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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 17:44 GMT
Welcome to NewsWatch
By Matt Holder
Editor, BBC NewsWatch website

BBC Television Centre
NewsWatch aims to raise the curtain on BBC News, based at Television Centre in London

Every year the BBC broadcasts about 35,000 hours of network news and current affairs programmes on TV and radio and 100,000 stories on the internet and its digital platforms.

So it's no surprise that, occasionally, it gets things wrong.

When it does, NewsWatch - the new feedback and accountability site for BBC News - aims to be honest about it.

As part of the response to the Neil Report, NewsWatch's goal is to build on the already impressive relationship BBC News has with its audiences.

It also aims to deal with your complaints and suggestions more efficiently.

The new, easy-to-use feedback system enables you to contact every news programme directly with your concerns.

Notes and corrections

NewsWatch will publish all mistakes of a serious nature across the BBC's platforms - TV, radio and on the web - and try to explain what happened.

Truth and accuracy
Serving the Public Interest
Impartiality and Diversity of Opinion

It will also explain how and why BBC News makes the decisions it does.

From the use of disturbing pictures to the reporting of "terrorism", editors and their bosses will try to show the dilemmas they face in reaching their decisions

Well-known presenters such as John Humphrys will answer criticism that they interrupt too much while Six O'Clock News editor Amanda Farnsworth counters claims that BBC News is "doom-laden".

BBC News is committed to becoming "the most accountable news organisation in the world". It knows this website will be monitored.

While not independent of BBC News, NewsWatch has a mandate to encourage programmes to be open about their mistakes or, alternatively, explain why they feel they were right even in the face of criticism.

As Head of BBC News Helen Boaden says: "Audiences are at the heart of BBC News, which strives to report what matters in the UK and around the world with independence and impartiality."

Hutton Inquiry

NewsWatch is part of an initiative to make BBC News more accountable after the Hutton Inquiry.

BBC deputy director-general Mark Byford
The BBC is owned by all of the licence fee payers across the United Kingdom and we think that we need to do better
Mark Byford

Running alongside the website is a programme of the same name.

The website acts as a gateway to the NewsWatch programme, presented by media expert Raymond Snoddy and broadcast on BBC News 24 on Fridays and BBC One on Saturdays.

At the same time, BBC Deputy Director-General Mark Byford - who leads all the BBC's journalism - has launched a new complaints procedure for the entire BBC.

He told the NewsWatch programme: "The BBC is owned by all of the licence fee payers across the United Kingdom and we think that we need to do better."

All complaints were taken seriously and, where justified, the BBC would apologise.

Even when the BBC felt the complaint was wrong, Mr Byford added, "it is our responsibility to explain why".

The new process, with a dedicated complaints website, will be up and running early next year.

About BBC News

NewsWatch also features all of the best bits of About BBC News, the previous news information site it is replacing.

You can find out all about your favourite presenters and correspondents, take a behind-the-scenes look at Television Centre, and dip into an interactive history of the BBC.

NewsWatch also aims to enhance these current services and add to them in the coming months.

Contact us
For questions, comments, suggestions and complaints select from the following services:


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