Samira Ahmed becomes the new presenter of Newswatch this week fronting the weekly programme which aims to hold BBC news to account.
The programme had been presented since launch in 2004 by Ray Snoddy. It was launched in the wake of the Hutton Report as a way to foster more accountability for BBC News.
Here's the BBC announcement:
Samira Ahmed officially becomes the face of Newswatch this week as the programme settles into its new home in New Broadcasting House.
Newswatch aims to hold BBC News to account, presenting viewers' opinions directly to journalists and editors and hearing lively debate about how different stories are covered.
Over the next few weeks, Newswatch plans to explore the BBC's coverage of stories such as the US presidential election, the conflict in Syria and the on-going economic problems of the Eurozone.
Commenting on joining Newswatch, presenter Samira Ahmed said:
“In my 20 years in broadcast news I've seen how technology has transformed what we see on screen and social media have broken down some of the barriers between newsmakers and audiences. But the same questions are still coming up: about fair dealing, balance and proportion. With viewers more willing to challenge coverage they think is not right, I'm proud to be part of Newswatch, which remains focused on getting answers from editors about their concerns.”
Newswatch Editor Barney Jones added:
“We are delighted to be welcoming Samira Ahmed. Her experience as a distinguished broadcast journalist and presenter will be invaluable, as Newswatch starts a new chapter, broadcasting from a state-of-the-art studio in the BBC’s recently-opened news headquarters in central London. The programme will continue its tradition of airing viewers’ opinions about BBC News and Current Affairs, and putting their points to programme-makers and executives.”
Newswatch is broadcast on the BBC News Channel on Fridays at 8.45pm and during BBC Breakfast on BBC One, Saturday mornings at 7.45am.