Ofcom will regulate the BBC, but who verifies the ‘news’ on Facebook?

Donald Trump becomes US President on Friday amid allegations that fake news stories about his rival Hilliary Clinton helped to sway voters. So it is interesting to note that UK regulator Ofcom is taking on the role of regulating the BBC not any of the new digital media giants. One would have thought that the BBC is well regulated with rigorous editorial guidelines already well- established within the organisation. Perhaps Ofcom should be thinking about regulation of the corporations which …

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By 2026 when the next BBC Charter runs out, how do you think the BBC should have changed?

Every five ten years the BBC’s Charter is renewed (though the licence fee can end up being renegotiated more frequently!) and the government of the day along with the broadcaster take the opportunity to examine what direction the BBC is currently heading and decide whether to change the course or trim the sails. One approach is to decide on the purpose and scope of the BBC and then set an appropriate licence fee (or determine an alternative revenue raising method) …

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Where do people get their news? BBC 1 & UTV out in front. But Sky News & Radio Ulster neck & neck!

Perhaps pertinent to my earlier post on the media, Ofcom have recently released their News Consumption in the UK report. In Northern Ireland, the top news sources are BBC One (cited as being used by 65% of adults), UTV (56%), BBC website or app (28%), Sky News Channel (20%) and BBC Radio Ulster (20%). Lots more facts, figures and charts in the set of slides that accompany the report. Alan Meban (Alan in Belfast)Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about …

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It’s good to talk: 85% of NI adults would prefer to ask council about bin collection by phone; only 3% would go online

Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report was published yesterday with a range of observations about the communication and media habits across Northern Ireland (as well as Scotland, Wales and the UK as a whole). In this post I want to concentrate on the section of the report that looks at take-up of online government services, often known as e-government. But first some other headlines from the NI CMR 13 report: Northern Ireland was slower than the rest of the UK to …

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“the prospect of the long-standing role of head of news being discarded has surprised staff at [UTV] …”

UTV is in the news today. The Belfast Telegraph’s Margaret Canning reports that “the long-standing role of head of news [has been] discarded” resulting in Darwin Templeton being made compulsory redundant. Previously editor of The News Letter and former editor of UTV’s Insight current affairs strand, Darwin took up his role in UTV’s newsroom in early 2012. UTV News is popular with viewers, consistently achieving a higher share of teatime audiences for its 6pm bulletin than its rival BBC Newsline at …

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OFCOM finds against ITV’s computer game slip

You remember that computer game footage that was used to show what was supposed to be an IRA attempt to shoot down a British Army helicopter. The footage was included in an ITV network programme “Gaddafi and the IRA” shown on Sept 26, 2011. Well, not surprisingly OFCOM have found against them… You can read the full report in their latest Broadcast Bulletin. But it seems it was not just the helicopter scenes that were, erm, finessed up but the riot …

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“resulted in it being promotional for the First and Deputy First Ministers and their respective political parties.”

As the News Letter reports, the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom has ruled that an OFMDFM radio advert – part of a £20,000 advertising campaign, in February 2010, promoting the Hillsborough Castle Agreement – was “political advertising” in breach of the Communications Act 2003.  The ruling upheld a complaint made about the advertisement by the leader of the TUV, Jim Allister. It’s worth taking the time to read the details of the ruling provided by Ofcom in their broadcast bulletin [pdf file] Conclusion on “public …

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Sky News deal ignores the problem of Monopolies

So Mr Murdoch got his way. Not because of any favouritism on the part of the new government, but, according to the FT anyway, because current regulatory frameworks are inadequate for protecting plurality in the new market in the UK: …the bigger issue is that such constraints simply miss the point. They do not deal with the concerns that exist about the market power Mr Murdoch will wield once the takeover is complete. European competition law cannot be relied on …

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