BBC News

BBC News is an operational business division[1] of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online news coverage.[2][3] The service maintains 50 foreign news bureaus with more than 250 correspondents around the world.[4] Fran Unsworth has been Director of News and Current Affairs since January 2018.[5][6]

The department's annual budget is in excess of £350 million; it has 3,500 staff, 2,000 of whom are journalists.[2] BBC News' domestic, global and online news divisions are housed within the largest live newsroom in Europe, in Broadcasting House in central London. Parliamentary coverage is produced and broadcast from studios in Millbank in London. Through the BBC English Regions, the BBC also has regional centres across England, as well as national news centres in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. All nations and English regions produce their own local news programmes and other current affairs and sport programmes.

The BBC is a quasi-autonomous corporation authorised by Royal Charter, making it operationally independent of the government, who have no power to appoint or dismiss its director-general, and required to report impartially. As with all major media outlets it has been accused of political bias from across the political spectrum, both within the UK and abroad.

BBC News
BBC department
IndustryBroadcast media
HeadquartersBBC Television Centre (1969–2013)
Broadcasting House (2012–), ,
Area served
Specific services for United Kingdom and rest of world
Key people
Fran Unsworth (Director of News & Current Affairs)
Mary Hockaday (Head of Newsroom)
Huw Edwards (Chief Presenter)
ServicesRadio, internet, and television broadcasts
OwnerBBC
Number of employees
3,500 (2,000 are journalists)
WebsiteBBC News

History

Early years

This is London calling – 2LO calling. Here is the first general news bulletin, copyright by Reuters, Press Association, Exchange Telegraph and Central News.
— BBC news programme opening during the 1920s[7]

The British Broadcasting Company broadcast its first radio bulletin from radio station.2LO In 14 November 1922.[8] Wishing to avoid competition, newspaper publishers persuaded the government to ban the BBC from broadcasting news before 7:00 pm, and to force it to use wire service copy instead of reporting on its own.[7] On Easter weekend in 1930 (18 April), this reliance on newspaper wire services left the radio news service with no information to report after saying There is no news today. Piano music was played instead.[9] The BBC gradually gained the right to edit the copy and, in 1934, created its own news operation. However, it could not broadcast news before 6 PM until World War II.[7] Gaumont British and Movietone cinema newsreels had been broadcast on the TV service since 1936, with the BBC producing its own equivalent Television Newsreel programme from January 1948. A weekly Children's Newsreel was inaugurated on 23 April 1950, to around 350,000 receivers.[10] The network began simulcasting its radio news on television in 1946, with a still picture of Big Ben.[7] Televised bulletins began on 5 July 1954, broadcast from leased studios within Alexandra Palace in London.[11]

The public's interest in television and live events was stimulated by Elizabeth II's coronation in 1953. It is estimated that up to 27 million people[12] viewed the programme in the UK, overtaking radio's audience of 12 million for the first time.[13] Those live pictures were fed from 21 cameras in central London to Alexandra Palace for transmission, and then on to other UK transmitters opened in time for the event.[14] That year, there were around two million TV Licences held in the UK, rising to over three million the following year, and four and a half million by 1955.

1950s

Television news, although physically separate from its radio counterpart, was still firmly under radio news' control – correspondents provided reports for both outlets–and that first bulletin, shown on 5 July 1954 on the then BBC television service and presented by Richard Baker, involved his providing narration off-screen while stills were shown.[15] This was then followed by the customary Television Newsreel with a recorded commentary by John Snagge (and on other occasions by Andrew Timothy).

It was revealed that this had been due to producers fearing a newsreader with visible facial movements would distract the viewer from the story. On-screen newsreaders were finally introduced a year later in 1955 – Kenneth Kendall (the first to appear in vision), Robert Dougall, and Richard Baker–three weeks before ITN's launch on 21 September 1955.

Mainstream television production had started to move out of Alexandra Palace in 1950[16] to larger premises – mainly at Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd's Bush, west London – taking Current Affairs (then known as Talks Department) with it. It was from here that the first Panorama, a new documentary programme, was transmitted on 11 November 1953, with Richard Dimbleby becoming anchor in 1955.[17] On 18 February 1957, the topical early-evening programme Tonight, hosted by Cliff Michelmore and designed to fill the airtime provided by the abolition of the Toddlers' Truce, was broadcast from Marconi's Viking Studio in St Mary Abbott's Place, Kensington – with the programme moving into a Lime Grove studio in 1960, where it already maintained its production office.

On 28 October 1957, the Today programme, a morning radio programme, was launched in central London on the Home Service.[18]

In 1958, Hugh Carleton Greene became head of News and Current Affairs. He set up a BBC study group whose findings, published in 1959, were critical of what the television news operation had become under his predecessor, Tahu Hole. The report proposed that the head of television news should take control (away from radio), and that the television service should have a proper newsroom of its own, with an editor-of-the-day.[19]

1960s

On 1 January 1960, Greene became Director-General and brought about big changes at BBC Television and BBC Television News. BBC Television News had been created in 1955, in response to the founding of ITN. The changes made by Greene were aimed at making BBC reporting more similar to ITN which had been highly rated by study groups held by Greene.

A newsroom was created at Alexandra Palace, television reporters were recruited and given the opportunity to write and voice their own scripts–without the "impossible burden" of having to cover stories for radio too.[20]

In 1987, almost thirty years later, John Birt resurrected the practice of correspondents working for both TV and radio with the introduction of bi-media journalism,[21] and 2008 saw tri-media introduced across TV, radio, and online.

On 20 June 1960, Nan Winton, the first female BBC network newsreader, appeared in vision.[22] 19 September saw the start of the radio news and current affairs programme The Ten O'clock News.[23]

BBC2 started transmission on 20 April 1964, and with it came a new news programme for that channel, Newsroom.

The World at One, a lunchtime news programme, began on 4 October 1965 on the then Home Service, and the year before News Review had started on television. News Review was a summary of the week's news, first broadcast on Sunday, 26 April 1964[24] on BBC 2 and harking back to the weekly Newsreel Review of the Week, produced from 1951, to open programming on Sunday evenings–the difference being that this incarnation had subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. As this was the decade before electronic caption generation, each superimposition ("super") had to be produced on paper or card, synchronised manually to studio and news footage, committed to tape during the afternoon, and broadcast early evening. Thus Sundays were no longer a quiet day for news at Alexandra Palace. The programme ran until the 1980s[25] – by then using electronic captions, known as Anchor – to be superseded by Ceefax subtitling (a similar Teletext format), and the signing of such programmes as See Hear (from 1981).

On Sunday 17 September 1967, The World This Weekend, a weekly news and current affairs programme, launched on what was then Home Service, but soon-to-be Radio 4.

