The BBC has responded to complaints that it provided “insufficient coverage” of political journalists’ walkout from Downing Street last week.
Journalists in the Lobby, the group of political reporters based at Westminster, staged a walkout on Monday last week after Number 10 attempted to brief a select group of them on EU trade deal plans.
- May 13, 2021
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BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg (pictured) was among those journalists invited to the briefing who walked out in solidarity when their uninvited peers were asked to leave.
But the BBC’s coverage of the incident was criticised as being “insufficient” by critics who wrote in to complain.
The BBC would not confirm how many complaints it has received over the issue, but posted a response on Friday on the section of its website dedicated to its “public responses to significant complaints of wide audience concern”.
The corporation said: “Inevitably there will be disagreements about the level of coverage a certain story may receive.
“We appreciate that our audience may have wanted coverage of this story of the journalists’ boycott of a Downing Street briefing earlier in the week.
“However this story has since been discussed on our Political and News programming, such as Politics Live and In Short on BBC 5 Live.”
The story was also covered by BBC Two’s Newsnight, Radio 1 Newsbeat, Radio 4 programmes such as PM and the Media Show, and other Radio 5 Live shows such as The Emma Barnett Show.
However it was not reported on the BBC One evening news bulletins.
There was also criticism of the BBC’s online coverage. The incident does not appear to have been reported on the BBC News website until the day after it happened, when it was addressed by MPs in the House of Commons.
A story by Newsbeat’s political editor published a further day later asked: “Is the Government avoiding the media and does it even matter?”
A number of national newspapers covered the incident, including those whose reporters had been barred. The story the i splash last Tuesday and appeared on the front pages of the Times and the Guardian.
Picture: BBC News