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Editor lodges complaint after BBC refuses to share footage

A regional daily editor has lodged a formal complaint with the BBC after the corporation refused to hand over footage of a visit by the Prime Minister.

The BBC was chosen to cover David Cameron’s visit to Eastleigh ahead of the hotly contested by-election in the town – but despite a pooling agreement between media, the corporation refused to give footage to the Southern Daily Echo.

Bosses at the Beeb told editor Ian Murray that they did not recognise the paper as a broadcaster – despite the pooling agreement being designed to include all media.

Speaking to HTFP, Ian branded the decision “preposterous”.

“Apart from the fact we carry video on our website which attracts millions of hits each month, who are the BBC to decide who qualifies to get what material?” he said.

“We make available our photographs and copy from the times we are chosen as pool representatives in this by-election, and we pass that material on to all and every media including the BBC. This is yet another example of the BBC acting in an arrogant manner.

“All our people are now primed to raise the issue with the Conservative Party should the BBC be chosen to represent a media pool in future. We will want assurances that we will be able to get hold of the footage straight away.”

“We are the local paper for the area and arguably have more people there than anyone else – we have an office in Eastleigh and free weeklies covering the area as well as the Echo.

Ian said a spokesman for the BBC told them: “Our decision remains. We are not prepared to give you the footage because you are not part of the broadcast pool.”

As it turned out, the BBC’s film was passed on to ITV and also PA who then made it available to the Daily Echo.

The by-election was announced following the resignation of Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne, who admitted perverting the course of justice over claims his ex-wife took speeding points for him a decade ago.

A BBC spokesperson said:  “UK Broadcasters belonging to the broadcast pool contribute to the cost of events and share copyright with the BBC.

“Outside of this arrangement the BBC is subject to fair trading regulations and has to charge a fair market rate for content.

“South Today acted within the terms of this pool arrangement. A clip of the Prime Minister’s visit to Eastleigh is available to embed from the BBC website and can be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21465037.”

10 comments

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  • February 18, 2013 at 9:11 am
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    Convergence has obviously not reached BBC South, which is relying on out-dated agreements

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  • February 18, 2013 at 11:25 am
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    Ian Murray – will you stop moaning about everything and get on with your job trying to run a newspaper,you moan at the police press office and always the BBC, you don’t have a chip in your shoulder it’s a jacket potato !!

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  • February 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm
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    “video on our website which attracts millions of hits each month”… Really?

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  • February 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm
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    What is more concerning is that the BBC were ‘chosen’ to cover the Eastleigh visit. What, the whole visit?
    Did the Echo, or its weeklies, cover the visit?
    If not, what about press freedom? It’s a big by-election in the circumstances and has it now got to the stage where the weakened regionals are being stopped from reporting such issues?
    Pooling, for local stories? I suspect there is a much bigger can of worms here than the BBC refusing to hand over video copy.

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  • February 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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    Millions of hits each month? Millions?!! I find that somewhat unlikely.

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  • February 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm
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    Millions. Only when yet another manager of Saints is sacked.

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  • February 18, 2013 at 2:02 pm
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    He may have a point about the BBC’s legendary arrogance but have to pick him up on the claims about the Echo’s video output.

    Check out the paper’s youtube site and you’ll see recent pieces to camera with Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband. Combined views, er 0. A piece featuring David Cameron, 113 views.

    Yes video is important to newspaper online sites. But newspapers pretending to be broadcasters just doesn’t work.

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  • February 19, 2013 at 9:20 am
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    The term ‘hits’ is for dinosaurs and as every individual page view has about 15 ‘hits’ (individual files that are loaded from a server e.g a very basic page with a piece of text, an image and one advertising slot would have 3 ‘hits’ each time it’s loaded).

    Whilst he may be right about millions of ‘hit’, the term is b*llocks and should be treated as such.

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  • February 25, 2013 at 11:59 am
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    I don’t know if it happens elsewhere, but the regional BBC journalists regularly use copy from newspapers to fill their news bulletins in the north west area, on radio and TV and present it as their own.

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