Tag Archives: Ofcom

The Johnson age of corruption and patronage: he appoints Dacre to run Ofcom and Moore to the BBC

Charles Moore and Paul Dacre: One doesn’t believe in public-service broadcasting, so he has been put in charge of the BBC; the other doesn’t believe in impartial, statutorily-regulated media so he has been given the media regulator Ofcom.

There was no process about these appointments; they are a gift from Boris Johnson to flunkies he wants to do his will.

He knows Dacre will ensure that far-right propaganda gets an easy ride from the broadcasting watchdog because Dacre published far-right propaganda every day in the Daily Heil and gave it an easy ride when he was in charge at the Press Complaints Commission (now IPSO).

This Writer is less familiar with Charles Moore, which tends to indicate that I had a taste of his work and turned away in disgust. From the words of others, I understand there will be no attempt at political balance while he has any say in what goes on at Broadcasting House.

Here‘s the story:

Paul Dacre, former editor of the Daily Mail, has been asked to run the national broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, while Lord Moore, the former editor of the Daily Telegraph and biographer of Margaret Thatcher, is believed to be considering accepting the role of chairman of the BBC.

The provocative choice of two such hardline anti-BBC voices has prompted anger and dismay across the broadcasting and entertainment industry. Speaking to the Observer on Saturday evening the Labour peer Andrew Adonis summed up the response of many to the news. “If true this is Cummings operating straight out of the Trump playbook with the intent to undermine our democratic institutions.”

The former government minister continued: “These would be really disgraceful appointments. Neither Paul Dacre at Ofcom nor Charles Moore at the BBC would believe in the mission of the institution they are running. Dacre demonstrably doesn’t believe in impartially and statutorily regulated media and Moore doesn’t believe in public service broadcasting, as his refusal to pay the licence fee demonstrates.”

This man refuses to pay the TV licence fee and Boris Johnson puts him in charge of the BBC!

If you’re still wondering why it’s a big deal, it means Johnson will control the media through these two puppets – and will get away with more of this:

And here are the responses:

An oligarchy is a small group of people running an entire country. That’s what Johnson wants and that is what he is getting. See this, also:

This last one is ironic:

All the organs mentioned in the tweet are indeed now in right-wing hands.

In related news…

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Is Ofcom reading? Euro economist Bregman’s Twitter takedown of This Week is a revelation

“Worst experience”: Mr Bregman said Davos was “bewildering” but This Week “beats everything”.

Dutch historian Rutger Bregman could be heading for notoriety for a second time this year after he tweeted a damning account of his experiences on BBC political discussion programme This Week.

Mr Bregman, who is best-known for a viral video telling the economic elites in Davos to pay their taxes, explained what happened in this Twitter thread:

This Writer sincerely hopes that Ofcom, which is currently investigating whether the BBC is honouring its obligation to be impartial in its news reporting, has been paying attention. If not, I would encourage Mr Bregman to get in touch with that organisation.

Oh, and his book? It’s called Utopia for Realists – and how we can get there and is available at Amazon and Waterstones.


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BBC defends decision to put Islamophobic white-nationalists on discussion of Christchurch massacre

Impartial? The far-right group Generation Identity was given a platform for its racism on the BBC’s Newsnight programme, where its UK leader was apparently allowed to present his views unchallenged.

Who can keep up with the proliferation of racist, far-right political organisations since the Conservatives slithered back into office in 2010 and started spreading divisive propaganda everywhere?

Political austerity tends to give fascism an opportunity to take root in a society and the UK may well become a textbook example of the phenomenon for historians of the future.

The Tories themselves have encouraged this rise, with their acts of hate against people who are sick and/or disabled, job seekers, immigrants – and descendants of immigrants, and foreigners in general.

Now representatives of these – let’s be honest and call them – fascists are being invited onto our TV screens by the BBC, which should know better.

It’s justification? Apparently it is important to challenge hateful ideologies.

That’s all very well, but is that what happened?

According to the i website, viewers were incensed that the BBC would “give an essentially unchallenged platform to Generation Identity, letting their UK leader spread their ideas and hate”.

The BBC can only claim to have “examined and challenged ideologies that drive hate crimes” if it can show that it actually did so. It seems clear that this did not happen.

This Writer hopes that Ofcom, which is carrying out an inquiry into the BBC’s claims of impartiality, takes note of this latest stain on the corporation’s character.

“BBC has defended its decision to feature the group claiming it was ‘important’ to challenge hateful ideologies.

“A spokesperson for Newsnight told i: ‘It is important we examine and challenge ideologies that drive hate crimes in a wider context, whether they have been distorted, and the connection they may have with any European or UK groups.’”

Source: BBC Newsnight defends inviting far-right Generation Identity to discuss the New Zealand terror attack


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Ofcom is investigating the BBC for bias – and it’s looking bad for Auntie

Not my image: Somebody else made this – indicating that concerns over the BBC’s claim to impartiality are well-founded.

