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11/02/2019 14:15:17  

Ofcom rejects complaint by politicians who claim BBC gives more airtime to remainers

BBC Radio 4’s news output is not inherently anti-Brexit, the media regulator has concluded, dismissing a formal complaint from a group of MPs and peers who believe the corporation is biased in favour of remainers.

The politicians had claimed that “positive, pro-Brexit opinion is being systematically underrepresented in BBC output” and that “more time, space and emphasis is being given to pro-EU or anti-Brexit voices”, based on an analysis of Radio 4’s output.

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05/02/2019 12:16:16  

Grey area in comms law needs a tad more black and white

Can the UK Home Secretary order Ofcom to ignore its own legal duties? A court case that effectively began with the trial of a GSM gateway operator will soon decide the answer to that difficult, and potentially expensive, question.…

04/02/2019 13:12:33  

Last month Ofcom announced that they have opened up an investigation into Bristol Community FM’s ‘Politics Show’ presented by Tony Gosling. Guido is surprised they took this long… As well as being a socialist who campaigns for nationalisation of housing, Gosling spends a lot of his time writing supportive tweets for the Maduro regime, and […]

The post Ofcom Investigating BCfm Socialist Conspiracy Theorist appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

30/01/2019 14:13:02  

The firm received almost double the industry average complaints for its service

Vodafone has been named the most-complained about broadband and landline provider in a quarterly league table compiled by the media and broadcasting regulator Ofcom.

Vodafone topped the list on the very first time it featured, having only just become eligible for inclusion in the survey.

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30/01/2019 12:13:08  

Jeremy Clarkson was mocked for driving a ‘popular car with the gay community’

Will Young has said he plans to report The Grand Tour to Ofcom after Amazon Prime allegedly failed to respond to his accusation that the Jeremy Clarkson vehicle perpetuates homophobic stereotypes.

In the second episode of the show’s third series, broadcast on 25 January, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May travel to Colombia. Clarkson is given a Jeep Wrangler to drive. “Isn’t that a very popular car with the gay community?” May asks Clarkson, apparently referencing a 2014 Car Talk survey of the models preferred by the LGBT community in which it ranked highly. Clarkson responds: “What is it, lesbian, bacon, transgender?”

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30/01/2019 08:12:48  

Stories about its effects spook parents with children glued to YouTube. But do we even understand what we’re fighting?

This morning, I was in bed, listening to the Today programme’s headlines, including a new Ofcom study that finds children are watching less TV, and more YouTube, although since YouTube is a content delivery platform, a better headline would be, “children watch less telly, in preference for more telly”. My 11-year-old was downstairs, also in bed, watching YouTube. I knew this not because I have any kind of parental surveillance system, but because if he wasn’t, that would mean the internet had broken, and I’d have heard about it.

Related: Study links high levels of screen time to slower child development

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29/01/2019 14:12:52  

Despite dire warnings about young people’s internet use, I don’t begrudge them their screens – or think they are doomed

A new report by Ofcom into young people’s internet use indicates they are spending more time online, gaming and watching YouTube. Predictably, most of the reporting of the study has thrown its hands up in the air like a cheerleading squad at gunpoint. Rotten kids, addicted to Fortnite and Kylie Jenner’s eyebrows. Why can’t they be intellectuals like we were as kids, watching up to five hours a night of whatever happened to be on ITV?

When does this shift into being selectively judgmental occur? Being a young teen is so, so boring. I don’t begrudge them their screens, or think they’re doomed. There is a valid fear that younger children could miss developmental milestones due to screen addiction, losing physical and intellectual capacity. Some research even suggests they are struggling to tie their shoelaces because of it. The thing is, I struggled to tie my shoelaces well into adolescence and I’m not sure I can blame screens, unless we’re talking about Ceefax and The Legend of Zelda. Learning anything beyond a sloppy granny knot just seemed like a boring use of my attention. It was my first girlfriend who told me I was doing it wrong. (I think she was talking about shoelaces.) Lots of kid’s shoes have Velcro fasteners, which is a more likely explanation. One could also point to studies that show gaming can be beneficial for hand-eye coordination, strategic skill and intelligence. Incidentally, at some later point, probably alone and going mad, I became obsessed with tying shoelaces. I became proficient at bar lacing, bi-colour lacing, chevron and lattice-work. And it was the internet that taught me. (If you’ve not been to Ian’s Shoelace Site, I promise it will change your world.)

