Dan Walker: BBC host opens up on ‘intense’ scrutiny at work amid major changes
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Dan Walker, 43, has long been at the helm of BBC Breakfast with his co-host Louise Minchin, 52, discussing the big news of the day, the week and the month that continue to affect the public. But focusing on the past few years to present day, national and international events brought something very different – from a country divided about leaving the European Union, upheaval around the globe and a catastrophic pandemic that brought the world to its knees – the media have repeatedly come under pressure from the nation.
The job has become a bit more intense. We’re under a lot more scrutiny
The BBC inparticular have seemed to come under fire on multiple occasions for their coverage of big events such as Brexit and speaking to ministers about coronavirus, with some branding them “biased”.
Dan refutes the accusation, but acknowledged they have come under more extreme review from the public.
“The job has become a bit more intense,” he said in a recent interview.
“We’re under a lot more scrutiny.
He continued to explain that some “huge stories” have happened in the last few years that have made it more important than ever to be accurate.
“Brexit followed immediately by the general election and followed immediately by coronavirus,” he listed.
“The whole population have been talking about what we’re talking about.”
But you can’t please everybody.
Dan has been left baffled on more than one occasion when viewers message him with conflicting complaints about his reporting, proving that those at the forefront of news are damned either way.
He opened up about how frustrating he finds Twitter trolls who accuse him or his work colleagues of not doing their jobs properly, and admitted that he gives in sometimes and responds.
“I’m getting better. I just really care about the programme and the people I work with,” he said.
“I don’t like it when people have gotten the wrong idea, or accuse Louise or somebody who works on the programme of not doing their job properly or pandering to somebody or not doing their research.”
He explained he feels it’s his job to defend his stomping ground and the hard work that goes into bringing it to air every morning.
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“I see firsthand how hard people work. I see the amount of effort that goes in and the hours people put in, how late they stay here working through the nights to make sure the programme is as good as it can be,” he said.
“So when we get accused of something sometimes I’ll go back and have a little nibble.
“I think it’s important to defend the programme.”
Louise also chimed in during their joint conversation with The Mirror: “Our job, especially when we work for the BBC, is to be impartial,” she continued.
“You can ask the questions, and you can ask them three times, and the audience can make the judgments.
“That’s not for us to make.”
BBC Breakfast airs weekdays from 6am on BBC One.
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