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Ofcom to investigate BBC's 'Newsnight' and ITV's 'This Morning'

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Ofcom has confirmed that it is investigating both BBC's Newsnight and ITV's This Morning.

The telecoms regulator wrote a letter to Rob Wilson MP, who had asked whether it would look into potential Section Seven breaches of the Broadcasting Code by both channels.

Newsnight

© BBC / Richard Kendal

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on 'This Morning'

© Rex Features / Steve Meddle



Wilson had suggested that This Morning had breached the code by not giving those people accused of child abuse on the list brandished by Phillip Schofield the opportunity to respond.

He had also suggested Newsnight had been in a similar breach by not giving the individual wrongly accused of abuse in its programme - believed to be Lord McAlpine - an appropriate and timely opportunity to respond before broadcast.

Ofcom director of standards Tony Close replied: "I can confirm that Ofcom considers that both the Newsnight and This Morning programmes raise issues warranting investigation in relation to i) the application of generally accepted standards by ITV and the BBC and ii) the application of standards to prevent unfair treatment to an individual, and unwarranted infringements of privacy."

Close also addressed Wilson's suggestion that the Broadcasting Code in its current form may allow a "potential loophole in relation to innuendo and social media which broadcasters can use to avoid the fairness requirements of the code".

He said that he does not consider there to be such a loophole and added that Ofcom can properly investigate and address the issues raised by the broadcasts in question and the resulting speculation online.

The Newsnight broadcast led to the resignation of BBC director general George Entwistle and others.

Schofield was today (November 15) disciplined by ITV for the incident where he showed a list of names to Prime Minister David Cameron live on air.

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