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Naga Munchetty says news broadcasters are ‘not robots’

Journalists are ‘impartial, but we are not idiots’, according to the broadcaster.

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Naga Munchetty (Ian West/PA)

Naga Munchetty (Ian West/PA)

Naga Munchetty (Ian West/PA)

Naga Munchetty has said that broadcasters are not “robots” who are there to “blankly read the news”.

The BBC Breakfast presenter became embroiled in an impartiality row last year over on-air comments she made about US president Donald Trump.

Speaking to the Women’s Prize For Fiction Podcast, Munchetty said that journalists are “impartial but we are not idiots”.

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(Ian West/PA)

(Ian West/PA)

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(Ian West/PA)

She added: “We are not robots, we are not there to simply blankly read the news, that isn’t our job.

“We are judging the tone of the morning, we are judging the tone of those who are watching, we are judging what they need to know and informing them neutrally but with insight as much as we can.”

Interviewees cannot “say the sky is pink in the middle of a blue sky day” and go unchallenged, she added.

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(Peter Byrne/PA)

(Peter Byrne/PA)

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(Peter Byrne/PA)

Last year, Munchetty was rebuked by the BBC after commenting on President Trump’s call for a group of female Democrats to “go back” to their own countries.

In the July 17 broadcast, Munchetty had said that “every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism”, adding: “I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean.”

The corporation initially ruled that the presenter had breached editorial guidelines. However, director-general Lord Tony Hall later reversed the decision.

PA