News-Watch Reports

News-watch Survey – The Nationality and Borders Bill

News-watch monitored the 18 hours of original programming broadcast by GB News between 6am and midnight on 6 July 2021 and compared its coverage of the government’s Nationality and Borders Bill on eleven of the BBC’s main television and radio programmes, along with the BBC News Channel, amounting to 27 hours and 10 minutes of BBC airtime.

The survey set out to assess whether the BBC was meeting its public purpose obligation to provide ‘a range and depth of analysis and content not widely available from other United Kingdom news providers.’

News-watch Survey of BBC Ideas – April 2021

In October 2020 Newswatch began reviewing, cataloguing and fully transcribing all content published online by BBC Ideas. By the surveys end, on the third anniversary of the services launch, 11 January 2021, this amounted to 599 individual films with a combined running time of 37 hours 13minutes, generating over 371,000 words of transcription.

News-watch Survey – Summer 2020

News-watch monitored ten BBC news and current affairs programmes for eight days, from Monday 6 July 2020 to the launch of the government’s ‘The UK’s New Start: Let’s Get Going’ campaign on Monday 13 July. The BBC Radio 4 broadcasts in the survey were: Today; The World at One (including The World This Weekend on Sunday); PM; The Six O’Clock News; and The World Tonight. The television programmes comprised the main BBC1 bulletins (News at One, News at Six and News at Ten and the Weekend News); BBC 2’s Newsnight; and three daily editions of Newsround on the CBBC channel.

General Election Report – December 2019

News-watch monitored Radio 4’s Today programme in full from the dissolution of Parliament on Wednesday 6 November until the eve of polling on Wednesday 11 December 2019, an interval of five weeks and one day.  This coincided with the period in which the BBC’s Election Guidelines were in effect, applicable to all the Corporation’s outlets, which set out its obligation to ensure that political parties are covered ‘proportionately’ during the campaign.


European Election Survey – Summer 2019

News-watch monitored all editions of Today over a seven week interval, starting on the day campaigning for the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections began, Friday 12 April 2019 and culminating on Thursday 30 May 2019, a week after the UK vote. The 42 consecutive editions of Today were recorded and listened to in full, and a detailed running log was compiled of all the items broadcast. Each was timed and categorised by theme, and all sequences relating to the EU, the European Parliamentary Elections or Brexit were fully transcribed, generating almost 333,000 words of text.

News-watch Survey – The ‘Meaningful Vote’, January 2019

News-watch monitored and logged three complete editions of Today between 14 and 16 January, to coincide with the ‘meaningful vote’ scheduled in the House of Commons on the evening of 15 January. All reports pertaining to Brexit, the European Union and its relationship with the UK, or the ‘meaningful vote’ on Theresa May’s Brexit deal were full transcribed.

News-watch Survey – Salzburg and Brussels European Councils, Autumn 2018

News-watch monitored and logged every edition of Today between 17 September and 20 October, a period of five weeks or 30 editions.  Detailed monitoring was undertaken for the weeks of the European Council meeting in Salzburg (17-22 September) and the Informal Meeting of Heads of State and Government in Brussels (15-20 October). This involved the full transcription of all reports pertaining to Brexit or the UK’s relationship with the European Union, as well as the analysis of these transcripts both quantitatively and qualitatively.