BBC screens foreign ‘propaganda’: Corporation accused of breaking broadcast rules by showing programmes that promote charities and governments
Ofcom warns of ‘inherent risk to BBC’s independence and integrity’
Corporation bought ‘sponsored’ films for as little as £1 from PR firms
Officials found 20 breaches of sponsorship rules by BBC World News
Ofcom slams BBC for ‘insufficient’ labelling of sponsored programmes
By ALISHA ROUSE FOR THE DAILY MAIL
18 August 2015
The BBC has screened ‘propaganda films’ funded by foreign governments in a blatant breach of broadcast rules, an Ofcom investigation found.
The broadcaster has shown dozens of programmes designed to promote charities, NGOs and governments in what the regulator described as an ‘inherent risk to [the BBC’s] independence and integrity’.
The Ofcom probe revealed the BBC had bought the ‘sponsored’ films for as little as £1 from public relations companies.
Officials found 20 breaches of sponsorship rules by BBC World News, the broadcaster’s 24-hour news channel that is shown across the world.
One programme was made by a London-based media company which was given millions of pounds by the Malaysian government, The Independent reported.
The probe revealed the BBC had failed to declare which programmes were funded, leaving viewers unaware that they were watching ‘propaganda’ from foreign companies.
In a 112-page report detailing over 1,000 programmes, Ofcom criticised the licence fee-funded broadcaster for ‘insufficient’ labelling of sponsored programmes.
Other secret sponsors include business tycoon Aga Khan, whose foundation paid for a programme championing its own architecture award.
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