Geo News, Republic Bharat & ABP News rapped by Ofcom in UK

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Three Asian news broadcasters in the UK have been rapped by Ofcom for various breaches.

Firstly Geo News was called up by Ofcom for a news reports on a terrorist attack, which took place on Christchurch on 15th March 2019. The news bulletin broadcast at 06:00, contained graphic and violent images of parts of the attack which were unsuitable for children and not appropriately scheduled, and were not appropriately limited or justified by the context.

Adequate protection was not provided to viewers from the potentially harmful material. The content was also clearly potentially offensive and not justified by the context. In breach of Rules 1.3, 1.11, 2.1 and 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code.

Similarly, ABP News was rapped for its own coverage of the Christchurch terrorist attack, on 15th March 2019. Ofcom found the broadcaster aired graphic and violent images of the attack, which were deemed unsuitable for younger audiences and not correct for transmission time at 06:00 and 08:00. Ofcom said that adequate protection was not provided to viewers from the potentially harmful material. The content was also clearly potentially offensive and not justified by the context. In breach of Rules 1.3, 1.11, 2.1 and 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code.

ATN Bangla was also found in breach for coverage of the terrorist attack on its news bulletin, which aired on 16th March 2019 at 10:00 and 18:00. Ofcom concluded that adequate protection was not provided to viewers from the potentially harmful material. The content was also clearly potentially offensive and not justified by the context. In breach of Rules 1.3, 1.11, 2.1 and 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code.

Republic Bharat recorded its second breach since it launched its service in the UK, was rapped by Ofcom for offensive matrial broadcast in ‘Poochta Hai Bharat’ on 6th September 2019 at 14:30. During the show, the presenter and some of his guests made several statements which amounted to hate speech against, and derogatory and abusive treatment of, Pakistani people.

The content was also potentially offensive and was not sufficiently justified by the context. In breach of Rules 3.2, 3.3 and 2.3 of the Broadcasting Code. Due to the serious nature of these breaches, Ofcom is considering imposing a statutory sanction.

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