The culture secretary told a meeting of the Broadcasting Press Guild that the advent of 24-hour news meant that broadcasters have an obligation to take care of contestants outside the confines of the shows themselves, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Burnham said: "We are living in a world where it is not just about what happens on telly on a Saturday night. There is 360 degree scrutiny, 365 days a year. We need to look after people, not just around the camera.
"The contestants' welfare should always come first, even if that means that people have to look at the judgement calls. Ofcom takes responsibility for that. I think there should be a process of discussion with the broadcaster concerned. Let's get the facts."
Ofcom has said that it will look into a number of complaints about the series, but is thought to be unlikely to launch an investigation as its remit traditionally only covers events that have been broadcast.