Preparations for colour began in the autumn of 1967 and on Thursday 7 March 1968 Newsroom on BBC2 moved to an early evening slot, becoming the first UK news programme to be transmitted in colour[26] – from Studio A at Alexandra Palace. News Review and Westminster (the latter a weekly review of Parliamentary happenings) were "colourised" shortly after.

However, much of the insert material was still in black and white, as initially only a part of the film coverage shot in and around London was on colour reversal film stock, and all regional and many international contributions were still in black and white. Colour facilities at Alexandra Palace were technically very limited for the next eighteen months, as it had only one RCA colour Quadruplex videotape machine and, eventually two Pye plumbicon colour telecines–although the news colour service started with just one.

Black and white national bulletins on BBC 1 continued to originate from Studio B on weekdays, along with Town and Around, the London regional "opt out" programme broadcast throughout the 1960s (and the BBC's first regional news programme for the South East), until it started to be replaced by Nationwide on Tuesday to Thursday from Lime Grove Studios early in September 1969. Town and Around was never to make the move to Television Centre – instead it became London This Week which aired on Mondays and Fridays only, from the new TVC studios.[27]

Television News moves to Television Centre

BBC TV Centre
Television News moved to BBC Television Centre in September 1969.

The final news programme to come from Alexandra Palace was a late night news on BBC2 on Friday 19 September 1969 in colour. It was said that over this September weekend, it took 65 removal vans to transfer the contents of Alexandra Palace across London.[28] BBC Television News resumed operations the next day with a lunchtime bulletin on BBC1 – in black and white – from Television Centre, where it remained until March 2013.

This move to better technical facilities, but much smaller studios, allowed Newsroom and News Review to replace back projection with colour-separation overlay. It also allowed all news output to be produced in PAL colour, ahead of the transition of BBC1 to colour from 15 November 1969 – and, like Alexandra Palace Studio A, these studios too were capable of operating in NTSC for the US, Canada, and Japan as the BBC occasionally provided facilities for overseas broadcasters. During the 1960s, satellite communication had become possible,[29] however colour field-store standards converters were still in their infancy in 1968,[30] and it was some years before digital line-store conversion was able to undertake the process seamlessly.[31]

1970s

Angela Rippon (Durdham Downs, Bristol, 1983) (363351929)
Angela Rippon, pictured in 1983, became the first female news presenter in 1975.

On 14 September 1970, the first Nine O'Clock News was broadcast on television. Robert Dougall presented the first week from studio N1[32] – described by The Guardian[33] as "a sort of polystyrene padded cell"[34]—the bulletin having been moved from the earlier time of 20.50 as a response to the ratings achieved by ITN's News at Ten, introduced three years earlier on the rival ITV. Richard Baker and Kenneth Kendall presented subsequent weeks, thus echoing those first television bulletins of the mid-1950s.

Angela Rippon became the first female news presenter of the Nine O'Clock News in 1975. Her work outside the news was controversial at the time, appearing on The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show in 1976 singing and dancing.[32]

The first edition of John Craven's Newsround, initially intended only as a short series and later renamed just Newsround, came from studio N3 on 4 April 1972.

Afternoon television news bulletins during the mid to late 1970s were broadcast from the BBC newsroom itself, rather than one of the three news studios. The newsreader would present to camera while sitting on the edge of a desk; behind him staff would be seen working busily at their desks. This period corresponded with when the Nine O'Clock News got its next makeover, and would use a CSO background of the newsroom from that very same camera each weekday evening.

Also in the mid-1970s, the late night news on BBC2 was briefly renamed Newsnight,[35] but this was not to last, or be the same programme as we know today – that would be launched in 1980 – and it soon reverted to being just a news summary with the early evening BBC2 news expanded to become Newsday.

News on radio was to change in the 1970s, and on Radio 4 in particular, brought about by the arrival of new editor Peter Woon from television news and the implementation of the Broadcasting in the Seventies report. These included the introduction of correspondents into news bulletins where previously only a newsreader would present, as well as the inclusion of content gathered in the preparation process. New programmes were also added to the daily schedule, PM and The World Tonight as part of the plan for the station to become a "wholly speech network".[33] Newsbeat launched as the news service on Radio 1 on 10 September 1973.[36]

On 23 September 1974, a teletext system which was launched to bring news content on television screens using text only was launched. Engineers originally began developing such a system to bring news to deaf viewers, but the system was expanded. The Ceefax service became much more diverse before it ceased on 23 October 2012: it not only had subtitling for all channels, it also gave information such as weather, flight times and film reviews.

By the end of the decade, the practice of shooting on film for inserts in news broadcasts was declining, with the introduction of ENG technology into the UK. The equipment would gradually become less cumbersome – the BBC's first attempts had been using a Philips colour camera with backpack base station and separate portable Sony U-matic recorder in the latter half of the decade.

1980s

By 1982, ENG technology had become sufficiently reliable for Bernard Hesketh to use an Ikegami camera to cover the Falklands War, coverage for which he won the "Royal Television Society Cameraman of the Year" award[37] and a BAFTA nomination[38] – the first time that BBC News had relied upon an electronic camera, rather than film, in a conflict zone. BBC News won the BAFTA for its actuality coverage,[39] however the event has become remembered in television terms for Brian Hanrahan's reporting where he coined the phrase "I'm not allowed to say how many planes joined the raid, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back"[40] to circumvent restrictions, and which has become cited as an example of good reporting under pressure.[41]

Two years earlier, the Iranian Embassy Siege had been shot electronically by the BBC Television News Outside broadcasting team, and the work of reporter Kate Adie, broadcasting live from Prince's Gate, was nominated for BAFTA actuality coverage, but this time beaten by ITN for the 1980 award.[42]

Newsnight, the news and current affairs programme, was due to go on air on 23 January 1980, although trade union disagreements meant that its launch from Lime Grove was postponed by a week.[21] On 27 August 1981 Moira Stuart became the first African Caribbean female newsreader to appear on British television.

The first BBC breakfast television programme, Breakfast Time also launched during the 1980s, on 17 January 1983 from Lime Grove Studio E and two weeks before its ITV rival TV-am. Frank Bough, Selina Scott, and Nick Ross helped to wake viewers with a relaxed style of presenting.[43]

The Six O'Clock News first aired on 3 September 1984, eventually becoming the most watched news programme in the UK (however, since 2006 it has been overtaken by the BBC News at Ten). In October 1984, images of millions of people starving to death in the Ethiopian famine were shown in Michael Buerk's Six O'Clock News reports.[44] The BBC News crew were the first to document the famine, with Buerk's report on 23 October describing it as "a biblical famine in the 20th century" and "the closest thing to hell on Earth".[45] The BBC News report shocked Britain, motivating its citizens to inundate relief agencies, such as Save the Children, with donations, and to bring world attention to the crisis in Ethiopia.[46] The news report was also watched by Bob Geldof, who would organise the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to raise money for famine relief followed by the Live Aid concert in July 1985.[44]

Starting in 1981, the BBC gave a common theme to its main news bulletins with new electronic titles–a set of computer animated "stripes" forming a circle[47] on a red background with a "BBC News" typescript appearing below the circle graphics, and a theme tune consisting of brass and keyboards. The Nine used a similar (striped) number 9. The red background was replaced by a blue from 1985 until 1987.

