Dear Mr SmithReference CAS-1871451-TCP4WD
Thanks for your correspondence regarding BBC Radio 4’s News Bulletin at 21:00 broadcast on 14 January 2013.We understand that you’re unhappy because you felt was too much news coverage of the anti-gay marriage protest in Paris, and not enough coverage of the march in Paris last month in favour of gay marriage.
The BBC has an obligation to be impartial, independent and accurate.
Choosing the stories to include in our bulletins; the order in which they appear and the length of time devoted to them is a subjective matter and one which we know not every listener will feel we get right every time.
Factors such as whether it is news that has just come in and needs immediate coverage, how unusual the story is and how much national interest there is in the subject matter will all play a part in deciding the level of coverage and where it falls within a bulletin.We'd like to assure you that your feedback has been registered on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's made available to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, Radio 4 news editors, channel controllers and other senior managers.
The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
Here's the reply to a complaint I made to the BBC the other week.
There was a pro-gay marriage march in Paris yesterday - numbers are estimated at between 125,000-400,000.*
BBC Radio 4 News did mention it on the 9pm news - albeit very briefly, and informing listeners the anti-march was much bigger.
Unless my ears blinked, the item had been dropped by the 10pm news bulletin.
It did not make the BBC1 10 O'clock News, nor the front page of BBC News Online - though the anti-gay one was thought so important it was the third story.
There is a short video hidden away on the BBC website - note it claims "tens of thousands" demonstrated, though states with precision "340,000 people" were on the anti one.
Please let me know if you saw this broadcast on BBC News 24.
* Reuters: "Police estimated total attendance at about 125,000, while organizers put the number at 400,000".
Estimating numbers on a large march is a notoriously inexact science.
A police officer once told me they usually guesstimate it by the time it takes to move from point A to point B.
You could get a more accurate figure by studying aerial photographs, if they exist.