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29/01/2019 08:12:35  

I was on the original reality show and it was so harrowing they wouldn’t even use the actual footage. These pampered new islanders don’t know they’re born

Reality TV tends to inspire outrage; consider the Ofcom complaints generated by Dani Dyer’s “emotional abuse” at the hands of Love Island producers, or the bile directed at Strictly’s Alexandra Burke for being more talented than Middle England felt she had any business being.

Shipwrecked, the Channel 4 show in which two islands compete for a cash prize, belongs to a gentler time – one before the watershed moment when Geordie Shore’s Charlotte Crosby was shown simultaneously having sex, farting and wetting the bed. So why did I feel rising indignation while watching the show’s latest reboot? It wasn’t the candid discussion of “doing bits” which began to boil my blood, but the appearance of a pre-assembled, watertight hut. I just about held it together as the new islanders were shown discovering a covered toilet and spacious kitchen, before losing it entirely as they flaunted their … hang on, was that – A SHOWER?

I should explain. As a teenager, I was a contestant on the original Shipwrecked. Back then, it was a kind of prototype Love Island as imagined by Bear Grylls, in which young cast went to war with the elements while getting off with each other. For five harrowing months, we subsisted on a diet of rice and tongues (lambs’, cows’ and each others’ – thanks to many mandatory games of spin the bottle).

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29/01/2019 01:18:46  

Ofcom report comes amid fears over protection of children on social media

The bullying of young people online and in text messages has grown significantly worse in recent years, according to the UK’s media watchdog.

An Ofcom report published on Tuesday found that the proportion of 12- to 15-year-olds who said they had been bullied over text messages and apps increased from only 2% in 2016 to 9% last year, while the proportion of those who reported having been bullied on social media nearly doubled from 6% to 11% in the same period.

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29/01/2019 01:12:53  

Facebook's popularity among children fell during 2018, according to the media regulator Ofcom.
28/01/2019 22:12:34  

Ofcom says ex-MP breached impartiality guidelines on radio show when casting doubt on Russian role

George Galloway breached broadcasting impartiality rules when he used his radio show to cast doubt on Russian involvement in the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal in Salisbury last year, according to media regulator Ofcom.

The former MP used his weekly programme on TalkRadio to repeatedly criticise claims of Russian involvement in the incident. He mocked those who agreed with the UK government that the Kremlin was behind the novichok nerve agent attack on the former Russian security agent and his daughter.

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28/01/2019 16:08:23  

The watchdog said the talkRadio show did not maintain due impartiality when discussing the Skripals.
23/01/2019 11:12:05  

Worried that interaction with your phone is stopping you enjoying the real world? As part of our Tales of the everyday extraordinary series, we’re taking a look at a new cohort of influencers determined to use their devices for more than just selfies. All images captured on the Google Pixel 3 by Laura McCluskey

They’re often the first thing we look at when we wake up, the last thing we see before we go to bed, and most of us couldn’t go a few hours without thinking about them. No, not our loved ones, but our phones. According to data from Ofcom, people in the UK now check their smartphones – averaged out of a waking day – every 12 minutes. But instead of seeing that as bad, throwing our devices in the sea and going to live in a cave, a new movement suggests that it’s time to re-evaluate our relationship with social media. Instead of seeing it as a time-sucking temptation that turns us into head-down zombies, used in the right way our smartphones might actually be our best tool for enabling memorable real-world moments and making every day more extraordinary.

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15/01/2019 16:12:04  

Have fewer phones, less internet access, says report

Disabled people are being left behind by the technology industry - both in terms of services and an understanding of what technology can do, a new Ofcom study has claimed.…

13/01/2019 08:10:40  

With Laverne moving to the indie music station’s breakfast slot, it’s all change, and all for the better

New year, new regime. Radio 2 starts its big shake-up on 14 January, with Zoe Ball and Sara Cox sliding into their fresh weekday time slots of breakfast and drivetime respectively: expect tabloid coverage and on-air laffs. Radio 1’s Charlie Sloth bowed out from the station in October, with the young yet experienced Tiffany Calver taking over his 9pm Saturday night Rap Show slot, and Rickie, Melvin and Charlie, ex-Kiss FM, due to start in his weekday evening The 8th slot soon. Calver had her first show on 5 January, so I’ll review her in a couple of weeks; Rickie, Melvin and Charlie aren’t on 1 for a while, but should be just the ticket.