Only on Tuesday this week, I was berating Jo Coburn, presenter of the BBC’s Politics Live, for misrepresenting the assault against Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday.

Now Ofcom is investigating the BBC’s claims to impartiality, after members of the public raised concerns over bias.

I wrote:

Soon after, I was forced to write the following tweet. Note the response I received:

Then yesterday (Wednesday), I noticed a strange attitude towards the Labour anti-Semitism row:

It seems that Ofcom agrees that the BBC’s impartiality has become debatable.

On its website, the regulator announced:

“Our research has revealed many people are generally concerned about both the reliability of content in an era of ‘fake news’, and the negative consequences of disinformation for public trust and democratic processes. Nearly a third (29%) of adult internet users express concerns about disinformation online.

“The BBC has a central role to play in providing trusted, impartial news. Yet our research has shown that audiences consistently rate the impartiality of the BBC’s TV and radio news less highly than many other aspects of BBC’s news output.

“For these reasons we consider it is appropriate to undertake a review, to examine in detail the BBC’s delivery of the first Public Purpose.”

Mention of “the first Public Purpose” is a reference to the BBC’s Royal Charter, under which it has five such purposes.

They are all listed here. The first is “to provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them. The BBC will provide accurate and impartial news, current affairs and factual programming of the highest editorial standards so that all audiences can engage fully with issues across the UK and the world.”

Judging by the behaviour of the Politics Live crew, Auntie will have her work cut out if she wants to avoid a negative report.

(For another perspective on this, please enjoy the Skwawkbox article here.)


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Ofcom report on Rifkind and Straw is more proof Parliament’s standards commission must be scrapped


Tamasin Cave, campaigner for the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency, is right to state that the standards regime is “not fit for purpose and not doing what the public expect of it”.

Cave added that David Cameron had failed in his promise to clean up politics when it comes to MPs being lobbied by corporate interests, and this is also correct.

The current Ofcom report came after Standards Commissioner Kathryn Hudson’s decision on the Rifkind and Straw case was challenged by Labour MP Paul Flynn – and shows he was right to do so.

Furthermore, it has emerged that Rifkind was a member of the panel that helped appoint Hudson as Standards Commissioner, three years ago. Corruption?

The parliamentary standards commissioner Kathryn Hudson is facing questions for criticising the media sting on Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw, after regulator Ofcom found the reporting was of significant public interest and did not unfairly represent the MPs.

Ofcom opened an investigation into the programme in question, a joint operation between Channel 4 and the Daily Telegraph, after Rifkind and Straw were cleared of cash-for-access allegations by Hudson and the standards committee of MPs in September.

The programme used secret filming to allege that the MPs offered their political connections to earn money from commercial companies.

After exonerating the MPs of breaching parliamentary standards, Hudson said the damage done to the former MPs could have been avoided if Channel 4’s Dispatches and the Daily Telegraph had accurately reported the exchanges they had filmed.

The House of Commons standards committee was even more critical of the journalism, saying it was “very concerned that the matter should have been reported in this fashion”.

But Ofcom took a different view on Monday, saying there was a “significant public interest” in exploring the conduct of the MPs and that in the circumstances undercover filming was “proportionate and warranted”.

In its 38-page ruling, Ofcom also said that the filming was an “accurate representation” of the discussions the MPs held.

Source: Parliamentary commissioner faces questions over Rifkind and Straw sting | Media | The Guardian

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‘Sanctions, starvation and evictions are not entertainment. People are dying’

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Are you as utterly sick of televised ‘poverty porn’ as you should be?

Night after night, main offenders Channel 4, Channel 5 – and even the BBC – flood their schedules with nonsense films designed to misinform the public about the lives of the deprived and enlist your collusion in their demonization and destruction.

It’s time somebody put a stop to it, and the United Disability Resistance Movement (UDRM) wants your help to achieve this.

“Some of us have recently been looking at asking our members to write a … letter to the individual members of OFCOM about the media portrayal of benefits ‘scroungers’,” wrote a UDRM representative in a message to This Blog yesterday.

“We think all should unite, able and disabled against the media rhetoric and narrative.

“At UDRM we are convinced that, if all protest groups worked together, we would stand a much better chance of changing things because we all want the same thing in the end. We believe there’s strength in numbers and we are already working with some other groups under the banner of ‘Unite and Fight’.”

The group is asking for anyone who agrees that ‘poverty porn’ should be stopped to send a copy of the following letter to one, many or all of the Ofcom members listed below, indicating their support for the points it makes, in a short campaign over two days between Saturday and Sunday (August 8-9).

It’s up to you.

Here’s the letter. Please consider joining this campaign.

Dear [insert name],

I am writing to complain about the number of programmes on mainstream British television and radio and in British print media at the moment which vilify, target and demonise people who are claiming welfare benefits.

