Archive for the ‘TV News’ Category

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itv logo Journalism is taking a massive revenue hit in the face of nominally free news circulated via social media. And traditional mainstream broadcasters are a little aggrieved that they are held to higher standards, and a more expensive, regulatory envirnoment, compared to their internet competitors.Now three of Britain’s largest broadcasters are calling on ministers to introduce new laws to even up the playing fields by requiring more regulation and censorship for social media news dsitribution. Of course the broadcasters site that old chestnut of supposed  ‘fake news’ to justify the increased regulation.

In a joint letter published on The Times website, the heads of ITV, Channel 4 and Sky say that statutory regulation of online advertising is necessary, and urgent, given the scale of harm supposedly currently being caused to consumers.

Dame Carolyn McCall of ITV, Stephen van Rooyen, Sky’s chief executive for the UK & Europe and Alex Mahon at Channel 4, home of the appalingly biased progressive propaganda bulletin called Channel 4 News, say that laws should be enacted urgently to hold online platforms and online advertisers to the same high standards as television channels. The broadcasters called for these new laws to be backed up with large fines that meaningfully incentivize major online platforms to comply with the rules.

The group were perhaps on firmer ground in noting that the internet companies had effectively stitched up the online advertising market. But again the broadcasters tried to justify calls to challenge the is advertsing status quo by citing misinformation as if the silly stories about 5G and coronavirus were bringing civilsation to its knees. The trio suggested that Facebook and Google’s dominance in the digital advertising market is the cause of the “epidemic of disinformation” and wrote that “statutory regulation of online advertising is necessary, and urgent, given the scale of harm currently being caused to consumers.”

They also argued that Google and Facebook should “bear the responsibility for the advertising they carry and liability for harmful or misleading ads” as broadcasters and claimed that their advertising models “reward and amplify many of the very types of content that the government wants to see tackled.”

Crowds have been silenced so now players have to be silenced too…

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Ofcom logo Premier League matches could be shown without pitch-side atmosphere after Project Restart, as broadcasters must find a way to block out players’ swearing.Games are set to be played behind closed doors but with no fans in stadium, pitch-side microphones, which add sounds of the ball being kicked and normally muffled instructions, would also broadcast footballers’ foul-mouthed shouts.

OFCOM enforces pedantic censorship rules against the likes of Sky and BT Sports allowing obscenities in their coverage, forcing TV bosses to consider removing pitch-side microphones.

Does dogmatic and unevidenced refutation help to debunk 5G conspiracy theories?

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this morning eamonn holmes TV censor Ofcom has said it is assessing comments made by ITV’s This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes about 5G technology and coronavirus as a priority.Ofcom received 419 complaints about remarks not quite toeing the dictated line on refuting 5G/coronavirus conspiracy theories.

Holmes made his remarks in a segment with the programme’s consumer editor Alice Beer, who dismissed the theory as not true and it’s incredibly stupid. Holmes told her:

I totally agree with everything you are saying but what I don’t accept is mainstream media immediately slapping that down as not true when they don’t know it’s not true.

No-one should attack or damage or do anything like that, but it’s very easy to say it is not true because it suits the state narrative. That’s all I would say, as someone with an inquiring mind.

But of course Holmes was making a valid point. The conspiracies are being widely dismissed by those in the media simply by claiming ‘wrong think’ and calling out people who don’t agree. It seems clear that the media types following this line don’t even know what the conspiracy theorists claim, let alone offer some sort of reasoning as to why they are wrong. The refutations therefore become no more convincing than the conspiracy theory itself.

Holmes ‘clarified’ his comments on the following day after being widely criticised. He said:

I want to clarify some comments that some of you may have misinterpreted from me yesterday, around conspiracy theories and coronavirus and this involved the roll-out of 5G.

Both Alice Beer and I agreed in a discussion on this very programme on fake news that it’s not true and there is no connection between the present national health emergency and 5G, and to suggest otherwise would be wrong and indeed it could be dangerous.

Every theory relating to such a connection has been proven to be false and we would like to emphasise that. However many people are rightly concerned and are looking for answers and that’s simply what I was trying to do, to impart yesterday.

But for the avoidance of any doubt I want to make it completely clear there’s no scientific evidence to substantiate any of those 5G theories. I hope that clears that up.

Banned Ken Russell TV film to be screened on 29th February 2020 at the Keswick FIlm Festival

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poster_dance-of-the-seven-veils_0230x0345.jpg Dance of the Seven Veils is a 1970 UK music biography by Ken Russell.
Starring Christopher Gable, Judith Paris and Kenneth Colley. IMDb

An imaginary portrait of composer Richard Strauss.

