Ofcom launches four new investigations into GB News programmes over due impartiality | Ents & Arts News

Aug 7, 2023 | Uncategorized

Ofcom has launched four investigations into GB News’s compliance with due impartiality rules.

The media regulator said it is looking into episodes of three programmes hosted by politicans, under its rule that politicians must not act as newsreaders, interviewers or reporters “unless exceptionally it is editorially justified”.

It brings the total number of active investigations into the broadcaster up to seven, after another three were launched earlier this year.

The new investigations include a June episode of Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg’s State Of The Nation show and two May episodes of the show hosted by Esther McVey and Philip Davies – Conservative MPs for Tatton and Shipley respectively – one of which included an interview with Reform UK’s London mayoral election candidate, Howard Cox.

The latter is being investigated for compliance to a regulation that requires “news, in whatever form, must be presented with due impartiality”.

Ofcom said it is also investigating an episode of actor and right-wing political activist Laurence Fox, which was guest-presented by Martin Daubney – former Brexit Party member of the European Parliament – on 16 June and featured an interview with Richard Tice, the leader of Reform UK.

This programme is being investigated under regulations that state due impartiality “is preserved on matters of major political or industrial controversy or those relating to current public policy, and that an appropriately wide range of significant views are included and given due weight”.

It comes months after Adam Baxter, director of broadcasting standards at Ofcom, said that it will be looking into GB News to see if the broadcaster is “behaving itself” following the channel breaching its broadcasting code with COVID claims for the second time.

Another episode of Sir Jacob’s show is also being investigated after it received 40 complaints objecting to the MP for North East Somerset acting as a newsreader.

In July, another investigation was launched following a GB News campaign that called on the government to introduce laws to “protect the status of cash,” which, under Ofcom rules, excludes broadcasters from expressing views on “political and industrial controversy or current public policy”.

GB News declined to comment on any ongoing investigations.

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