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New BBC newsroom catching employees 'misbehaving' on camera

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What is it with news channels and their pathological need for an open plan background where people look busy? Do they think that that makes them look like a supremely well oiled operation where vast hordes of news gatherers are toiling to bring viewers the very latest on the story? Or does it make them look as Russell Brand suggested on MSNBC that they are all looking up porn on the phalanx of computers?

BBC viewers have complained about the new open plan or ‘fishbowl’ newsroom where members of staff can be seen in the background of news reports. And, what with being human and all, their behaviour doesn’t always stand up to the scrutiny of 24 hour cameras. Journalists aren’t keen either, with one description of them feeling like ‘pandas in a zoo’ giving an idea of their feelings toward the setup.

Staff have been seen picking their noses, eating bananas, drinking tea, chatting to friends, yawning and using umbrellas as lightsabers.

One licence fee-payer, Mike Jennings tweeted "Man talking gravely about floods on BBC News, Adults in background pretending their umbrellas are lightsabers."

Another viewer, Mark Hutchings wrote: "Surgeon on BBC News Channel from Southampton newsroom. In the background two journalists are hugging. I know it's Friday but..."

Another viewer added: "Wow BBC News your new newsroom background to the newsreader is WAY too visually distracting! We don't need to see all your employees at once".

BBC News moved to the new space in London's Broadcasting House from its old home at Television Centre in March. It seems that they may have to reconsider their set – perhaps making the glass opaque

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: “Our newsroom is designed to showcase the best of the BBC’s journalism and to enable teams from all platforms to work together more collaboratively and efficiently. Staff are aware that they should behave appropriately.”

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