Complaint against Dunya News upheld by Ofcom

BizAsia Correspondent



Ofcom has upheld a complaint by Mr Mushahid Ullah Khan against Dunya News over a news item broadcast in June 2020.

The news programme included a story about the findings of a report into a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash in Karachi, Pakistan in May 2020. A discussion in the programme included a number of claims relating to PIA, including allegations that the complainant, Mr Mushahid Ullah Khan, who was a Senator in the Senate of Pakistan.

Mr Khan complained that he was treated unjustly or unfairly in the programme. Ofcom found that the comments made in the programme about Mr Khan had the clear potential to materially and adversely affect viewers’ opinions of Mr Khan in a way that was unfair to him. Therefore, Ofcom considered that, in the particular circumstances of this case, the broadcaster did not take reasonable care to satisfy itself that material facts had not been presented, disregarded or omitted in a way that was unfair to Mr Khan.

Ofcom took into account Dunya TV’s submission that the topic was discussed in a subsequent programme on 26th June 2020, in which the presenter “categorically denied” the allegations made against Mr Khan by Mr Ghumman. However, we did not consider that it was sufficient for the broadcaster to rely on the content of a subsequent programme broadcast two days afterward to avoid unfairness to Mr Khan in the programme broadcast two days previously on 24th June 2020.