The TV regulator is investigating the controversy over the monologue of Emily Maitlis – after the BBC previously ruled that the remarks made by the Newsnight presenter about Dominic Cummings violated the principles of impartiality.
Dame Melanie Dawes, chief executive of the regulator, said the complaint is now with Ofcom, “so it is subject to our decision making at the moment,”
Ofcom received the complaint from a person who over the last few weeks has not been happy with the BBC procedure, she told MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.
We heard the news this morning from
Kevin Bakhurst, Exec Director of Broadcasting & Online Content, @Ofcom, Dame Melanie Dawes, Chief Executive, @Ofcom
Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE MP, Media & Data Minister @DCMS.
Watch: https://t.co/XujKaP7LjK pic.twitter.com/6KWD6gza5ww live from 9.30am:
– Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (@CommonsDCMS), December 15, 2020.
“we believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality.”we believe our standards of due impartiality were not met by the introduction we broadcast.
In her introduction, Maitlis said that “broke the rules” and “the country can see that, and it’s shocking that the government can’t.” Mr. Cummings, then Boris Johnson’s chief advisor.
After a row with Dominic Cummings, Emily Maitlis returns to BBC Newsnight.
During the lockdown, Newsnight coverage focused on a trip Mr. Cummings made from London to Durham.
He had behaved “reasonably and legally” Mr Cummings insisted.
MPs at the hearing of the Public Service Broadcasting Committee also complained that Ofcom, despite its “completely powerless” was “increasingly important role.” over streaming giant Netflix.
Committee chairman Julian Knight said that “Netflix (which is based in the Netherlands) is effectively not regulated at all in the UK and you have to hope they’re good citizens.”
He accused the streaming giant of “using Holland almost as a flag of convenience to escape the kind of regulation we have in the UK.”
The Ofcom chief also said she wants the BBC to improve the way it covers trans issues so it doesn’t cause offence.
“That’s something we’ve talked about with (campaigning organization) Stonewall,” she said.
“Can the stations (strike a balance) in an appropriate way?”.
She denied that she wanted to suppress the views of people like J.K. Rowling, saying, “It’s about making sure we give our broadcasters the right information so they can steer their way through the debate without causing offense or bringing inappropriate issues to the table.”