VLV quoted in BMJ about fake news

Colin Browne, Chairman of VLV, is quoted in the 15 August edition of the British Medical Journal in an article How do UK broadcast media deal with Covid misinformation? 

You can read the article here.

The article very usefully sets out the measures Ofcom takes to counter fake news. In response to the 26,000 complaints about Covid misinformation up to May this year, Ofcom found 9 of the 11 programmes they formally investigated in breach of  the Broadcasting Code. 

In the piece Colin Browne highlights VLV’s concerns about the Broadcasting Code and how impartiality regulation is too vague to effectively combat fake news. He said, ‘[we are] lobbying the government to deal with in its Media Bill, new legislation intended to better align UK media regulation with the changing media landscape. We are concerned current impartiality rules are not as clear as they might be or consistently regulated on. Often, presenters with strong views don’t distinguish between their point of view and news. The idea is to have balance, giving attention to different perspectives on an issue. But there is no standard definition for due impartiality relating to news in whatever form it is, and Ofcom chooses when to apply it. 

You can read VLV’s full briefing on the Media Bill and impartiality regulation here