Venus TV gets in trouble again with Ofcom

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Venus TV has been rapped by media regulator, Ofcom, for the second time this month.

This time around, a viewer was concerned the advice given by a presenter on one of its shows could had been potentially dangerous to viewers.

The programme shown on Venus TV called ‘Ruhaniat aur Tib-e-Nabvi’ is a daily phone-in programme aimed at the Muslim community. The presenter of the programme normally gives lifestyle advice to members of the public based on practices advocated in the Quran. In this edition, the presenter gave advice to a number of callers about a range of health and diet related issues.

Venus TV stated that the programme gives advice to the Muslim community based on what is said in the Holy Quran and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. It explained that “Tib-al Nabvi” means practices and sayings of Prophet Muhammad on hygiene, sanitation and treatment of diseases and is traditionally followed by Muslims. It said that it did not consider the programme to be harmful or offensive to the Muslim community or any other religious community.

Ofcom concluded that this programme failed to apply generally accepted standards by not providing adequate protection to viewers from material which had a potential to cause vulnerable members of the audience serious harm.

However, Venus TV decided to testify against Ofcom’s decision saying that the decision by Ofcom was not proportionate. It said the absence of an on-screen scroll urging viewers to contact a health professional was a rare omission due to a member of technical staff who “simply forgot” to turn on the scroll on this occasion. Further, it argued that the evidence it had provided to show that the scroll was present on several other occasions was not given due weight by Ofcom.

A member of the Ofcom Executive who had not been involved in the original decision considered this request for review in accordance with Ofcom’s Procedures for the handling of broadcasting standards or other licence-related cases. The case was also referred to the Broadcasting Review Committee.

The Broadcasting Review Committee and Ofcom both concluded that the show was in breach of airing potentially harmful advice on the show in question.

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