By 1987, the BBC had decided to re-brand its bulletins and established individual styles again for each one with differing titles and music, the weekend and holiday bulletins branded in a similar style to the Nine, although the "stripes" introduction continued to be used until 1989 on occasions where a news bulletin was screened out of the running order of the schedule.[48]

1990s

BBC Television Centre Newsroom KristynaM Flickr
The combined newsroom for domestic television and radio was opened at Television Centre in West London in 1998.

During the 1990s, a wider range of services began to be offered by BBC News, with the split of BBC World Service Television to become BBC World (news and current affairs), and BBC Prime (light entertainment). Content for a 24-hour news channel was thus required, followed in 1997 with the launch of domestic equivalent BBC News 24. Rather than set bulletins, ongoing reports and coverage was needed to keep both channels functioning and meant a greater emphasis in budgeting for both was necessary. In 1998, after 66 years at Broadcasting House, the BBC Radio News operation moved to BBC Television Centre.[49]

New technology, provided by Silicon Graphics, came into use in 1993 for a re-launch of the main BBC 1 bulletins, creating a virtual set which appeared to be much larger than it was physically. The relaunch also brought all bulletins into the same style of set with only small changes in colouring, titles, and music to differentiate each. A computer generated cut-glass sculpture of the BBC coat of arms was the centrepiece of the programme titles until the large scale corporate rebranding of news services in 1999.

In 1999, the biggest relaunch occurred, with BBC One bulletins, BBC World, BBC News 24, and BBC News Online all adopting a common style. One of the most significant changes was the gradual adoption of the corporate image by the BBC regional news programmes, giving a common style across local, national and international BBC television news. This also included Newyddion, the main news programme of Welsh language channel S4C, produced by BBC News Wales.

2000s

Following the relaunch of BBC News the previous year, regional headlines were included at the start of the BBC One news bulletins in 2000. The English regions did however lose five minutes at the end of their bulletins, due to a new headline round-up at 18:55. 2000 also saw the Nine O'Clock News moved to the later time of 22:00. This was in response to ITN who had just moved their popular News at Ten programme to 23:00. ITN briefly returned News at Ten but following poor ratings when head to head against the BBC's Ten O'Clock News, the ITN bulletin was moved to 22.30, where it remained until 14 January 2008.

The retirement of Peter Sissons and departure of Michael Buerk from the Ten O'Clock News led to changes in the BBC One bulletin presenting team on 20 January 2003. The Six O'Clock News became double headed with George Alagiah and Sophie Raworth after Huw Edwards and Fiona Bruce moved to present the Ten. A new set design featuring a projected fictional newsroom backdrop was introduced, followed on 16 February 2004 by new programme titles to match those of BBC News 24.

BBC News 24 and BBC World introduced a new style of presentation in December 2003, that was slightly altered on 5 July 2004 to mark 50 years of BBC Television News.[50]

The individual positions of editor of the One and Six O'Clock News were replaced by a new daytime position in November 2005. Kevin Bakhurst became the first Controller of BBC News 24, replacing the position of editor. Amanda Farnsworth became daytime editor while Craig Oliver was later named editor of the Ten O'Clock News. The bulletins also began to be simulcast with News 24, as a way of pooling resources.

Bulletins received new titles and a new set design in May 2006, to allow for Breakfast to move into the main studio for the first time since 1997. The new set featured Barco videowall screens with a background of the London skyline used for main bulletins and originally an image of cirrus clouds against a blue sky for Breakfast. This was later replaced following viewer criticism.[51] The studio bore similarities with the ITN-produced ITV News in 2004, though ITN uses a CSO Virtual studio rather than the actual screens at BBC News. Also, May saw the launch of World News Today the first domestic bulletin focused principally on international news.

BBC News became part of a new BBC Journalism group in November 2006 as part of a restructuring of the BBC. The then-Director of BBC News, Helen Boaden reported to the then-Deputy Director-General and head of the journalism group, Mark Byford until he was made redundant in 2010.[52]

On 18 October 2007, Mark Thompson announced a six-year plan, Delivering Creative Future, merging the television current affairs department into a new "News Programmes" division.[53][54] Thompson's announcement, in response to a £2 billion shortfall in funding, would, he said, deliver "a smaller but fitter BBC" in the digital age, by cutting its payroll and, in 2013, selling Television Centre.[55]

The various separate newsrooms for television, radio and online operations were merged into a single multimedia newsroom. Programme making within the newsrooms was brought together to form a multimedia programme making department. BBC World Service director Peter Horrocks said that the changes would achieve efficiency at a time of cost-cutting at the BBC. In his blog, he wrote that by using the same resources across the various broadcast media meant fewer stories could be covered, or by following more stories, there would be fewer ways to broadcast them.[56]

A new graphics and video playout system was introduced for production of television bulletins in January 2007. This coincided with a new structure to BBC World News bulletins, editors favouring a section devoted to analysing the news stories reported on.

The first new BBC News bulletin since the Six O'Clock News was announced in July 2007 following a successful trial in the Midlands.[57] The summary, lasting 90 seconds, has been broadcast at 20:00 on weekdays since December 2007 and bears similarities with 60 Seconds on BBC Three, but also includes headlines from the various BBC regions and a weather summary.

As part of a long-term cost cutting programme, bulletins were renamed the BBC News at One, Six and Ten respectively in April 2008 while BBC News 24 was renamed BBC News and moved into the same studio as the bulletins at BBC Television Centre.[58][59] BBC World was renamed BBC World News and regional news programmes were also updated with the new presentation style, designed by Lambie-Nairn.[60]

The studio moves also meant that Studio N9, previously used for BBC World, was closed, and operations moved to the previous studio of BBC News 24. Studio N9 was later refitted to match the new branding, and was used for the BBC's UK local elections and European elections coverage in early June 2009.

2010s

BBC Broadcasting House newsroom and studio 2013
The new newsroom in Broadcasting House

A strategy review of the BBC in March 2010, confirmed that having "the best journalism in the world" would form one of five key editorial policies, as part of changes subject to public consultation and BBC Trust approval.[61]

After a period of suspension in late 2012, Helen Boaden ceased to be the Director of BBC News.[62] On 16 April 2013, incoming BBC Director-General Tony Hall named James Harding, a former editor of The Times of London newspaper as Director of News and Current Affairs.[5]

From August 2012 to March 2013, all news operations moved from Television Centre to new facilities in the refurbished and extended Broadcasting House, in Portland Place. The move began in October 2012, and also included the BBC World Service, which moved from Bush House following the expiry of the BBC's lease. This new extension to the north and east, referred to as "New Broadcasting House", includes several new state-of-the-art radio and television studios centred around an 11-storey atrium.[63] The move began with the domestic programme The Andrew Marr Show on 2 September 2012, and concluded with the move of the BBC News channel and domestic news bulletins on 18 March 2013.[64][65][66] The newsroom houses all domestic bulletins and programmes on both television and radio, as well as the BBC World Service international radio networks and the BBC World News international television channel.

