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Commented: China would be proud...

Ofcom decides on overt political censorship of the words of Rishi Sunak being questioned on GB News


Link Here28th May 2024
Full story: Ofcom vs Free Speech...Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas
Ofcom wrote:

People's Forum: The Prime Minister
GB News, 12 February 2024, 20:00

Ofcom received 547 complaints about this live, hour-long current affairs programme which featured the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, in a question-and-answer session with a studio audience about the Government's policies and performance, in the context of the forthcoming UK General Election.

We considered that this constituted a matter of major political controversy and a major matter relating to current public policy. When covering major matters, all Ofcom licensees must comply with the heightened special impartiality requirements in the Code. These rules require broadcasters to include and give due weight to an appropriately wide range of significant views within a programme or in clearly linked and timely programmes.

Ofcom had no issue with this programme's format in principle. Broadcasters have freedom to decide the editorial approach of their programmes as long as they comply with the Code. We took into account factors such as: the audience's questions to the Prime Minister; his responses; the Presenter's contribution; and whether due impartiality was preserved through clearly linked and timely programmes. In this case:

  • While some of the audience's questions provided some challenge to, and criticism of, the Government's policies and performance, audience members were not able to challenge the Prime Minister's responses and the Presenter did not do this to any meaningful extent.

  • The Prime Minister was able to set out some future policies that his Government planned to implement, if re-elected in the forthcoming UK General Election. Neither the audience or the Presenter challenged or otherwise referred to significant alternative views on these.

  • The Prime Minister criticised aspects of the Labour Party's policies and performance. While politicians are of course able to do this in programmes, licensees must ensure that due impartiality is preserved. Neither the Labour Party's views or positions on those issues, or any other significant views on those issues were included in the programme or given due weight.

  • The Licensee did not, and was not able to, include a reference in the programme to an agreed future programme in which an appropriately wide range of significant views on the major matter would be presented and given due weight.

We found that an appropriately wide range of significant viewpoints was not presented and given due weight in this case. As a result, Rishi Sunak had a mostly uncontested platform to promote the policies and performance of his Government in a period preceding a UK General Election.

GB News failed to preserve due impartiality, in breach of Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Code. Our decision is that this breach was serious and repeated.

We will therefore consider this breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction

 

Update: GB News to challege Ofcom's censorship in the courts

21st May 2024. See article from pressgazette.co.uk

A GB News spokesperson responded to the Ofcom censorship:

GB News has begun the formal legal process of challenging recent Ofcom decisions which go against journalists' and broadcasters' rights to make their own editorial judgements in line with the law and which also go against Ofcom's own rules.

Ofcom is obliged by law to uphold freedom of expression. Ofcom is also obliged to apply its rules fairly and lawfully. We believe that, for some time now, Ofcom has been operating in the exact opposite manner.

We cannot allow freedom of expression and media freedom to be trampled on in this way.

Freedom of the press is a civil right established by the British in the seventeenth century with the abolition of censorship and licensing of the printing press.

We refuse to stand by and allow this right to be threatened. As the People's Channel we champion this freedom; for our viewers, for our listeners, for everyone in the United Kingdom.

 

Ofsite Comment: Ofcom's contempt for GB News viewers

21st May 2024. See article from spiked-online.com by Andrew Tettenborn

How, you might ask, could a show featuring independently selected, non-aligned voters directly quizzing an embattled PM breach impartiality rules? The Ofcom ruling makes no sense, at least if you look at it from the perspective of the average, level-headed man or woman in the street. But then, the apparatchiks who run Ofcom are neither particularly level-headed nor remotely reflective of the average voter.

See article from spiked-online.com

 

Ofsite Comment: The real reason Ofcom has gone after GB News

27th May 2024. See article from spectator.co.uk by Toby Young

 

 

The 2023 Ofcom Top 10...

Ofcom publishes its list of most complained about TV


Link Here28th December 2023
Ofcom has published an end of year review. Ofcom writes:

Over the course of the last year, we received 69,236 complaints about 9,638 cases. That's nearly twice as many complaints as we dealt with in 2022

In 2023, we published 23 Broadcast and On Demand Bulletins which announced 57 new broadcast standards investigations, as well the outcome of 46 investigations. We found a total of 35 programmes in breach of our broadcasting rules and are working to conclude the others as quickly as possible. We also published 15 adjudications on complaints from individuals and organisations that complained to us that they had been treated unfairly and/or had their privacy unwarrantably infringed in TV and radio programmes.

We imposed sanctions on four broadcasters for content breaches, including a 40,000 fine to the Islam channel and 10,000 to Ahlebait TV , both for broadcasting antisemitic content.

We also found GB News in breach of our rules on five occasions after our investigations found it broke our rules that protect audiences from harm twice and our due impartiality rules three times.

Most complained about programmes of 2023

  • Dan Wootton Tonight, GB News, 26 September 2023 -- 8,867 complaints

    Viewers objected to the misogynistic comments made by Laurence Fox about journalist Ava Evans.

    Ofcom's investigation of this programme under our rules on offence is ongoing.
     

  • King Charles III: The Coronation, ITV1, 6 May 2023 -- 8,421 complaints

    The majority of complaints related to a comment made by actress Adjoa Andoh during the live broadcast, which focused on the 'whiteness' of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

    While we understand some viewers had strong feelings about this comment, after careful consideration we concluded that the comment was a personal observation which was part of a wide-ranging panel discussion which also touched on other diversity-related topics, and which contained a range of viewpoints.
     

