An investigation by UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has found that coronavirus coverage on the religious satellite television channel Loveworld breached broadcasting rules for a third time.
During two episodes of a current affairs programme, Full Disclosure, presenters made a number of materially misleading and potentially harmful statements about the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines, which were made without scientific or other credible basis, and which went without sufficient context or challenge.
Ofcom says that it is legitimate for broadcasters to discuss and scrutinise the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic – including the potential side effects of vaccinations – and it is in the public interest to do so. But Loveworld’s presentation of misleading claims without sufficient challenge or context risked potential serious harm to viewers, particularly at a time when people were likely to be seeking reliable information relating to the UK’s vaccination programme.
This is the third time that harmful coronavirus-related content on Loveworld has broken Ofcom’s rules. It recently imposed a £125,000 (€147,000) fine on the channel for a breach which also related to claims about the coronavirus pandemic. It has directed Loveworld to air a summary of the decision, and is now considering whether to impose any further sanctions.