Media Witch Hunt? OFCOM’s Impartiality Judgment Puts GB News License On Line

GB News is at risk of losing its broadcasting license after being hit by Ofcom regulations for breaching its impartiality rules.

Ofcom’s Verdict on GB News Programs

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The recent assessment conducted by Ofcom has reached a verdict regarding several programs aired on the GB News channel.

GB News Suffers Rule Breach

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Ofcom has argued that the popular show, GB News, formerly hosted by controversial figure Piers Morgan, breached its rules on impartiality.

Lack of Impartiality

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According to Ofcom, GB News displayed five episodes that used politicians as its hosts, showing a lack of political neutrality in the content of the show.

Programs Under Review

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Ofcom scrutinized five specific programs, including episodes of “Jacob Rees-Mogg’s State of the Nation” and “Friday Morning With Esther and Phil.” 

Tory MPs Under Scrutiny

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These shows in question featured politicians serving as hosts, namely Tory MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esther McVey, and Philip Davies.

Breaking the Rules

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Ofcom said on its website that “a politician cannot be a newsreader, news interviewer or news reporter unless, exceptionally, there is editorial justification.”

Politicians as an Interviewer

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Ofcom insisted that politicians cannot act as an interviewer, but they can “appear in broadcast news content as an interviewee or any other type of guest.”

GB News Addresses “Chilling” Statement

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GB News issued a statement calling the decision by Ofcom “chilling” addressing that the news programme is “Deeply concerned” by the regulator’s consensus.

Breach of Impartiality Rules

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Ofcom’s findings suggest that politicians have an “inherently partial role in society” and if they act as newsreaders then the audience would likely be “in light of that perceived bias”

What Happens Next?

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Ofcom has told GB News that it will be given a warning this time, but the programme is now “on notice” meaning it will be punished if found guilty again.

Ofcom’s Warning

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Ofcom has formally warned the broadcaster that a further breach of the rulings would “result in the imposition of a statutory sanction.”

Fines and Penalties

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Ofcom has the power to remove the broadcasting license of GB News if deemed necessary, along with issuing significant fines to the broadcaster.

Diminishing Work of Reporters

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Ofcom insisted that in their view, politicians hosting and breaking news events to the public diminishes the work of impartial news broadcasters.

Ofcom’s Firm Stance

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The regulator insisted, “the use of politicians to present the news risks undermining the integrity and credibility of regulated broadcast news.”

Culture Secretary Defends Show

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Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has defended GB News, stating that Ofcom does not say politicians cannot host current affairs programmes but does say they can’t break the news themselves.

“GB News Does a Fantastic Job”

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Frazer admitted she believed GB News does a fantastic job,” and that she is “in favor of media plurality” before explaining why she believes Ofcom have got it wrong.

Ofcom’s “Clear” Rules

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“GB News has decided to be regulated by Ofcom, it’s very clear that there’s a rule that doesn’t allow sitting MPs to present news,” Frazer admitted.

Frazer Points Out Flaw

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Frazer then went on to point out that Ofcom “does allow” politicians “to present current affairs programmes,” which is what she believes GB News is doing.

GB News Statement

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According to GB News, “This is a chilling development for all broadcasters, for freedom of speech, and for everyone in the United Kingdom.”

Could GB News Lose Its License?

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With GB News contesting the decision by Ofcom, there’s a possibility they could ignore the ruling and offend again, potentially resulting in its license being taken away.

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The post Media Witch Hunt? OFCOM’s Impartiality Judgment Puts GB News License On Line first appeared on Edge Media.

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Oscar Davies, an expert in US and UK politics and sports, is renowned for his sharp and engaging writing style, appealing to a broad spectrum of readers.

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