• Too many people lack confidence in BBC complaints process, which must improve
  • Audiences consistently rate it less favourably for impartiality
  • Ofcom introduces new regulation to make the BBC more transparent and open

The BBC must be much more open and clear with audiences about how it handles their complaints, responds to concerns and meets viewers’ and listeners’ needs, Ofcom warns today.
As we approach the mid-point in the BBC’s current Charter period, we have been reviewing the BBC’s performance and our future regulation of it. As part of this, we have tracked audiences’ experiences and interactions with the corporation, and their feelings towards it.

One in nine people have had a reason to complain about the BBC. However, most of those do not actually make a complaint, with many telling us it would not make a difference or be taken seriously. These concerns are nearly twice as high for the BBC than for other broadcasters.

We also asked audiences about BBC news and current affairs. Although they rate its news highly for trust and accuracy, conversely they rate it less favourably on impartiality.

So, we are now directing the BBC to change its policy and publish sufficient reasoning in cases where it decides not to uphold due impartiality and due accuracy complaints.

We are also expecting the BBC to alert us at an early stage to potential serious editorial breaches. This will allow us to better scrutinise how the BBC’s complaints process is working in practice and, if necessary, to intervene early to protect audiences. If the BBC fails to do this, we will recommend that the Government makes this a legal requirement.

While the BBC is still generally popular with viewers and listeners, the way content is consumed has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and is still evolving rapidly. The BBC therefore needs to keep developing its online services, while continuing to deliver distinctive, original UK content. We have today set out proposals for a new Operating Licence for the BBC, to enable its continued transformation.

Source: Ofcom

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By Expat