Melon Farmers Original Version

Ofcom vs Free Speech


Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas


 

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

 

 

Wrong type of bias...

Ofcom criticises GB News for deviating from the 'right think' line


Link Here24th October 2023
Full story: Ofcom vs Free Speech...Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas
Martin Daubney (standing in for Laurence Fox)
GB News, 16 June 2023, 19:00

The above current affairs programme dealt with the topic of immigration and asylum policy, in particular in the context of controversy over small boats crossing the English Channel. The presenter, Martin Daubney, gave his own views on this topic and interviewed the leader of the Reform Party, Richard Tice.

Ofcom received a complaint about the programme.

We considered that immigration and asylum policy constituted a matter of major political controversy and a major matter relating to current public policy. When dealing with 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.

We found that Mr Tice presented his position on a matter of major political controversy and a major matter of current public policy with insufficient challenge, and the limited alternative views presented were dismissed. The programme therefore did not include and give due weight to an appropriately wide range of significant views, as required by the Code.

The Licensee accepted that the content was not compliant with the heightened special impartiality requirements in the Code.

GB News failed to preserve due impartiality, in breach of Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Code.

Ofcom recognises that, in accordance with the right to freedom of expression, broadcasters have editorial freedom and can offer audiences innovative forms of discussion and debate ... However... in light of the likely similarity of the views of the participants in this programme on the major matter being discussed, the Licensee should have taken additional steps to ensure that due impartiality was preserved.

We expect GB News to take careful account of this Decision in its compliance of future programming.

 

 

Offsite Article: But everybody twists the facts to suit their own case...


Link Here6th March 2023
Full story: Ofcom vs Free Speech...Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas
Ofcom gets involved in the censorship of covid vaccination 'disinformation' arguing that facts were twisted in a GB News programme

See article from bbc.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Melanie Dawes is the new self appointed high priestess of PC...


Link Here9th January 2021
Full story: Ofcom vs Free Speech...Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas
The UK TV censor is trying to deny airtime to critics of politically correct dogma. By Neil Davenport

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Ofcom's new year resolution to solve all the world's ills...

Ofcom confirm a new broadcasting code that will ban Jews from hating Nazis, religions from hating gays, feminists from hating men, progressive commentators from Hating Trump, and the BBC from hating Brexiteers


Link Here31st December 2020
Full story: Ofcom vs Free Speech...Ofcom's TV censorship extended to criticism of woke poliical ideas
Ofcom have released a statement about new TV censorship arrangements following Brexit. Ofcom writes:

Ofcom is today confirming changes to our Broadcasting Code and Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising following consultation.  

The changes reflect new requirements on broadcasters under the revised  Audiovisual Media Services Regulation 2020 , and also take account of legislative changes following the end of the transition period for the UK's withdrawal from the European Union. 

In brief, we are amending:

  • the definition of hate speech in Section Three (Crime, disorder, hatred and abuse) of the Broadcasting Code; 

  • Section Nine (Commercial references on TV) of the Broadcasting Code, to reflect new product placement provisions; and 

  • the Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising (COSTA), to reflect advertising provisions under the European Convention on Transfrontier Television.

We are also making other minor and administrative updates to the Broadcasting Code.

Both the revised Broadcasting Code and the revised COSTA will take effect from 23:00, 31 December 2020, when the Brexit transition period ends.

In fact the definition of 'hate speech' is incredibly wide and seemingly covers many instances where 'hate' is currently totally acceptable, or even encouraged. Ofcom's definition is:

Meaning of "hate speech": all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance on the grounds of disability, ethnicity, social origin, sex, gender, gender reassignment, nationality, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, colour, genetic features, language, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth or age.

Ofcom also details the legal aspects of the changes:

The UK statutory framework that shapes the regulation of UK television services is changing.

The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations came into force on 1 November 2020. The AVMS Regulations implement the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) into UK law. They amend Section 319 of the Communications Act 2003, which sets the standards objectives that underpin Ofcom's Broadcasting Code.

From 1 January 2021, the AVMS Directive itself and the country of origin principle will no longer apply as they did to UK television services that broadcast into the EU. However, the content rules set by the AVMSD prior to that date will still apply. This means both the rules that already existed, and the ones on which we have been consulting to implement the AVMSD, will still apply, and our rules which implemented the AVMSD will be interpreted as they were before.

In addition, the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT) framework will still apply and the legislation requires Ofcom to implement it. This means that services established in the UK and that broadcast to ECTT countries are required to comply with broadcast standards set out in the ECTT, which include those on the amount of advertising broadcasters can transmit and where this is scheduled.

On 24 November 2020, Ofcom published a consultation on proposals for amendments to the Broadcasting Code and COSTA resulting from the legislative changes. This statement sets out the amendments we are making in light of stakeholders' responses.




 

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