Broadcasting media

Television

BBC News helicopter watching over the cuts protest
BBC News helicopter in use over London

BBC News is responsible for the news programmes – and some documentary content – on the BBC's general television channels, as well as the news coverage on the BBC News Channel in the UK and 22 hours of programming for the corporation's BBC World News channel internationally. Coverage for BBC Parliament is carried out on behalf of the BBC at Millbank Studios though BBC News provides editorial and journalistic content. BBC News content is also output onto the BBC's digital interactive television services under the BBC Red Button brand, and until 2012, on the Ceefax teletext system.

The distinctive music on all BBC television news programmes was introduced in 1999 and composed by David Lowe. It was part of the extensive re-branding which commenced in 1999 and features the classic 'BBC Pips'. The general theme was used not only on bulletins on BBC One but News 24, BBC World and local news programmes in the BBC's Nations and Regions. Lowe was also responsible for the music on Radio One's Newsbeat. The theme has had several changes since 1999, the latest in March 2013.

The BBC Arabic Television news channel launched on 11 March 2008, a Persian-language channel followed on 14 January 2009, broadcasting from the Peel wing of Broadcasting House; both include news, analysis, interviews, sports and highly cultural programmes and are run by the BBC World Service and funded from a grant-in-aid from the British Foreign Office (and not the television licence).[67]

Radio

BBC Radio News produces bulletins for the BBC's national radio stations and provides content for local BBC radio stations via the General News Service (GNS), a BBC-internal[68] news distribution service. BBC News does not produce the BBC's regional news bulletins, which are produced individually by the BBC nations and regions themselves. The BBC World Service broadcasts to some 150 million people in English as well as 27 languages across the globe.[69] BBC Radio News is a patron of the Radio Academy.[70]

Online

BBC News Online is the BBC's news website. Launched in November 1997, it is one of the most popular news websites in the UK, reaching over a quarter of the UK's internet users, and worldwide, with around 14 million global readers every month.[71] The website contains international news coverage as well as entertainment, sport, science, and political news.[72]

Mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone systems have been provided since 2010.[73]

Many television and radio programmes are also available to view on the BBC iPlayer service. The BBC News channel is also available to view 24 hours a day, while video and radio clips are also available within online news articles.[74]

Opinions

Political and commercial independence

The BBC is required by its charter to be free from both political and commercial influence and answers only to its viewers and listeners. This political objectivity is sometimes questioned. For instance, The Daily Telegraph (3 August 2005) carried a letter from the KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky, referring to it as "The Red Service". Books have been written on the subject, including anti-BBC works like Truth Betrayed by W J West and The Truth Twisters by Richard Deacon.

The BBC's Editorial Guidelines on Politics and Public Policy state that whilst "the voices and opinions of opposition parties must be routinely aired and challenged", "the government of the day will often be the primary source of news".[75]

The BBC is regularly accused by the government of the day of bias in favour of the opposition and, by the opposition, of bias in favour of the government. Similarly, during times of war, the BBC is often accused by the UK government, or by strong supporters of British military campaigns, of being overly sympathetic to the view of the enemy. An edition of Newsnight at the start of the Falklands War in 1982 was described as "almost treasonable" by John Page, MP, who objected to Peter Snow saying "if we believe the British".[76]

During the first Gulf War, critics of the BBC took to using the satirical name "Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation".[77] During the Kosovo War, the BBC were labelled the "Belgrade Broadcasting Corporation" (suggesting favouritism towards the FR Yugoslavia government over ethnic Albanian rebels) by British ministers,[77] although Slobodan Milosević (then FRY president) claimed that the BBC's coverage had been biased against his nation.[78]

Conversely, some of those who style themselves anti-establishment in the United Kingdom or who oppose foreign wars have accused the BBC of pro-establishment bias or of refusing to give an outlet to "anti-war" voices. Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a study by the Cardiff University School of Journalism of the reporting of the war found that nine out of 10 references to weapons of mass destruction during the war assumed that Iraq possessed them, and only one in 10 questioned this assumption. It also found that, out of the main British broadcasters covering the war, the BBC was the most likely to use the British government and military as its source. It was also the least likely to use independent sources, like the Red Cross, who were more critical of the war. When it came to reporting Iraqi casualties, the study found fewer reports on the BBC than on the other three main channels. The report's author, Justin Lewis, wrote "Far from revealing an anti-war BBC, our findings tend to give credence to those who criticised the BBC for being too sympathetic to the government in its war coverage. Either way, it is clear that the accusation of BBC anti-war bias fails to stand up to any serious or sustained analysis."[79]

Prominent BBC appointments are constantly assessed by the British media and political establishment for signs of political bias. The appointment of Greg Dyke as Director-General was highlighted by press sources because Dyke was a Labour Party member and former activist, as well as a friend of Tony Blair. The BBC's former Political Editor, Nick Robinson, was some years ago a chairman of the Young Conservatives and did, as a result, attract informal criticism from the former Labour government, but his predecessor Andrew Marr faced similar claims from the right because he was editor of The Independent, a liberal-leaning newspaper, before his appointment in 2000.

Mark Thompson, former Director-General of the BBC, admitted the organisation has been biased "towards the left" in the past. He said, "In the BBC I joined 30 years ago, there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people's personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the left".[80] He then added, "The organization did struggle then with impartiality. Now it is a completely different generation. There is much less overt tribalism among the young journalists who work for the BBC."

Historian Mark Curtis finds that BBC news resembles a "straightforward state propaganda organ" that provides "critical support for the [British and Western] elite's promotion of foreign policy", such as the 2003 war of aggression against Iraq. He says this militant nationalism is "not even subtle", and, citing Glasgow university, says BBC News is a chief example of "manufactured production of ideology."[81]

India

In 2008, the BBC was criticised by some for referring to the terrorists who carried out the November 2008 Mumbai attacks as "gunmen".[82][83] The response to this added to prior criticism from some Indian commentators suggesting that the BBC may have an Indophobic bias.[84] In March 2015, the BBC was criticised for airing a documentary interviewing one of the rapists in India. In spite of a ban ordered by the Indian High court, the BBC still aired the documentary.[85] But, the BBC was supported by many others from the world for standing for justice, instead of coming under pressure.[86]

Hutton Inquiry

BBC News was at the centre of a political controversy following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Three BBC News reports (Andrew Gilligan's on Today, Gavin Hewitt's on The Ten O'Clock News and another on Newsnight) quoted an anonymous source that stated the British government (particularly the Prime Minister's office) had embellished the September Dossier with misleading exaggerations of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities. The government denounced the reports and accused the corporation of poor journalism.

