GB News breached impartiality rules, says Ofcom, but will face no sanctions | GB News

Ofcom Finds GB News in Violation of Impartiality Standards, No Sanctions Imposed

GB News found itself in hot water for not sticking to impartiality rules. The issue? They let Tory MPs take on the role of news presenters. Despite this, Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, decided not to impose any penalties on them.

The channel crossed the line by having Conservative MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esther McVey, and Philip Davies present news. This happened on five different occasions. These politicians are among a number of serving MPs who have taken up presenting roles on the news channel, which is gaining more influence.

Ofcom expressed concern over this practice. They pointed out that using MPs as presenters for breaking news could damage the public’s high trust in regulated media. The regulator found that these politician-hosts were involved in delivering news, including breaking news, without a valid reason for doing so. This, Ofcom noted, did not meet the requirement for news to be presented impartially.

However, instead of punishing GB News, which has been pushing the boundaries of British broadcasting rules, Ofcom simply warned the channel against future violations.

GB News argued, albeit unsuccessfully, that their broadcasts didn’t violate any rules. They claimed the politicians were not pretending to be unbiased news hosts but were openly biased presenters of “current affairs” shows. They tried to highlight the blurry line between news and current affairs, which are treated differently under broadcasting regulations.

The channel’s leadership also criticized Ofcom’s interpretation of the rules as “unfair” and “dangerous.” They even referenced past decisions by the European court of human rights that protect freedom of speech, arguing that the distinction between news and non-news isn’t as clear-cut as Ofcom suggests.