Channel S in hot water again with Ofcom for biased interview

Channel S
Channel S in trouble

Bangladeshi service, Channel S has been rapped by Ofcom for a biased interview it aired in November last year on two occasions.

In its initial representations in this case, CHSTV said that due to ���the ample number of requests�۝ from its viewers ���resident in Tower Hamlets�۝, it had formulated plans for a series of seven programmes concerning Lutfur Rahman. The first five programmes were to be ���one to one�۝ interviews with Lutfur Rahman ���covering different topics�۝; and the last two programmes were to be ��live�۪ audience participation programmes with a studio audience, and ���all viewers [would be able to] participate through telephone calls�۝. The Licensee said that all programmes in the series were to be ���clearly linked by the presenter�۝. It added that after the first three programmes in the series had been broadcast, and on being contacted by Ofcom concerning the complaint mentioned in the Introduction, it had postponed the broadcast of the other four programmes in the planned series.

Broadcasters are required to ensure that the impartiality requirements of the Act are complied with, including that due impartiality is preserved on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy. Rule 5.5 of the Code requires that: ���Due impartiality on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy must be preserved on the part of any person providing a service…This may be achieved within a programme or over a series of programmes taken as a whole.�۝

Ofcom noted Licensee�۪s statement that it had put in place ���thorough compliance procedures�۝ to prevent further breaches of the Code ���especially leading up to the local election[s]�۝ taking place on 22nd May 2014. In conclusion, for all the reasons above, Ofcom concluded that CHSTV failed to preserve due impartiality as required by Section Five of the Code. These programmes therefore breached Rule 5.5 of the Code.

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