In subsequent weeks the corporation stood by the report, saying that it had a reliable source. Following intense media speculation, David Kelly was named in the press as the source for Gilligan's story on 9 July 2003. Kelly was found dead, by suicide, in a field close to his home early on 18 July. An inquiry led by Lord Hutton was announced by the British government the following day to investigate the circumstances leading to Kelly's death, concluding that "Dr. Kelly took his own life."[87]

In his report on 28 January 2004, Lord Hutton concluded that Gilligan's original accusation was "unfounded" and the BBC's editorial and management processes were "defective". In particular, it specifically criticised the chain of management that caused the BBC to defend its story. The BBC Director of News, Richard Sambrook, the report said, had accepted Gilligan's word that his story was accurate in spite of his notes being incomplete. Davies had then told the BBC Board of Governors that he was happy with the story and told the Prime Minister that a satisfactory internal inquiry had taken place. The Board of Governors, under the chairman's, Gavyn Davies, guidance, accepted that further investigation of the Government's complaints were unnecessary.

Because of the criticism in the Hutton report, Davies resigned on the day of publication. BBC News faced an important test, reporting on itself with the publication of the report, but by common consent (of the Board of Governors) managed this "independently, impartially and honestly".[88] Davies' resignation was followed by the resignation of Director General, Greg Dyke, the following day, and the resignation of Gilligan on 30 January. While undoubtedly a traumatic experience for the corporation, an ICM poll in April 2003 indicated that it had sustained its position as the best and most trusted provider of news.[89]

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

The BBC has faced accusations of holding both anti-Israel and anti-Palestine bias.

Douglas Davis, the London correspondent of The Jerusalem Post, has described the BBC's coverage of the Arab–Israeli conflict as "a relentless, one-dimensional portrayal of Israel as a demonic, criminal state and Israelis as brutal oppressors [which] bears all the hallmarks of a concerted campaign of vilification that, wittingly or not, has the effect of delegitimising the Jewish state and pumping oxygen into a dark old European hatred that dared not speak its name for the past half-century.".[90] However two large independent studies, one conducted by Loughborough University and the other by Glasgow University's Media Group concluded that Israeli perspectives are given greater coverage.[91][92]

Critics of the BBC argue that the Balen Report proves systematic bias against Israel in headline news programming. The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph criticised the BBC for spending hundreds of thousands of British tax payers' pounds from preventing the report being released to the public.[93][94]

Jeremy Bowen, the Middle East Editor for BBC world news, was singled out specifically for bias by the BBC Trust which concluded that he violated "BBC guidelines on accuracy and impartiality."[95]

An independent panel appointed by the BBC Trust was set up in 2006 to review the impartiality of the BBC's coverage of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[96] The panel's assessment was that "apart from individual lapses, there was little to suggest deliberate or systematic bias." While noting a "commitment to be fair accurate and impartial" and praising much of the BBC's coverage the independent panel concluded "that BBC output does not consistently give a full and fair account of the conflict. In some ways the picture is incomplete and, in that sense, misleading." It notes that, "the failure to convey adequately the disparity in the Israeli and Palestinian experience, [reflects] the fact that one side is in control and the other lives under occupation".

Writing in the Financial Times, Philip Stephens, one of the panellists, later accused the BBC's director-general, Mark Thompson, of misrepresenting the panel's conclusions. He further opined "My sense is that BBC news reporting has also lost a once iron-clad commitment to objectivity and a necessary respect for the democratic process. If I am right, the BBC, too, is lost".[97] Mark Thompson published a rebuttal in the FT the next day.[98]

The description by one BBC correspondent reporting on the funeral of Yassir Arafat that she had been left with tears in her eyes led to other questions of impartiality, particularly from Martin Walker[99] in a guest opinion piece in The Times, who picked out the apparent case of Fayad Abu Shamala, the BBC Arabic Service correspondent, who told a Hamas rally on 6 May 2001, that journalists in Gaza were "waging the campaign shoulder to shoulder together with the Palestinian people."[99]

Walker argues that the independent inquiry was flawed for two reasons. Firstly, because the time period over which it was conducted (August 2005 to January 2006) surrounded the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and Ariel Sharon's stroke, which produced more positive coverage than usual. Furthermore, he wrote, the inquiry only looked at the BBC's domestic coverage, and excluded output on the BBC World Service and BBC World.[99]

Tom Gross accused the BBC of glorifying Hamas suicide bombers, and condemned its policy of inviting guests such as Jenny Tonge and Tom Paulin who have compared Israeli soldiers to Nazis. Writing for the BBC, Paulin said Israeli soldiers should be "shot dead" like Hitler's S.S, and said he could "understand how suicide bombers feel." According to Gross, Paulin and Tonge continue to be invited as regular guests, and they are among the most frequent contributors to their most widely screened arts programme.[100]

The BBC also faced criticism for not airing a Disasters Emergency Committee aid appeal for Palestinians who suffered in Gaza during 22-day war there in late 2008/early 2009. Most other major UK broadcasters did air this appeal, but rival Sky News did not.

British journalist Julie Burchill has accused BBC of creating a "climate of fear" for British Jews over its "excessive coverage" of Israel compared to other nations.[101]

Partners

BBC and ABC share video segments and reporters as needed in producing their newscasts. with the BBC showing ABC World News Tonight with David Muir in the UK. However, in July 2017, BBC announced a new partnership with CBS News allows both organisations to share video, editorial content, and additional newsgathering resources in New York, London, Washington and around the world.[102]

BBC News subscribes to wire services from leading international agencies including Press Association, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse. In April 2017, the BBC dropped Associated Press in favour of an enhanced service from AFP.[103]

The view of foreign governments

BBC News reporters and broadcasts are now and have in the past been banned in several countries primarily for reporting which has been unfavourable to the ruling government. For example, correspondents were banned by the former apartheid régime of South Africa. The BBC was banned in Zimbabwe under Mugabe[104] for eight years as a terrorist organisation until being allowed to operate again over a year after the 2008 elections.[105]

The BBC was banned in Burma (officially Myanmar) after their coverage and commentary on anti-government protests there in September 2007. The ban was lifted four years later in September 2011. Other cases have included Uzbekistan,[106] China,[107] and Pakistan.[108] The BBC online news site's Persian version was blocked from the Iranian internet in 2006.[109] The BBC News website was made available in China again in March 2008,[110] but as of October 2014, was blocked again.[111]

