the opinions of its writers and journalists. When the results come back as showing that the BBC is run by a group of people who are 85% on the left of the political spectrum, then we can begin to have a true conversation on objectivity and opinion and how this impacts reporting and the shaping of opinion. But unlike American political journals like Slate.com, you'll never do that. It really is a shame because the BBC is great institution that I, an American, turn to every day. You could just be so much better.
Sean, California, USA

The sad death of Alistair Cooke and his incomparable articles was a great loss
Martin, England

From Our Own Correspondent continues to be a must read for me. The sad death of Alistair Cooke and his incomparable articles was a great loss.
Martin, England

My great thanks go to the BBC Africa Live moderators and staff for having made it possible for us to discuss matters affecting the world, more so Africa. BBC handles quite a dish full, but on the average, you are simply the best of all radio stations. In Zambia we have become so addicted to BBC that our own media seems such a bore and waste of time to say the least. As for being biased, well, when one is used to more bias in their own country, it is very difficult to notice it at BBC. Thanks a lot you British folks for teaching me how to read, write and speak your language.
Shuttie Florence Namakau Libuta, Kitwe, Zambia

The most likeable and fascinating among your features would surely be the In Pictures section. Images from around the world from common people, of the common man's life - it reminds me that despite all the terrorism and other fears, life in most parts of the world is going on as usual. No matter who is pictured, their expressions in the face are something everybody can relate to.
Viswanath, Denver, USA

Your coverage of the Mars landings was second to none!
Andy, Toronto/London

I wish the BBC would report more on progress being made in a lot of areas around the world and less on what is wrong with the world. And lose the anti-American tone. It is not becoming of you and shows that you too have blinders on in a lot of ways.
Todd, Virginia, USA

I think the fact that left-wingers think the BBC is right wing and right-wingers think it is left wing is a perfect illustration that the BBC has got the balance right. Don't worry BBC - those of us who think before spouting dogma know what a difficult job you do and how well you do it.
Katherine, London, UK

2004 has been a very hard year for Madrid's citizens. The terrorism struck with force. I would like to remember all the victims and to wish everyone a new year without pain nor death.
Jorge Sanz Garcia, Almazan, Spain

The only thing I wasn't happy with was coverage of anything to do with the BNP party
Cath Davis, Leigh, England

I love the BBC and have this website permanently open on my browser. On the whole I thought your coverage was excellent. The only thing I wasn't happy with was coverage of anything to do with the BNP party. Every time a significant result was obtained by them you seemed to follow it with comments about how disgraceful it was and how they were racist etc.

You did not do the same after coverage of other political parties, all of whom have their own faults, and I felt it was not your place to constantly pass judgement. There were no reports of vote rigging so any support the BNP got was obviously the will of the people who voted for them. Apart from that, a big well done and please don't ever let the government disband you or anything as I'd be totally lost with out you!
Cath Davis, Leigh, England

I absolutely love your science and technology articles. Your world reporting shows a lot of bias though. If all I read was BBC, I might think that Israel and Iraq were the only countries in the Middle East.
Joe, Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA

My news high-point of the year was seeing President Bush get re-elected with an increased majority despite the mainstream media [BBC included] having spent the entire period saying Kerry was going to win and continually boosting him in reports, interviews etc. This just shows how out-of-touch with the real world the media have become.
David Moran, Scotland/Australia

I quite often find that BBC journalism has far too much bias. For a service that I am taxed for via TV licence, I expect a more impartial viewpoint and less speculation regarding news. Should I wish to subscribe to a particular political ideology, then I shall buy the appropriate journal/newspaper.
Stuart, UK

The reporting of the incarceration and sad death of Ken Bigley. One death among many, but it brought home the whole cruelness and stupidity of the war in Iraq. The belief in absurdity that will always precedes atrocity.
Mike, Ipswich, UK

Abu Ghraib photos are the pick of the year for reminding us of the inhumanity of war. It's worth remembering the issue of morality here.
Jack, Essex

My bet would surely be the one in which the UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan was calling the war in Iraq illegal. It was bold, straight forward and timely.
Ganesan T Kannuchamy, London, UK

All I got from your coverage in 2004 is high blood pressure
Peter C Kohler, Washington