So shall we turn to 6 Music? All BBC national radio stations have been under pressure to change their rosters since Ofcom started overseeing the Beeb in 2017. It stated explicitly that the BBC should “reflect the diversity of the United Kingdom”. Oops, thought Radios 2 and 6, as they looked at their weekday schedules, utterly dominated, as they were, by straight, white middle-aged men. Luckily for 6 Music, it already employed great women DJs, so it simply embarked on a game of musical chairs. Since last Monday, 6 Music weekdays offer Lauren Laverne at breakfast, Mary Anne Hobbs from 10.30am-1pm, and Shaun Keavenyin the afternoons.

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10/01/2019 18:10:12  

Quotes from Isis leader broadcasted by BBC could have violated anti-extremism legislation, says regulator

Russia has accused the BBC of promoting terrorist propaganda and threatened legal action against the British public broadcaster in a move that looks set to escalate a spiralling media dispute between London and Moscow.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian state media regulator, said the material in question concerned quotes from a speech by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State, and could be in violation of Russian anti-extremism legislation. Isis is a banned organisation in Russia and media outlets are barred from publishing the statements of its leaders or supporters.

“Checks are underway into whether the BBC’s internet sites comply with Russian law. To date, material has been uncovered which transmits the ideological principles of a terrorist group,” the regulator said in a statement on Thursday.

The investigation by Roskomnadzor into the BBC World News channel and BBC websites, both of which are available in Russia, was launched in late December. It was announced just hours after the British media regulator, Ofcom, said that RT, the Kremlin-funded broadcaster, had broken impartiality rules over its reports on the Salisbury novichok poisonings. Ofcom is considering sanctions against RT that could include large fines or even the loss of its licence to broadcast in Britain.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, confirmed in December that the investigation into the BBC was a response to Ofcom’s report. The foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Britain’s actions against RT left Russia with no option but to respond. “Russia had given warning. Repeatedly,” she wrote on Facebook last year.

The Roskomnadzor investigation was accompanied by a list of BBC reporters working in Russia, along with their photographs, which was leaked online last month. The list, which was publicised by nationalist websites, concerned 44 BBC reporters, most of them Russian citizens. The move appears to have been retaliation for an article published by the Sunday Times that named eight reporters working for the Kremlin-backed Sputnik website in Edinburgh. Russian officials said The Sunday Times article put the Sputnik reporters in danger.

The BBC’s Russian-language service has expanded significantly in recent years. It has published investigative reports into a number of sensitive topics, including the identities of the Salisbury suspects, as well as the activities of Wagner, a private military contractor reportedly run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Kremlin-linked businessman. Many of the reporters employed by the BBC had worked at Russian newspapers or websites that had come under pressure from the Kremlin, which continues to crack down on critical reporting.

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05/01/2019 01:10:45  

Rise in mobile usage causes rapid decline of traditional telephones over last six years

The amount of time Britons spend making landline phone calls has halved in the last six years, as the mobile revolution makes the more traditional method of communication increasingly obsolete.

Research from the telecoms regulator Ofcom charts the rapid decline in the popularity of using fixed-line telephones to make calls, with the number of minutes plummeting from 103bn in 2012 to 54bn in 2017.

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05/01/2019 01:05:24  

Younger people are reluctant to make phone calls, preferring to use messaging apps, study suggests.
27/12/2018 18:04:36  
27/12/2018 14:04:05  

Celebrity Big Brother, Love Island and Loose Women were among the programmes viewers objected to.
27/12/2018 13:07:47  

Ofcom received more than 25,000 complaints about incident involving actor Roxanne Pallet

Celebrity Big Brother was the most complained-about television programme of 2018, marking a suitable finale to a programme which had always gone out of its way to seek controversy.

The show, which ended its lengthy run on British screens this year, topped the list of most complained-about programmes after 27,602 people contacted the media regulator, Ofcom, to raise concerns that it may have breached the broadcasting standards code.

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21/12/2018 13:03:48  
21/12/2018 12:02:55  

Russia's media watchdog examines BBC News output after a UK regulator ruling on Kremlin-backed RT.
21/12/2018 10:07:31  

Ofcom proposes shakeup of spectrum bidding process

Some technologies lurking under the 5G umbrella promise to reshape the entire communications sector, creating new uses and businesses we can't imagine today. Ofcom showed it was hip to a few of these this week with a radical new way of opening up the airwaves.…

21/12/2018 09:06:56  

Retaliatory move comes after UK watchdog found network RT broke impartiality rules

Russia’s media regulator is to carry out checks to determine whether the BBC World news channel and BBC websites are in compliance with Russian law.

The watchdog said it was acting in response to a decision by the British media regulator, Ofcom, which on Thursday said the Russian broadcaster RT had broken impartiality rules in some of its news and current affairs programmes.

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