Royal Baby: BBC Responds to Criticism of Coverage

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LONDON - The BBC on Wednesday responded to criticism of its royal baby coverage.

As reported, the U.K. public broadcaster had received several hundred viewer complaints, mostly focused on its "excessive" coverage.

"We received complaints from some viewers who feel there has been too much coverage of the royal baby story and also from some who feel that the coverage has been biased in favor of the monarchy," the BBC said. "Over the past few days the birth of the royal baby has been a lead story for BBC News, but our editors have taken care that other stories have been covered too."

It also said: "We know from our audience figures that our coverage of the royal baby has been extremely popular -- Monday was the biggest global day and second biggest U.K. day ever for BBC News online with 19.4 million unique browsers globally and 10.8 million from the U.K."

Concluded the broadcaster: "We are satisfied that our audiences had both the best coverage of a major historical event -- the birth of a new heir to the throne -- as well as options to view other news across BBC output as a whole."

The British public broadcaster also argued that continuing baby coverage on the BBC News channel made sense because it "is a service, which focuses on big events and occasions, and new viewers join all the time." But the network "also ran a range of other news and most of its scheduled sport bulletins," the BBC added.

"There have been a wide range of stories across the rest of our output, too," the broadcaster highlighted, citing news about a mortgage scheme, the Pope's visit to Brazil, British cyclist Chris Froome's win in the Tour de France and others.

For example, viewers of flagship channel BBC One "were offered full News at Six and News at Ten" newscasts Monday and Tuesday "with a wide range of stories," the BBC said.

Addressing concerns that the BBC defended the monarchy, the broadcaster argued that it has been "careful to feature a range of contributors and opinions across our coverage, including those who do not support the monarchy or the attention this event has received."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

 

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