Ken Russell’s film about Richard Strauss, has been banned for 50 years but is screening at the Keswick film festival on 29th February.It was banned 50 years ago after one screening. The BBC TV documentary shocked with its portrayal of the German composer as a vulgar, pompous man with Nazi sympathies.

Mary Whitehouse, the self-appointed moral guardian, got hot under her collar about its sex scenes, while questions were asked in the House of Commons.

Then the Strauss family complained about the use of the composer’s music, before applying a ban, through copyright, which only expired a week ago.

The screening at the Keswick film festival, will also feature another Russell cause célèbre, A Kitten for Hitler. This short was prompted by Melvyn Bragg, who wondered if the film-maker could conjure up something purely to offend. Made in 2007, the eight-minute film is the story of a Jewish kid who, feeling sorry for the unloved Fuhrer, goes to Germany to give him a kitten.

It sounds not so far away from the Mark Meechan joke about a Nazi saluting pug which resulted in a 2018 conviction for a ‘hate crime’.

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talksport logo Ofcom has imposed a £75,000 fine on Talksport Ltd in relation to its service Talk Radio for failing to comply with our broadcasting rules, and required the service to broadcast a summary of our findings.

Between 16 March and 6 August 2018, Talk Radio broadcast three episodes of the George Galloway programme dealing with the following issues: the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March 2018, and allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

In Ofcom’s Decisions published on 28 January and 25 March 2019 in issue 371  and issue 375 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom found that each of the three programmes failed to maintain due impartiality and had breached Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Broadcasting Code.

Ofcom has also imposed a £20,000 fine on Baltic Media Alliance Limited in relation to its service NTV Mir Baltic for failing to comply with our broadcasting rules. The broadcaster must also broadcast a summary of our findings on the channel.

On 2 April 2018, Baltic Media Alliance Limited broadcast a news programme, Today, which included a discussion about the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March 2018.

In Ofcom’s Decision published on 11 February 2019 in issue 372 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom found that the programme failed to maintain due impartiality and had breached Rules 5.1, 5.11 and 5.12 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code.

Great, they’ll now have enough time in the schedules to treat Dutch viewers to a re-run of Little House on the Prairie

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love island nederland A Dutch broadcaster has banned seduction-based reality shows after claiming the programmes encourage sexual harassmentNew episodes of Love Island and The Villa have been cancelled by RTL after male contestants were accused of ignoring refusals to their sexual advances.

RTL have temporarily pulled the plug on any shows in which sexual seduction plays the main role, the broadcaster said.

These kind of programmes no longer fit in the era of #MeToo, said Tina Nijkamp, a former director of Dutch broadcaster SBS6. I was already surprised that RTL had ordered even more of such programmes.


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It Ain't Half Hot Mum - Complete Collection - 9-DVD Box Set DVD BritBox, the new internet TV  joint venture from the BBC and ITV will not include classic homegrown series that are deemed to be inappropriate for fragile modern audiences.The new £5.99-a-month service, which will also offer shows from Channel 4 and Channel 5, is aiming to compete with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

However, bosses have said a range of classic shows, such as the BBC’s Till Death Us Do Part and ITV’s Love Thy Neighbour , will not appear on the service because of content deemed racist or otherwise unacceptable.

Reemah Sakaan, the senior ITV executive responsible for launching the service confirmed that Till Death Us Do Part, Love Thy Neighbour, and It Ain’t Half Hot Mum will all be absent.

There are numerous individual episodes of some shows that will appear on BritBox eg Only Fools and Horses and Fawlty Towers could be deemed inappropriate for modern viewing. However, it is understood that no Fawlty Towers episodes will be cut from the service, although they will run with warnings about offensive language, (and presumably censor cuts).

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studio 66 Studio 66 TV
Studio 66, 15 April 2019, 10:00
Studio 66, 28 April 2019, 18:30
Studio 66, 8 May 2019, 11:10
Studio 66, 20 May 2019, 10:00
Studio 66, 23 May 2019, 10:00

Studio 66 TV is interactive daytime chat advertising broadcast on the service Studio 66, which is available as part of a standard satellite subscription package. The content consists of presenters inviting viewers to contact them via premium rate telephony services (PRS). Studio 66 is available without mandatory restricted access and is situated in the adult section of Sky’s electronic programme guide (‘EPG’). The licence for the service is held by 914 TV Limited.

Ofcom received five complaints, each about a different broadcast. In each case, the complainant considered that the presenters were not wearing suitable clothing, their bodies were inadequately covered, and in some instances their behaviour was sexualised.

