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BBC News to let 12-strong audience panel choose what Brexit stories it covers for one day

BBC News will let 12 members of the public choose what Brexit stories it covers for one day.

A selected audience panel will steer Brexit news across shows including the Today programme, BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten this Friday.

Members of the public on the Brexit: Your Stories panel will work with programme editors and other BBC journalists, take part in editorial meetings and pitch ideas on what BBC News should cover.

The BBC has faced regular criticism from both the Remain and Leave sides of the Brexit divide that it is biased against them.

BBC News editorial director Kamal Ahmed said: “We really want the audience to be involved in the editorial decisions we make.

“We already have the very successful guest editors for the Today programme. This is a bigger version of that, where members of the public become the guest editors on one of the most important issues facing the country: Brexit.

“Our editorial panel is made up of a cross-section of Britain, with different political views and from different social and economic backgrounds. They represent the full range of public opinion.”

He added that the BBC would use a day of audience-selected Brexit coverage to “inform how we shape our news coverage in the future”.

BBC News said that a third party would select 12 people from “a variety of backgrounds and political points of view” to sit on the panel.

While the panel will have some control over BBC News Brexit coverage, it has been made clear that normal BBC guidelines and rules on impartiality under Ofcom would still apply.

A special audience phone-in session combining the Radio 5 Live show Your Call with the BBC News channel programme #BBCAskThis will be held at 9am as part of the Brexit: Your Stories day.

All panel guests would be paid a “small disturbance fee for their time”, the broadcaster said.

The BBC also announced earlier this month that it planned to have several “pop-up newsrooms” across the countries this year to understand what stories matter to people outside London.

Its first pop-up newsroom will be in Bradford, with stories from the region appearing on its national and regional outlets from 11 March to 15 March.

News website Huffington Post UK briefly moved its news team to a pop-up newsroom in Birmingham last year.

Picture: Reuters/Neil Hall

Comments

1 thought on “BBC News to let 12-strong audience panel choose what Brexit stories it covers for one day”

  1. The BBC pretending to be impartial!

    Is this a joke?

    It’s nice that the BBC recognises that its bias is making it increasingly irrelevant, but it needs total reform, breaking up into competing groups, not this sort of petty PR stunt. I can just imagine the lentil-infused, W1A style meeting in the Graham Norton Shrine conference room thta dreamt up this nonsense.

    Many are refusing to pay their licence tax – why should we pay to be socially re-engineered and be flooded with incessant Guardian-values output? Our licence is up at the end of the month, I am seriously considering joining the opt-out movement. There are other options…

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