The BBC continues to disappoint. Your coverage and indeed your entire organisation is institutionally and culturally biased. There are simply no other points of view present in your coverage or among your employees except left-wing, anti-West, anti-American. All I got from your coverage in 2004 is high blood pressure. But it saved me an overseas subscription to the Guardian.
Peter C Kohler, Washington, DC, USA

Peter C Kohler, Washington, DC, USA: For your information the BBC was criticised by all objective commentators as being too pro-American and it's constant unquestioning reference to the oxymoron, "war on terrorism" proves the point quite neatly. I wish people would learn the difference between "critical of" and "biased against". They are not the same thing!
Chazza, Edinburgh, Scotland

Your excellent coverage of the Iraq war. If you are giving American readers high blood pressure then you are doing the right thing! Keep up the good reporting.
Cameron, UK

I used to divide my news time 50/50 between CNN and BBC. But now I look to BBC 100% of the time since I no longer believe the American news institutions are capable of standing up to this administration.
Neil, Switzerland

Of all the events that happened in a year I would like to mention the kidnapping and killing of Enzo Baldoni - Italian news reporter, man of peace and volunteer with humanitarian organisations, who was working in Iraq as a war reporter to tell about the other side of the war, the suffering of the innocent and the daily struggle of the Iraqi people to cope with war and destruction. He was killed by the same capturers who freed the two French journalists a few days ago and at the end of this very sad year I would like to remember him and the mark he left on so many of us.
Clara, Monza, Italy

The one thing in my mind that stands out is the diary of Ivan Noble. Whenever news refers to incidents or world news they are all referred to as stories, still a little detached from our reality, so we tend to look at them objectively. Ivan and his ongoing battle with cancer is a lot closer to home, and we can ALL empathise and sympathise with what he and his loved ones go through as most of us know and love someone who is fighting that battle too. It allows us to take real perspective and understand, whereas news "stories" only inform. It also allows people to get together and share their strength, and no other thing on the BBC website has allowed everyone to become united over one issue. Now if the rest of the world could unite over world issues as well as have people banded together to offer their support, strength, love and prayers to Ivan and his family, then the world would be an infinitely better place for all.
Craig N, Leicester, UK

In my opinion BBC has had the right story coverage. I did not see any major shift after Hutton - except for the cautiousness in the first weeks. I am happy about that since I consider Hutton to have been a plain whitewash and it should not have influenced the BBC at all. I missed more programs and discussions about environment and energy supply alternatives for the future. This is a serious discussion for preparing next generations to reality. All forums have to be used to make people understand the options.
Mikko Toivonen, Helsinki, Finland

One British institution which is still greatly respected by people from all walks of life and race, is the BBC. It is definitely a people's channel - depicting the true feelings of the general public involved in its stories and at the same time trying hard not be biased. Being a foreigner, I am greatly impressed by the interest shown by BBC editors (not just the BBC World service) on the issues happening faraway from Britain. This, I'm sure tries to make the British public more aware of the sufferings borne by fellow humans across the world. I salute this great institution.
Dr K Karuppasamy, Liverpool, United Kingdom

It would be nice to not be so anti-American when reporting news. You never report the good things happening in Iraq. Believe me, there are plenty of stories there.
Barbara, New York, USA

I feel that the government must be exerting manipulative control over the BBC. Ever since the scandal surrounding the sad and suspicious death of Dr David Kelly and the knee-jerk repercussions at the BBC, it appears that the BBC has lost its "reporting bite" whenever issues arise relating to Tony Blair's government.
Jock, London, England

In my opinion the BBC has always done a fair job of reporting the news and through radio, television and the Internet provides a very good service. One job it has and should always have is to report on the news - whether this helps or hinders those in Government should not be part of the equation! News is news. The BBC is not there to position government spin.
Clive, Woking, UK

Overall I think BBC does a great job. There were some stories I would have liked to see a little better covered this last year, but I won't mention those because, overall, you have done fine work! The BBC News site is one I check every day and sometimes it carries stories American news will not.
David, Portland, USA

I love the BBC - it gives in detail an analysis of what's going on and discusses issues rather than report its own. Well done BBC. The BBC is one of the best news services around the world, do all you can to stay there. Big well done to all the staff, it's not the management - it's you guys who make it what it is.
John Ritchie, Edinburgh, UK




SEE ALSO:
Best of BBC News 2004
22 Dec 04 |  About BBC News



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