Having viewed the material, Ofcom identified five examples: eg on 15 April 2019, 10:00 The presenter lay on her side wearing a small black dress, which on several occasions was hitched up at the bottom partially exposing her thigh and buttock; and on several occasions, the presenter stroked and thrust her buttocks.

Ofcom considered Rule 32.3:

Relevant timing restrictions must be applied to advertisements that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that are otherwise unsuitable for them.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 32.3

Ofcom’s published guidance on the advertising of PRS ‘daytime chat’ services (“the Chat Service Guidance”) sets out what Ofcom considers to be acceptable to broadcast on these services.

The Chat Service Guidance requires ‘daytime chat’ services to be placed within the ‘adult’ or similarly identified section of EPG listings. It also states that the “presentation of daytime chat should always be suitable for wide audiences, that is for audiences including children and young persons…should they come across it unawares”. It requires that “all dress and behaviour should be non-sexual in tone and apparent intent”, and specifically that ‘daytime chat’ broadcasters should:

• “ensure that presenters are wearing appropriate clothing, that adequately covers their bodies, in particular their breasts, genital areas and buttocks”;
• “not broadcast images of presenters touching or stroking their bodies in a suggestive manner, in particular avoiding breasts, thighs, crotches and buttocks”; and
• “not broadcast images of presenters mimicking sexual intercourse by rocking and thrusting their bodies, or otherwise adopting sexual poses.”

Ofcom considered the content across these five broadcasts did not reflect the elements of the Chat Service Guidance listed above. It featured presenters who were positioned and dressed in such a way that resulted in significant exposure of their buttocks, thighs or breasts. Further, in some cases, the presenters:

• touched and stoked their buttocks and breasts in a sexual way; and
• repeatedly thrust or gyrated their breasts or buttocks, mimicking sexual activity.

In light of the above, Ofcom considered that in all five cases, the presenters’ clothing and behaviour were sexual in tone and apparent intent.

On 8 April 2019, in Issue 376 of its Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom recorded a breach of Rule 32.3 against the Licensee for the pre-watershed broadcast of content featuring three presenters who behaved inappropriately and were inadequately dressed. While we acknowledged the Licensee’s apology and recognition that the material was non-compliant, we are very concerned that a further breach of this nature occurred just seven days later, and then on four further occasions across a matter of five weeks.

Ofcom considers these repeated breaches to be serious and we are therefore putting the Licensee on notice that we will consider these cases for the imposition of a statutory sanction.

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Jo Brand: Through The Cakehole DVD

The BBC has been investigating Jo Brand’s controversial gag about throwing battery acid over Nigel Farage.

Appearing on Radio 4’s Heresy show last June, comedian Jo Brand joked:

Certain unpleasant characters are being thrown to the fore, and they’re very, very easy to hate.

And I’m kind of thinking, why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?

That’s just me, sorry, I’m not gonna do it, it’s purely a fantasy. But I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do. Sorry.

Presumably she was referring to Nigel Farage being hit with a milkshake whist campaigning before the European elections.

Now the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit [ECU] has judged that the joke went beyond what was appropriate for a Radio 4 comedy show, but it dismissed complaints that her remark amounted to incitement. A summary of the findings reads:

Whilst the ECU recognised that the wider message from this episode is an argument for more civility in political discourse, not less, and Ms Brand’s contribution is not intended to be taken as face value, the ECU felt that it went beyond what was appropriate for the show.

The ECU also noted that in the right context and with the right treatment, there is no subject matter which should be beyond the scope of comedy.

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russia today international logo Ofcom has fined the news channel RT £200,000 for serious failures to comply with our broadcasting rules — and required the channel to broadcast a summary of our findings to its viewers.

Ofcom has rules in place requiring broadcast news to be presented with due impartiality.

Our investigation found that RT failed to preserve due impartiality in seven news and current affairs programmes between 17 March and 26 April 2018.

Taken together, these breaches represented serious and repeated failures of compliance with our rules. We were particularly concerned by the frequency of RT’s rule-breaking over a relatively short period of time.

The programmes were mostly in relation to major matters of political controversy and current public policy — namely the UK Government’s response to the events in Salisbury, and the Syrian conflict.

Ofcom decided to impose a financial penalty of £200,000; and direct RT to broadcast a summary of Ofcom’s findings, in a form and on dates to be determined by Ofcom. We consider this sanction to be appropriate and proportionate. It takes into account the additional steps that RT has taken to ensure its compliance since we launched our investigations; and that we have not recorded any further breaches of our due impartiality rules against RT to date.

Ofcom will await the conclusion of RT’s application for judicial review of our breach decisions before enforcing the sanction.