In June 2015, the Rwandan government placed an indefinite ban on BBC broadcasts following the airing of a controversial documentary regarding the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Rwanda's Untold Story, broadcast on BBC2 on 1 October 2014. The UK's Foreign Office recognised "the hurt caused in Rwanda by some parts of the documentary".[112]

In February 2017, reporters from the BBC (as well as the Daily Mail, The New York Times, Politico, CNN, and others) were denied access to a United States White House briefing.[113]

See also

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External links

2012 Summer Olympics

The 2012 Summer Olympics, formally the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012, was an international multi-sport event that was held from 27 July to 12 August 2012 in London, United Kingdom. The first event, the group stage in women's football, began on 25 July at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, followed by the opening ceremonies on 27 July. 10,768 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated.Following a bid headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe and then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, London was selected as the host city on 6 July 2005 during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, defeating bids from Moscow, New York City, Madrid, and Paris. London became the first city to host the modern Olympics three times, having previously hosted the Summer Games in 1908 and in 1948.Construction for the Games involved considerable redevelopment, with an emphasis on sustainability. The main focus was a new 200-hectare (490-acre) Olympic Park, constructed on a former industrial site at Stratford, East London. The Games also made use of venues that already existed before the bid.The Games received widespread acclaim for their organisation, with the volunteers, the British military and public enthusiasm praised particularly highly. The opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, received widespread acclaim throughout the world, particular praise from the British public and a minority of widely ranging criticisms from some social media sites. During the Games, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, winning his 22nd medal. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Brunei entered female athletes for the first time, so that every currently eligible country has sent a female competitor to at least one Olympic Games. Women's boxing was included for the first time, thus the Games became the first at which every sport had female competitors. These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Jacques Rogge.

The final medal tally was led by the United States, followed by China and host Great Britain. Several world and Olympic records were set at the games. Though there were several controversies, the 2012 games were deemed highly successful with the rising standards of competition amongst nations across the world, packed stadiums and smooth organisation. Furthermore, the focus on sporting legacy and post-games venue sustainability was seen as a blueprint for future Olympics.

2017 United Kingdom general election

The 2017 United Kingdom general election took place on Thursday 8 June 2017, having been called just under two months earlier by Prime Minister Theresa May on 18 April 2017 after it was discussed in cabinet. Each of the 650 constituencies elected one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons. The governing Conservative Party remained the largest single party in the House of Commons but lost its majority, resulting in the formation of a minority government with a confidence-and-supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland.The Conservative Party (which had governed as a senior coalition partner from 2010 and as a single-party majority government from 2015) was defending a working majority of 17 seats against the Labour Party, the official opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn. Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 a general election had not been due until May 2020, but a call by Prime Minister Theresa May for a snap election was ratified by the necessary two-thirds vote in a 522–13 vote in the House of Commons on 19 April 2017. May said that she hoped to secure a larger majority in order to "strengthen [her] hand" in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.Opinion polls had consistently shown strong leads for the Conservatives over Labour. From a 21-point lead, the Conservatives' lead began to diminish in the final weeks of the campaign. In a surprising result, the Conservative Party made a net loss of 13 seats with 42.4% of the vote (its highest share of the vote since 1983), whilst Labour made a net gain of 30 seats with 40.0% (its highest share since 2001). This was the closest result between the two major parties since February 1974, and their highest combined vote share since 1970. The Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Liberal Democrats, the third- and fourth-largest parties, both lost vote share; media coverage characterised the election as a return to two-party politics. The SNP, which won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats at the previous general election in 2015, lost 21 seats. The Liberal Democrats made a net gain of four seats. UKIP, the third-largest party in 2015 by number of votes, saw its share of the vote reduced from 12.6% to 1.8% and lost its only seat. Plaid Cymru gained one seat, giving it a total of four seats. The Green Party retained its sole seat, but saw its share of the vote reduced. In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) won 10 seats, Sinn Féin won seven, and independent unionist Sylvia Hermon retained her seat. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) lost all their seats. The Conservatives were narrowly victorious and remained in power as a minority government, having secured a confidence and supply deal with the DUP.Negotiation positions following the UK's invocation of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union in March 2017 to leave the EU were expected to feature significantly in the campaign, but did not. The campaign was interrupted by two major terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, with national security becoming a prominent issue in the final weeks of campaigning.

2018

2018 (MMXVIII)

was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2018th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 18th year of the 3rd millennium, the 18th year of the 21st century, and the 9th year of the 2010s decade.

2018 was designated as the third International Year of the Reef by the International Coral Reef Initiative.

BBC

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.The BBC is established under a Royal Charter and operates under its Agreement with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Its work is funded principally by an annual television licence fee which is charged to all British households, companies, and organisations using any type of equipment to receive or record live television broadcasts and iPlayer catch-up. The fee is set by the British Government, agreed by Parliament, and used to fund the BBC's radio, TV, and online services covering the nations and regions of the UK. Since 1 April 2014, it has also funded the BBC World Service (launched in 1932 as the BBC Empire Service), which broadcasts in 28 languages and provides comprehensive TV, radio, and online services in Arabic and Persian.

Around a quarter of BBC revenues come from its commercial arm BBC Studios Ltd (formerly BBC Worldwide), which sells BBC programmes and services internationally and also distributes the BBC's international 24-hour English-language news services BBC World News, and from BBC.com, provided by BBC Global News Ltd.

From its inception, through the Second World War (where its broadcasts helped to unite the nation), to the 21st century, the BBC has played a prominent role in British culture. It has also been known as "The Beeb", and "Auntie".

BBC Breakfast

BBC Breakfast is a British Breakfast television programme on BBC One and BBC News channels. The simulcast is presented live, originally from the BBC Television Centre before moving to MediaCityUK in 2012. The programme contains a mixture of news, sport, weather, business, and feature items and is broadcast seven days a week, every week of the year, including weekends and public holidays.

BBC News (TV channel)

BBC News (also known as the BBC News Channel) is a British free-to-air television news channel. It was launched as BBC News 24 on 9 November 1997 at 5:30pm as part of the BBC's foray into digital domestic television channels, becoming the first competitor to Sky News, which had been running since 1989. For a time, looped news, sport and weather bulletins were available to view via BBC Red Button.

On 22 February 2006, the channel was named News Channel of the Year at the Royal Television Society Television Journalism Awards for the first time in its history. The judges remarked that this was the year that the channel had "really come into its own."From May 2007, viewers in the UK could watch the channel via the BBC News website. In April 2008, the channel was renamed BBC News as part of a £550,000 rebranding of the BBC's news output, complete with a new studio and presentation. Its sister service, BBC World was also renamed BBC World News while the national news bulletins became BBC News at One, BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten. Across the day the channel averages about twice the audience of Sky News.

