Talk Radio, NTV Mir Baltic Hammered For Impartiality Rules Infraction
By Cyber Era Staff
UK TMT regulator, Ofcom has fined the licence holders of Talk Radio £75,000(US$97,609.88) and NTV Mir Baltic £20,000(US$26,027.10) for breaking its broadcasting rules.
Talk Radio is a national digital speech radio station. NTV Mir Baltic is a television channel broadcasting to the Russian-speaking community in Latvia.
Under Ofcom rules, all broadcasters must remain duly impartial when covering matters of major political controversy, but ‘Talk Radio failed to do so in three episodes of the George Galloway programme during discussions about the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, and allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.’
An episode of the news programme Monday, February 17 on NTV Mir Baltic also discussed the political aftermath of the events in Salisbury, but failed to maintain due impartiality.
OfCom considered that Talk Radio’s and NTV Mir Baltic’s failings amounted to serious and repeated breaches of its broadcasting rules, which warranted the imposition of statutory sanctions. “The respective licensees, Talksport Ltd. and Baltic Media Alliance, must now pay the financial penalties imposed on them to HM Paymaster General,” the regulator said.
Both broadcasters would be required also to air a statement of Ofcom’s findings on dates – and in a form – to be determined by the umpire.
Big City Radio fined for failing to meet its programming commitments
Separately, Ofcom has also imposed a £500(US$650.85)a financial penalty on Birmingham-based community radio station, Big City Radio.
Ofcom’s investigation found that Big City was failing to provide the hours of original content required under its programming requirements. Additionally, the regulator’s monitoring found that Big City wasn’t broadcasting local news, travel, or sport, or any content that was aimed at, or of appeal to, the local community.