People are being mocked and their struggles are being seen as entertainment when, in fact, it is day-to-day existence for many and not a fictitious variation of shows such as ‘Big Brother’. Sanctions, starvation and evictions are not ‘amusing’ or a joke, they are a reality for many and are horrifying in their brutality. People have died.

Programmes such as ‘Benefits Street’ and ‘Benefits Britain, Life on the Dole’ perpetuate the myth that claiming welfare benefits is a lifestyle choice. Vitriolic articles by so-called commentators such as Katie Hopkins incite hatred. Benefit claimants, migrants and job seekers are being portrayed as scroungers who have chosen a lifestyle of inactivity and modern-day begging. This is not the case. People claim benefits because there is nothing else they can do. People claim benefits because they were born disabled or have become sick later in life. People claim benefits because they have lost their jobs and have been unable to secure a new role. People claim benefits because employers are paying minimum, starvation wages and they cannot afford to feed and clothe their families. People claim benefits because they need help. People claim benefits because they have no choice. This is not entertainment, this is disgusting, this is frightening; this is tragedy.

Further to this, ‘Poverty Porn’ has alarming knock-on effects on the way people who have no choice but to claim benefits to survive are viewed. The result of this misinformation is the alarming increase in hate crime against those who are claiming benefits. Spying on friends and neighbours is encouraged. covert filming and recording is rife. According to the Crown Prosecution Service in 2014 there was a 213 percent increase in the number of prosecutions for hate crime against disabled people. In 2011 the report, ‘Ready Willing and Able’ highlighted the fact that 38 percent of the general public perceived disabled people to be a burden on society. On 24 April 2015 the UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein compared British print media’s attitude to migrants to propaganda in 1930s Nazi Germany.

The TUC has stated that “The government’s austerity programme is reshaping the welfare State through cuts in benefits and the privatisation of public services, including health, education and drastically reduced state support. The impact of benefits cuts and of the associated campaign of demonisation of disabled people, the unemployed, migrants, asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups has been catastrophic. Crimes motivated by hate have wider and deeper roots, but austerity has made the problems worse.” This is not healthy. This is frightening. This can only lead to the further disintegration of our society.

I am asking OFCOM to look into this trend in the British media to publicise non-stop ‘poverty porn’ in print, on the radio and on television. I am asking OFCOM to do the right thing. I am asking OFCOM to have the courage to say ‘No More’. The public should be shown the true stories of the struggling majority, not the glamorisation of the extreme minority. Over many years the British press has been lauded for its fairness and unbiased reporting. Please do not allow this to change.

Yours sincerely,

[insert your name]

Here is the list of possible recipients:

[email protected], Mehmuda Mian, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected].uk, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

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Media propaganda exposed: Support this complaint against Channel 5

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Well done Carole Ford, who has complained to Ofcom about Channel 5’s misuse of the word “skiver” when referring to people convicted of benefit fraud in the programme Sick Note Skivers Exposed.

In the programme, broadcast at 8pm on July 15, she explains: “All the cases referred to in the programme were cases of criminal fraud. Despite this, the show continually used the term ‘skiver’ interchangeably with ‘fraudster’.

“In one case, the narrator said that the ‘skiver’ was found guilty of seven counts of fraud by the court and the judge told him he was a ‘common criminal’.

“The show had nothing to do with monitoring sick absence, which was only occasionally referred to.

“On the Department [for] Work and Pensions’ own figures, benefit fraud is a negligible 0.7 per cent. The effect will be to encourage public animosity to sick/disabled people. I contend that this is a misrepresentation of the subject of sick absence from work and/or fraudulent claiming of disability benefits.”

If you wish to support Carole’s complaint, Ofcom can be contacted via this link.

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BBC manipulation of the Scotland debate continues – have they no shame?

Following on from yesterday’s article on Nick Robinson and the heads of BBC News, take a look at this; it appeared on Twitter earlier today:

scotlandtweet

You can complain to the BBC in several ways:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/

Phone: 03700 100 222 *
03700 100 212 * (textphone)
*24 hours, charged as 01/02 geographic numbers

Post:BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922
Darlington
DL3 0UR

Ofcom is the TV regulator. Its website says you should make complaints about bias to the BBC Trust – which seems odd. Why would a biased BBC Trust do anything about such complaints? So here’s the link to Ofcom’s complaint form: https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/tell-us/specific-programme-epg

Complaints to the BBC Trust merely go through the ordinary BBC complaints addresses/numbers.

You should also write to your MP. All things considered – apart from holding mass demonstrations outside BBC offices, it might be the only way to get your complaint heard.

Additional: VP has been contacted by a commenter, pointing out that the Big Debate took place last Thursday (September 11) – the same day Robinson manipulated his report. While it is true that there was no date on the tweet or the meme that appeared with it today, so it was impossible for Yr Obdt Srvt to have known this, it makes no material difference to the article as it is still an example of the BBC’s shameless manipulation of the debate.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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