Panjab Radio is a faith and cultural radio station for the UK Asian community, broadcasting in Punjabi.
On 24 August 2018 at 22:00 Panjab Radio broadcast the Shamsher
Singh Rai Programme, an occasional show on the station, with around four editions per month. The programme focused on Punjabi poetry and featured live calls from listeners expressing their feelings through poetry.
programme, the presenter advocated, justified and supported violent retributive action against those he considered to have shown disrespect towards Sikh places of worship. He did this without challenge or other sufficient contextual justification.
In accordance with Ofcom's Procedures for the consideration of statutory sanctions in breaches of broadcast licences, Ofcom considered whether the Code breaches were serious, deliberate, repeated or reckless so as to warrant the
imposition of a sanction on Panjab Radio.
Having considered the representations made to us, Ofcom has decided to impose a financial penalty of £30,000 and to direct the Licensee to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on a
date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.
Britain's Got Talent has been the subject of 10,267 viewer complaints from furious viewers over an act on the show. This is the second highest tally of complaints in the last ten years.
Ashley Banjo led the Diversity dance troupe in a Black
Lives Matter routine. The performance, which saw Jordan's brother Ashley lying on the floor with a white police officer kneeling on him , referenced the death of George Floyd in the US. There were also backing dancers performing dressed in riot gear and
the group took the knee during the performance.
Ashley reported that he had received a barrage of abuse over the performance. He tweeted:
So much to say... But I'll Just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages
of Love and support - Thank you. For the thousands of messages of hate and ignorance - Thank you. You highlight exactly what needs to change. Sending nothing but love to you all.
The Sun seemed a little reluctant to describe
what the complaints were about but summarised that they were insisting that a political statement had no place on the talent show.
TV censor Ofcom has confirmed the number of
complaints for Britain's Got Talent have continue to rise over the weekend and now stand at 23,308.
An ITV spokesman responded to the complaints:
Britain's Got Talent has always been an inclusive show, which
showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms and ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity's performance on BGT.
Ashley and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of
modern Britain and their performance was an authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020.
Ofcom received approximately 24,500 complaints about this performance on Britain's Got Talent.
We also received a number of messages of support and praise for the performance. In
summary, the complaints about the performance raised a range of concerns, including that it:
was unsuitable for a family audience due to themes of violence and racism;
encouraged societal division and was racist towards White people;
portrayed White police officers, including in a depiction of the death of George Floyd, and encouraged violence against the police; and,
expressed support for the political organisation Black Lives Matter.
Ofcom has assessed this programme against the relevant rules in the Broadcasting Code. Our assessment is that this programme did not raise any issues which warranted investigation. In our view, Diversity's performance was an
artistic expression of topical social issues and did not contain any content which was racist, unsuitably violent or otherwise inappropriate in the context of this programme.
Given the significant publicity surrounding
this case and the high volume of complaints received, we have decided to publish our reasons for this assessment.
Ofcom commissioned research has identified (but not named) 2 adult video sharing sharing platforms that are based in the UK. It will be interesting to see how age verification requirements will effect these UK services trying to compete with the rest
of world with no such requirements (for the moment).
We are seeking evidence and information related to the new requirements that will apply to video-sharing platforms.
Video-sharing platforms (VSPs) are a type of online video service where users can upload and share videos. VSPs allow users to engage with a wide range of content and social features and are particularly popular among young people. 90% of adults and 98% of children aged 8-15 who use the internet have used a VSP in the past year.
Ofcom will be given new powers this autumn to regulate UK-established VSPs. This will include a duty to ensure that VSPs have in place appropriate measures to protect young people from potentially harmful content and all users
from illegal content and incitement to hatred and violence. Services will also need to ensure standards around advertising are met.
This call for evidence sets out the background and legislative context to forthcoming VSP
regulation in the UK and an overview of the VSP regulatory framework. It also sets out Ofcom's approach to VSP regulation based around some core principles: protection and assurance; freedom of expression; adaptability; transparency; enforcement;
independence; and proportionality.
Sky Atlantic and Sky Comedy start showing adult content during the daytime but with PIN protection
19th August 2020
Thanks to Jon
Back in November 2018 Ofcom issued a statement changing the watershed rules for mainstream TV channels from January 2019.
At the time the existing rules allowed 15-rated films to be broadcast during the daytime on subscription film channels and up to
18-rated films on pay per view film channels, provided a mandatory PIN is in place.
The 2019 rule change extended this flexibility to all mainstream channels, at least those that had a system allowing for mandatory PIN protection.
recently, no TV channels took advantage of this new flexibility. Now it seems that Sky is taking the plunge on its Sky Atlantic channel:
THE WIRE is showing at Noon, in daily double-bills
THE SOPRANOS is showing in daily double-bills at 4:35pm
GAME OF THRONES is showing at 7:45pm.
The EPG warns of each show containing strong language/mature content.
Thanks to Jon who confirmed that the shows were completely uncensored, including the use of racially offensive language and all the f-words (and all the variations of it). He noted
that indeed the shows have PIN protection for both the broadcast and the recording of it.
Sky Comedy (EPG 113) is also doing the same thing, showing adult shows during daytime hours, but PIN coded to stop underage viewers seeing the shows. VEEP, CURB
YOUR ENTHUSIASM, and SEX AND THE CITY, are being broadcast at 9am, 10:10am and 11:20am respectively.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and Ofcom have announced the launch of a new forum to help ensure online services work well for people and businesses in the UK.
The Digital Regulation Cooperation
Forum strengthens existing collaboration and coordination between the three regulators. It aims to harness their collective expertise when data, privacy, competition, communications and content interact.
Ofcom announces a reorganisation with a new group in charge of censorship of Broadcasting and Online Content
22nd July 2020
New Ofcom groups to lead industry policy and engagement Ofcom
Kevin Bakhurst will continue to lead Ofcom's media regulation as Group Director of Broadcasting and Online Content. This group combines our work on broadcasting
- including standards, licensing and policy work - as well as new duties to regulate video sharing platforms. The Broadcasting and Online Content group will lead Ofcom's regulatory regimes in these sectors, and manage relationships with its stakeholders.
China 24, News Hour CCTV News, 27 August 2013, 12:00 and 14 July 2014, 21:002
CCTV News broadcast China 24, a news programme which reported on the arrest of Peter Humphrey and included footage of him appearing to
confess to a criminal offence. It then broadcast a follow up report during News Hour, which reported on Mr Humphrey's subsequent conviction and included footage of him apologising for having committed the offence. He was named in both programmes,
although his face was blurred.
Ofcom found that:
The programmes included footage of Mr Humphrey which had the potential materially and adversely to affect viewers’ perception of him. The Licensee did not take sufficient steps to ensure that material facts had not been presented,
omitted or disregarded in a way that was unfair to Mr Humphrey.
The Licensee had not provided Mr Humphrey with an appropriate and timely opportunity to respond to the allegations of wrongdoing being made about him
in the programmes as broadcast.
Mr Humphrey had a legitimate expectation of privacy in relation to the filming and subsequent broadcast of the footage of him without his consent. In the circumstances, Mr Humphrey’s
legitimate expectation of privacy was not outweighed by the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression and the audience’s right to receive information and ideas without interference. The Licensee had therefore unwarrantably infringed Mr Humphrey’s
privacy in respect of the obtaining of the material included in the programmes and in the programmes as broadcast.
Ofcom also considers that the breach of Rules 7.1 and 8.1 of the Code is serious. We are therefore putting the Licensee on notice that we intend to consider the breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction.