8 July 2012

Channel S in trouble for advocating Lutfur Rahman's politics

Channel S is in trouble again for breaching Ofcom rules. It is reported in Broadcast Bulletin 208 that a complainant alerted Ofcom to a news report of Channel S News, which the complainant described as a “political press conference, broadcast as a "news" item without any attempt to give an alternative view”.

Channel S stated its view that the complaint in this case originated from “a group of people raising anything and everything that could cause Channel S inconvenience and make our life difficult in relation to the Mayor and Tower Hamlets Council”.

This amateur response shows the the lack of understanding of the people running the channel. And what's this special love for the Mayor? In Ofcom's view complaint from viewers are useful but it only proceeds to a full investigation of broadcast content after carefully assessing programme content as broadcast against the provisions of the Code, and deciding that the content does in fact raise potential issues under the Code. Therefore, whatever the alleged provenance of a particular complaint, broadcasters must comply with the Code.

Ofcom concluded:

We noted that the news report in question showed Lutfur Rahman, the independent mayor for the Tower Hamlets Borough Council, at a press conference announcing his proposed 2012/13 budget for Tower Hamlets Borough Council. In Ofcom‟s opinion because Lutfur Rahman was elected to his post, and exercises certain important executive financial powers in that post (including setting the Tower Hamlets budget), a press conference called to announce and promote his budget could reasonably be regarded as a press conference dealing with policy matters that were politically controversial. In presenting a news item on a press conference dealing with such a matter, a broadcaster must present that news with due impartiality.

Lutfur Rahman is a very controversial figure. He was featured in Channel 4 Dispatches documentary "Britain's Islamic Republic" and thrown out of the Labour Party. Anyone interested in Muslim/Bengali issues must watch this enlightening documentary. Is it a coincidence that the above Ofcom bulletin links to a Labour Party article "Mayor Rahman’s Rotten Borough"? Surely a rotten borough run by a rotten man!

Channel S does not seem to realise the seriousness of these breaches. Outside Bangladesh, Tower Hamlet council in the East End of London has the highest number of Bangladeshis. There are political infighting amongst Bengalis, many of them see politics as a way of landing a lucrative job, when their compatriots are doing menial jobs. Also the big political parties, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Awami League has a massive grip over the Bengalis in UK, like a debilitating cancer that hinders progress.

Channel S is facilitating the ills of dirty politics amongst British Bangladeshis. 

Ofcom says "We are concerned that the breach in this case comes after three previous contraventions of the Code rules covering due impartiality and elections recorded against Channel S.... We therefore put the Licensee on notice that further breaches of the Code of a similar or related nature will be considered for statutory sanction.

Statutory sanction often means a financial penalty. Lets hope it will be a big one! That is the only way to teach these village idiots a lesson. It will not be too long before they breach the same impartiality rules again.

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