The channel is based at and broadcasts from Broadcasting House in the West End of London. In 2017, it was named the RTS News Channel of the Year

BBC News Online

BBC News Online is the website of BBC News, the division of the BBC responsible for newsgathering and production.

The website contains international news coverage, as well as British, entertainment, science, and political news. Many reports are accompanied by audio and video from the BBC's television and radio news services, while the latest TV and radio bulletins are also available to view or listen to on the site together with other current affairs programmes.

BBC News Online is closely linked to its sister department website, that of BBC Sport. Both sites follow similar layout and content options and respective journalists work alongside each other. Location information provided by users is also shared with the website of BBC Weather to provide local content.

From 1998 to 2001 the site was named best news website at the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Awards when the award category was withdrawn. It has previously won both the Judges' award and the People's Voice award for best news site at the annual Webby Awards.

BBC World News

BBC World News is the BBC's international news and current affairs television channel. It has the largest audience of any channel, with an estimated 99 million viewers weekly in 2015/16, part of the estimated 265 million users of the BBC's four main international news services. Launched on 11 March 1991 as BBC World Service Television outside Europe, its name was changed to BBC World on 16 January 1995 and to BBC World News on 21 April 2008. It broadcasts news bulletins, documentaries, lifestyle programmes and interview shows. Unlike the BBC's domestic channels, BBC World News is owned and operated by BBC Global News Ltd., part of the BBC's commercial group of companies, and is funded by subscription and advertising revenues, and not by the United Kingdom television licence. It is not owned by BBC Studios.

BBC World Service

The BBC World Service, the world's largest international broadcaster, broadcasts radio and television news, speech and discussions in more than 40 languages to many parts of the world on analogue and digital shortwave platforms, Internet streaming, podcasting, satellite, DAB, FM and MW relays. In November 2016 the BBC announced again that it would start broadcasting in additional languages including Amharic and Igbo, in its biggest expansion since the 1940s. In 2015 World Service reached an average of 210 million people a week (via TV, radio and online). The English-language service broadcasts 24 hours a day.

The World Service is funded by the United Kingdom's television licence fee, limited advertising and the profits of BBC Worldwide Ltd. The service is also guaranteed £289 million (allocated over a five-year period ending in 2020) from the UK government. The World Service was funded for decades by grant-in-aid through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the British Government until 1 April 2014.The controller of BBC World Service English is Mary Hockaday.

Banksy

Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique. His works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. Banksy's work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians. Banksy says that he was inspired by 3D, a graffiti artist who later became a founding member of the English musical group Massive Attack.Banksy displays his art on publicly visible surfaces such as walls and self-built physical prop pieces. Banksy no longer sells photographs or reproductions of his street graffiti, but his public 'installations' are regularly resold, often even by removing the wall they were painted on. A small number of Banksy's works are officially, non-publicly, sold through Pest Control. Banksy's documentary film Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) made its debut at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. In January 2011, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary for the film. In 2014, he was awarded Person of the Year at the 2014 Webby Awards.

David Cameron

David William Donald Cameron (born 9 October 1966) is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2016. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Witney from 2001 to 2016 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 2005 to 2016. He identifies as a one-nation conservative, and has been associated with both economically liberal and socially liberal policies.

Born in London to an upper-middle-class family, Cameron was educated at Heatherdown School, Eton College, and Brasenose College, Oxford. From 1988 to 1993 he worked at the Conservative Research Department, assisting the Conservative Prime Minister John Major, before leaving politics to work for Carlton Communications in 1994. Becoming an MP in 2001, he served in the opposition shadow cabinet under Conservative leader Michael Howard, and succeeded Howard in 2005. Cameron sought to rebrand the Conservatives, embracing an increasingly socially liberal position. The 2010 general election led to Cameron becoming Prime Minister as the head of a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats – the youngest holder of the office since the 1810s. His premiership was marked by the ongoing effects of the late-2000s financial crisis; these involved a large deficit in government finances that his government sought to reduce through austerity measures. His administration introduced large-scale changes to welfare, immigration policy, education, and healthcare. It privatised the Royal Mail and some other state assets, and legalised same-sex marriage in Great Britain.

Internationally, his government intervened militarily in the Libyan Civil War and later authorised the bombing of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; domestically, his government oversaw the referendum on voting reform and Scottish independence referendum, both of which confirmed Cameron's favoured outcome. When the Conservatives secured an unexpected majority in the 2015 general election he remained as Prime Minister, this time leading a Conservative-only government. To fulfil a manifesto pledge, he introduced a referendum on the UK's continuing membership of the EU. Cameron supported continued membership; following the success of the Leave vote, he resigned to make way for a new Prime Minister and was succeeded by Theresa May.Cameron has been praised for modernising the Conservative Party and for decreasing the United Kingdom's national deficit. Conversely, he has been criticised by figures on both the left and right, and has been accused of elitism and political opportunism.

FTSE 100 Index

The Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index, also called the FTSE 100 Index, FTSE 100, FTSE, or, informally, the "Footsie" , is a share index of the 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalisation. It is seen as a gauge of prosperity for businesses regulated by UK company law. The index is maintained by the FTSE Group, a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange Group.

Gordon Brown

James Gordon Brown (born 20 February 1951) is a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2010. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Blair Government from 1997 to 2007. Brown was a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1983 to 2015, first for Dunfermline East and later for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

A doctoral graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Brown spent his early career working as both a lecturer at a further education college and a television journalist. He entered Parliament in 1983 as the MP for Dunfermline East. He joined the Shadow Cabinet in 1989 as Shadow Secretary of State for Trade, and was later promoted to become Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1992. After Labour's victory in 1997, he was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, becoming the longest-serving holder of that office in modern history.

Brown's time as Chancellor was marked by major reform of Britain's monetary and fiscal policy architecture, transferring interest rate setting powers to the Bank of England, by a wide extension of the powers of the Treasury to cover much domestic policy and by transferring responsibility for banking supervision to the Financial Services Authority. Controversial moves included the abolition of advance corporation tax (ACT) relief in his first budget, and the removal in his final budget of the 10% "starting rate" of personal income tax which he had introduced in 1999. In 2007, Tony Blair resigned as Prime Minister and Labour Leader and Brown was chosen to replace him in an uncontested election.

After initial rises in opinion polls following Brown becoming Prime Minister, Labour's popularity declined with the onset of a recession in 2008, leading to poor results in the local and European elections in 2009. A year later, Labour lost 91 seats in the House of Commons at the 2010 general election, the party's biggest loss of seats in a single general election since 1931, making the Conservatives the largest party in a hung parliament. Brown remained in office as Labour negotiated to form a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. On 10 May 2010, Brown announced he would stand down as leader of the Labour Party, and instructed the party to put into motion the processes to elect a new leader. Labour's attempts to retain power failed and on 11 May, he officially resigned as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by David Cameron, and as Leader of the Labour Party by Ed Miliband.

