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Broadcasting: Political Activities

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 176062, tabled on 25 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking with broadcasters to ensure the (a) political impartiality of news commentators and (b) live disclosure of affiliations where impartiality is not possible.

Answered on

13 April 2021

Trusted news is vital to a strong and fully functioning democracy. It has an essential role in holding power to account and keeping the public informed of local, national and international issues. We expect news broadcasters and their journalists and commentators to adhere to the highest standards of accuracy, whilst respecting their right to freedom of expression.

Decisions on broadcasting regulation, including impartiality in broadcast news, are a matter for Ofcom. Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code contains rules to ensure that broadcast news is reported with due accuracy and impartiality​. The Broadcasting Code clarifies that any personal interest of a reporter or presenter, which would call into question the due impartiality of the programme, must be made clear to the audience.