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MPs/Peers hear from BBC correspondents on challenges reporting war in Ukraine

BGIPU co-hosted with the BBC World Service a virtual briefing on the current situation in Ukraine on 14 March 2022.  The discussion focussed on the challenges faced by journalists reporting from the region, the fight against disinformation, and the measures the BBC is taking to ensure impartial news and updates are reaching all audiences, including those in Ukraine and Russia.

The roundtable discussion was chaired by Huw Merriman MP (Chair of the BBC APPG), and included updates from Tim Davie (BBC Director-General), Lyse Doucet (BBC Chief International Correspondent), Tarik Kafala (BBC Controller of Languages), Mark Urban (Diplomatic & Defence Editor), Jenny Norton (BBC Russia Editor), Nick Robinson (Presenter of BBC Radio 4 Today), and the Rt Hon John Whittingale MP (Vice Chair of BGIPU). Over 60 MPs and peers attended to garner a better perspective of the difficulties journalists face when reporting on the war.

The discussion highlighted the importance of accurate information and the two different realities between what is happening on the ground and how Russian state media are portraying developments. As Tim Davie noted, there are two different battles currently taking place the first is the war that unfolds on the ground and the second is the perception of the war.

As the BBC was banned in Russia earlier on in the month, the organisation is working hard to use different forms of communication to still deliver news to Russians. They are using platforms such as telegram, Tiktok and Instagram (before it was also banned) to circumvent restrictions. They are also increasing their efforts on shortwave radio in case the internet goes down in Ukraine.

The meeting followed on from BGIPU’s extensive work supporting the UK Government’s campaign (with Canada) to defend media freedom globally. The audience gained a unique perspective from the discussion with BBC journalists reporting from the ground of the harrowing situation. BGIPU would like to thank everyone for attending this event and for the incredible line-up of panellists for taking the time to speak to MPs and Peers.

BGIPU Secretariat