Sheffield’s Pakistani community station in breach over elections coverage

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Ofcom has found Sheffield based community radio station, Link FM, in breach over its election coverage in May this year.

Ofcom received a complaint about the edition broadcast on 3rd May 2018, which included discussion about the local government elections in Sheffield, while the polls were open.

The programme was broadcast in Urdu and English. Ofcom translated the Urdu segments of the programme. The Licensee was given an opportunity to comment on the accuracy of the translation and did not dispute it.

In response to this, Link FM offered its “sincere apologies” for the broadcast and acknowledged that “a breach had occurred”. It added that the two presenters had acknowledged that they had “forgotten the rules regarding polling day shows”. Link FM also said that “no one from the management was aware that the alleged conversation had deviated” from the Code and that “by the time anyone from management had been notified, the show…was nearing to the end”.

The Licensee said that the presenters were “asked to take a two-week break” and that it has “put in place measures to ensure…all Link FM presenters are made and informed to familiarise themselves with the Ofcom Code”. It added that “Link FM will furthermore initiate a series of training session[s] to all over the next few months, using this issue as an example”.

Ofcom took into account Link FM’s apology, and the steps it said it had taken as a result of the complaint. However, Ofcom’s decision is that this was a clear breach of Rule 6.4.

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