Later, Brown played a prominent role in the campaign surrounding the Scottish independence referendum of 2014, galvanising support behind maintaining the union.

HMV

HMV is a UK based music and film retailer (registered in England as Sunrise Records and Entertainment Ltd.). The first HMV-branded store was opened by the Gramophone Company on Oxford Street in 1921, and the HMV name was also used for television and radio sets manufactured from the 1930s onwards. The retail side of the business began to expand in the 1960s, and in 1998 was divested from EMI, the successor to the Gramophone Company, to form what would become HMV Group.

HMV stands for His Master's Voice, the title of a painting by Francis Barraud of the dog Nipper listening to a cylinder phonograph, which was bought by the Gramophone Company in 1899. For advertising purposes this was changed to a wind-up gramophone, and eventually used simply as a silhouette.

HMV owned the Waterstone's bookshop chain from 1998 until 2011, and has owned the music retailer Fopp since August 2007. It purchased a number of former Zavvi stores in February 2009, and also branched into live music venue management that year by purchasing MAMA Group. It sold the group in December 2012.

On 15 January 2013, HMV Group plc entered administration. Deloitte were appointed to deal with the administration of the company. On 16 January 2013, HMV Ireland declared receivership, and all Irish stores were closed. A week later, on 22 January 2013, it was reported that Hilco UK would buy the debt of HMV, a step towards potentially taking control of the company. The sale of HMV's Hong Kong and Singapore business to private equity firm Aid Partners was completed on 28 February 2013. On 5 April 2013, HMV was bought out of administration by Hilco UK for an estimated £50 million to form the current company. HMV Group plc, which had been listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling Index, was liquidated in July 2014.HMV Canada is a former subsidiary which was sold to Hilco by the HMV Group in 2011. HMV Canada went into receivership in 2017 after being sued by Huk 10 Ltd., a shell company owned by Hilco. Sunrise Records announced that it had negotiated to purchase the leases for 70 of HMV's locations from landlords to convert them to Sunrise stores as well as plans to retain as many former HMV staff as possible.

After announcing its intent to enter administration again in December 2018, the company was bought from Hilco by Sunrise Records on 5 February 2019.

Harold Shipman

Harold Frederick Shipman (14 January 1946 – 13 January 2004) was an English general practitioner and one of the most prolific serial killers in history. On 31 January 2000, a jury found Shipman guilty of 15 murders of patients under his care. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with the recommendation that he never be released.The Shipman Inquiry, a two-year-long investigation of all deaths certified by Shipman, which was chaired by Dame Janet Smith, examined Shipman's crimes. The inquiry identified 218 victims and estimated his total victim count at 250, about 80% of whom were elderly women. His youngest confirmed victim was a 41-year-old man, although "significant suspicion" arose that he had killed patients as young as four.Much of Britain's legal structure concerning health care and medicine was reviewed and modified as a result of Shipman's crimes. He is the only British doctor to have been found guilty of murdering his patients, although other doctors have been acquitted of similar crimes or convicted on lesser charges.Shipman died on 13 January 2004, one day prior to his 58th birthday, by hanging himself in his cell at Wakefield Prison.

List of BBC newsreaders and reporters

BBC News employs many presenters and correspondents who appear across television, radio and contribute to BBC Online. BBC News provides television journalism to BBC One bulletins and the rolling news channels BBC World News and the BBC News Channel in the United Kingdom. In addition BBC News runs rolling news network BBC Radio 5 Live and the international BBC World Service. They also contribute to strands across BBC Radio 4 and bulletins on all radio networks. The BBC has over 200 correspondents based both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (Henry Charles Albert David; born 15 September 1984) is a member of the British royal family. He is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne. He was officially styled Prince Henry of Wales from birth until his marriage, but is known as Prince Harry.Harry was educated at schools in the United Kingdom and spent parts of his gap year in Australia and Lesotho. He then underwent officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a cornet (i.e. second lieutenant) into the Blues and Royals, serving temporarily with his brother, Prince William, and completed his training as a troop leader. In 2007–08, he served for over ten weeks in Helmand, Afghanistan, but was pulled out after an Australian magazine revealed his presence there. He returned to Afghanistan for a 20-week deployment in 2012–13 with the Army Air Corps. He left the army in June 2015.

Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014 and remains patron of its foundation. He also gives patronage to several other organisations, including the HALO Trust, the London Marathon Charitable Trust, and Walking With The Wounded. On 19 May 2018, he married the American actress Meghan Markle. Hours before the wedding, his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II conferred on him the title Duke of Sussex.

Theresa May

Theresa Mary May (; née Brasier; born 1 October 1956) is a British politician serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2016. She served as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016. May was first elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Maidenhead in 1997. Ideologically, she identifies herself as a one-nation conservative.May grew up in Oxfordshire and attended St Hugh's College, Oxford. She worked for the Bank of England, and from 1985 until 1997 at the Association for Payment Clearing Services, also serving as a councillor for Durnsford in Merton. After unsuccessful attempts to be elected to the House of Commons she was elected as the MP for Maidenhead in the 1997 general election. From 1999 to 2010, May held a number of roles in Shadow Cabinets. She was also Chairwoman of the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2003.

When the coalition government was formed after the 2010 general election, May was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, but gave up the latter role in 2012. She was reappointed after the Conservative victory in the 2015 general election, and became the longest-serving Home Secretary in over 60 years. During her tenure she pursued reform of the Police Federation, implemented a harder line on drugs policy including the banning of khat, oversaw the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners, the deportation of Abu Qatada, and the creation of the National Crime Agency, and brought in additional restrictions on immigration.In July 2016, after David Cameron resigned, May was elected unopposed as Conservative Party Leader, becoming the second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher. As Prime Minister, May began the process of withdrawing the UK from the European Union, triggering Article 50 in March 2017. The following month, she announced a snap general election in June, with the aim of strengthening her hand in Brexit negotiations. This resulted in a hung parliament, in which the number of Conservative seats fell from 330 to 317, despite the party winning their highest vote share since 1983. The loss of an overall majority prompted her to enter a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to support a minority government.

May survived a vote of no confidence from her own MPs in December 2018. Before the vote, May said that she would not lead her party in the next general election scheduled for 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. but did not rule out leading it into a snap election. May carried out the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, adhering to the Chequers Agreement, which resulted in the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU. This agreement was defeated by Parliament in January 2019, and negotations continue to try and reach a deal.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

The UK is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state. The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Liverpool, and Newcastle.

The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers. The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed almost a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language, culture and political systems of many of its former colonies.The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a very high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world. It was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It has been a leading member state of the European Union (EU) and its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), since 1973; however, a referendum in 2016 resulted in 51.9% of UK voters favouring leaving the European Union, and the country's exit is being negotiated. The United Kingdom is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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