BBC will encourage public to control its Brexit coverage
PUBLISHED: 07:45 26 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:38 26 February 2019
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The BBC says it will allow its Brexit coverage to be controlled by the British public amid criticism of the way the corporation has reported the UK’s departure from the EU.
The broadcaster will turn their editorial power over to a selected cross-section of the British public to broaden, demystify and democratise Brexit coverage.
The corporation said it does not want its newsrooms to be seen as places of media control and conspiracy cut off from the knowledge of the British people.
As the date the UK is due to leave the EU approaches, the BBC will involve a “carefully selected” panel with different social backgrounds and political convictions to control content for a day of Brexit reporting.
The panel will work with editorial staff to shape the BBC’s Brexit coverage across the whole of March 1st.
Editorial director of BBC News, Kamal Ahmed, said: “We really want the audience to be involved in the editorial decisions we make.
“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.
“It’s important our coverage reflects how Britain really feels about Brexit, and what better way to achieve this than to let our audiences be part of the reporting process?
“Not only will it be a very different and thought-provoking way of reporting the news that day, but it will help inform how we shape our news coverage in the future.
“We want our news rooms across the UK to be less a set of secret castles where, to the public, mysterious things happen.
“We want to open up the process and this first day is just the start.”
The panel will offer their own questions and ideas for journalists, editors and correspondents from the first morning coverage to the final reports of the day.
Brexit: Your Stories will allow the public to shape the output of the Today programme, the major Six and 10 news bulletins, the News Channel and BBC Breakfast.
The day will also include phone-ins and make use of audience opinion throughout.
The BBC has said the scheme is part of the broadcaster’s commitment to making Brexit understandable, alongside Reality Check and Brexit Jargon Buster.
The corporation’s coverage of Brexit has been criticised by both sides of the referendum debate, but there has been particular disappointment from the pro-Remain side.
Politicians have complained that Today presenter John Humphrys has failed to appear impartial when presenting the flagship Radio 4 show, while there were accusations Newsnight used an actor to speak to garner support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
TNE revealed last month that some Remain campaigners have been blacklisted from appearing on television and radio.
Away from news programmes the BBC even went as far as banning European flags at a Eurovision event.