  • Good Morning Britain, ITV1, 17 October 2023 -- 2,391 complaints

    We carefully assessed complaints about the presenter's line of questioning towards MP Layla Moran.

    We considered his live, unscripted remarks were potentially offensive. However, taking the entire interview into account, and in particular a preceding discussion about Hamas using civilians as human shields, we considered the question sought to explore whether civilians were aware of a potential escalation in hostilities, rather than suggesting that Ms Moran or her family were aware of specific plans for the Hamas attack on 7 October 2023. In her response, Ms Moran spoke about her surprise at the scale and sophistication of the attack. In light of this, we will not be pursuing further.
     

  • Jeremy Vine, Channel 5, 13 March 2023 -- 2,302 complaints

    We carefully considered complaints from viewers about a discussion on the junior doctors' pay dispute.

    While we recognise that some references about progression timelines and corresponding pay-scales were not strictly accurate, we do not consider that the errors were sufficient to have materially misled viewers so as to cause harm.
     

  • Breakfast with Kay Burley, Sky News, 23 November 2023 -- 1,880 complaints

    We carefully considered complaints about the presenter's line of questioning during an interview with Israeli spokesperson, Eylon Levy.

    Taking account of Mr Levy's forceful challenge to the premise of the question about the value of Israeli versus Palestinian lives, and the context of the wider discussion about the terms of the temporary ceasefire, we will not be pursuing further.
     

  • Lee Anderson's Real World, GB News, 29 September 2023 -- 1,697 complaints

    Complaints related to Lee Anderson's interview with Suella Braverman, on the grounds that they are both Conservative MPs.

    We published our assessment of this programme which found that it included an appropriately wide range of significant views on immigration and border control which were given due weight.
     

  • Breakfast with Kay Burley, Sky News, 10 October 2023 -- 1,640 complaints

    Complainants alleged Kay Burley misrepresented comments made by the Palestinian ambassador.

    We are assessing the complaints, before we decide whether or not to investigate.
     

  • Naked Education, Channel 4, 4 April 2023 -- 1,285 complaints

    We understand that some viewers were concerned about this programme, which included pre-watershed nudity.

    In our view, the programme had a clear educational focus, and the young participants reflected positively on their involvement. We also took into account that there were warnings to the audience before the programme aired.
     

  • This Morning, ITV, 18 December 2023, 1,092 complaints

    Complaints related to comments made by Vanessa Feltz about coeliac disease.

    We are assessing the complaints, before we decide whether or not to investigate.
     

  • Love Island, ITV2, 9 July 2023 -- 992 complaints

    The majority of complaints about this episode related to bullying against Scott.

    We carefully assessed complaints about this series on a range of issues including alleged bullying, homophobia and racism.

    We recognise that emotionally charged or confrontational scenes can upset some viewers. But, in our view, negative behaviour in the villa was not shown in a positive light. We also took into account that the format of this reality show is well-established and viewers would expect to see highs and lows as couples' relationships are tested.

    Viewers also complained about a contestant being voted off and returning to the programme, but this was an editorial decision for the broadcaster.

 

 

No longer appropriate...

The Simpsons drops scenes showing Homer strangling his son


Link Here4th November 2023
The Simpsons has retired one of its recurring scenes, saying Homer strangling his son Bart is no longer appropriate because times have changed.

The decision was revealed in the 3rd episode of the long-running show's 35th series, in which Homer indicates he is a changed man

Homer strangling Bart had been a regular feature of the animated comedy sitcom ever since it first aired in 1989. Why you little...., a hapless Homer would often yell if his son had angered him, while squeezing his neck until Bart's eyes could be seen bulging out.

Homer's behaviour was addressed during an earlier episode in series 22, when a therapist attempted to get him to see the error of his ways.

 

 

Parents TV Council recommends...

Channel 4's Naked Attraction


Link Here26th September 2023
Full story: Parents TV Council...US moralists whinge at TV sex and violence
The US morality campaign, Parents TV Council, writes:

The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) calls on HBO to immediately remove Naked Attraction from its streaming platform, Max . The UK-originated program is a game show that features uncensored fully naked contestants who are evaluated from the bottom up and eventually chosen for a date solely based on physical attributes by a single contestant. It was reported that Max added all six seasons of Naked Attraction .

Melissa Henson, vice president of the Parents Television and Media Council said:

Naked Attraction should not exist on the Max streaming platform, and HBO should immediately remove this exploitative, pornographic program. Our research has found that Max has mediocre parental controls, enabling children to access some of the most explicit streaming content on the market. There is no doubt children will be able to easily access Naked Attraction , the purpose of which is to shock and titillate the audience with uncensored and explicit nudity. And in a new low for HBO, the show fully exploits its own participants, somehow convincing them that their exploitation for the purpose of dating is right and good

The fact that HBO quietly added Naked Attraction tells us everything we need to know: HBO is duplicitous. It gives the appearance of a trusted family brand by hosting Harry Potter and Sesame Street , but HBO has now lifted its own veil, revealing that it is and always was a pornography channel.

The board of Warner Bros. Discovery is hereby put on notice: the fact that pornographic Naked Attraction is on the Max platform with parental controls that are weak and inefficient is a major corporate liability. We urgently call on the board to course-correct by removing Naked Attraction and instituting the strongest parental controls by default.


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