UK broadcasting regulator slams Times Now for biased coverage on Uri attacks


British broadcasting regulator, Office of Coomunations (Ofcom) has found Times Now guilty of biased coverage in the aftermath of Uri attacks last year. Several Indian soldiers were killed in the militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir last year.

According to website crowdnewsing, the British watchdog slammed the controversial news channel for flouting its broadcast code by not presenting news with due impartiality.

The channel also faces the likelihood of shutdown for such breach. Sensing a ban in Britain, the channel has made a desperate attempt to hide behind its former anchor, Arnab Goswami, assuring the Ofcom that its presenters would not present any personal views and that they would conduct training programs to sensitise their staff on presenting unbiased news.

Times Now told the Ofcom, “We can understand some people’s views that the presenter’s role on these programmes seemed to be rather overwhelming and confrontational. (Sic) He is no longer associated with the channel and has moved out of the organization”.

A British national had filed a complaint in UK against the channel prompting the regulator to launch an investigation. In its finding, the Ofcom concluded Times Now did not present the news item with due impartiality and Rule 5.9 of the code was breached.

The Ofcom’s probe referred to several instances of code breach by Times Now particularly its flagship programme, Newshour, presented by Goswami until 18 December last year.

The report stated :

“The programmes included a number of statements that were critical and gave a one-sided view of Pakistan’s policies and actions in relation to, for example, alleged terrorist activities towards India. Given the gravity of the various criticisms being made about Pakistan (for example, Pakistan was variously described as a: “failed state”; “terrorist nation” and “international pariah”), we considered that a key relevant alternative viewpoint was one that reflected the opinion of the Pakistani Government, in particular challenging the criticisms made about Pakistani Government within the programmes.”

Times Global has also assured that Goswami’s successor, Rahul Shivshankar, had “a very different approach” and had been “bringing in a wide range of reactions and comments from the participants on the show, while ensuring that no personal views” are included in the programmes.

The channel further goes on to admit that as a result of the Ofcom investigation, it had “conducted extensive discussions with the current team, specifically drawing attention to Ofcom Rules and Guidance”. It added that it had also taken steps to “conduct training programmes” for its news teams and it stated its belief that “our coverage on sensitive issues such as these should always be undertaken keeping in mind the pertinent rules and guidance”

Times Now has been broadcasting to UK audience since 2015. Unlike India, where there’s utter madness in terms of broadcast ethics, UK has strict guidelines enforced for broadcasterss Media houses are often penalised for the breach of broadcast ethics.