Ofcom Report Slams BBC for Failing to Address Impartiality Concerns

Ofcom has released a midterm report of the BBC, reviewing its approach to complaints and public perceptions of its impartiality. The report slams the broadcaster for failing to uphold its complaints procedure, demanding it “change[s] its policy and publish sufficient reasoning in cases where it decides not to uphold due impartiality and due accuracy complaints”, and warning that public trust in its impartiality had declined dramatically in recent years. As Guido reported on Monday, new figures show that public distrust in the BBC has fallen by 20 points in the last five years… 

According to Ofcom’s own figures, 11% of adults had cause to complain about the BBC in the last year, with ITV at 6%, and Channel 4 at 4%. Of that figure, most didn’t have confidence their complaints would be upheld or taken seriously. Why would they? Time and again, the BBC’s top stars clearly breach social media impartiality rules and, at worst, face a warning and slap on the wrist. A few months later, they do it again…

Ofcom chief Dame Melanie Dawes didn’t mince her words:

“Viewers and listeners tell us they aren’t happy with how the BBC handles their complaints, and it clearly needs to address widespread perceptions about its impartiality. So we’re directing it to respond to these concerns, by being much more transparent and open with its audiences. The BBC must also adapt quickly to keep up with changes in what audiences want, and how they get their content.”

The review also warns the BBC to get its act together quickly, or it will recommend the government gets involved:

“We are also expecting the BBC to alert us at an early stage to potential serious editorial breaches… If the BBC fails to do this, we will recommend that the Government makes this a legal requirement.”

One of the major proposed changes is an updated Operating Licence with a far greater emphasis on transparency. The full review is expected early next year…

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mdi-timer June 22 2022 @ 16:13 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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