Advanced Television

Ofcom TV chief out

September 13, 2016

The ‘enforcer’ of TV quality and standards at regulator Ofcom is to leave after just five months after being made to choose between his job and his journalism.

Just as Ofcom takes on greater regulation of the BBC, a legal wrangle has emerged where the former Economist editor Bill Emmott was told by Ofcom that writing or speaking about national or international public policy matters would be at odds with his role as chair of its content board.

It is understood that Ofcom said that, although Emmott’s role was part time, he was writing more than they had thought he would and that they were concerned that one of his articles may one day be used as evidence of bias or a conflict of interest in a future court case.

With the power to deal with viewers’ concerns about offensive or inaccurate TV shows and advise on fining channels that breach broadcasting rules, Ofcom’s content board deals with some of the most sensitive areas of television and radio.

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