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McGuinness coverage is balanced, claims BBC

By Staff Reporter

The BBC has defended its coverage of Martin McGuinness' death this week after it was accused of "despicable fawning" over the late republican leader.

The broadcaster faced a backlash on social media over the IRA activist turned politician, who went on to become Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister.

Unionist commentator David Vance was among the critics of the BBC who took to Twitter to question how the news was being reported.

He claimed the media has "sanitised" Mr McGuinness, and also revealed that following his critical comments about Mr McGuinness on Tuesday, he received three death threats.

"He lived longer than most of his victims. BBC now eulogising terrorist godfather," he tweeted.

Author Richard Hutchings went further: "The BBC's Praise for IRA Terrorist Martin McGuinness is a National Disgrace."

Liberty GB chairman Paul Weston added: "If Martin McGuinness had waged war against Islam or Africa, would the BBC think him such a wonderful man? The Left has no morals or decency."

And Abby Siuda tweeted: "The BBC coverage of Martin McGuinness death is strikingly rose colour tinted, compared to coverage from UTV."

A BBC spokesman said: "Martin McGuinness' life and legacy divides opinion. We have reported his well-documented role in the Northern Ireland peace process, but have also placed his political career within the context of his earlier life and role within the IRA.

"Our coverage has included a range of voices and reaction, including from politicians and many of those directly affected by IRA and Troubles' violence. We understand the sensitivities involved in this story and the strength of feeling that it has aroused.

"Our role is to reflect to this reality and to provide a managed and inclusive forum in which different views can be expressed. We remain satisfied that our coverage of this story has been proportionate, balanced and impartial."

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