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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ofcom upholds Lord McAlpine complaints

Ofcom upholds Lord McAlpine complaints

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has upheld complaints against episodes of Newsnight and This Morning which led to Lord McAlpine being wrongly implicated in child sex abuse allegations.
Newsnight broadcast allegations against an unnamed "leading Conservative politician from the Thatcher years".
Lord McAlpine was not named, but was the subject of internet speculation.
Ofcom logoBoth The BBC and ITV subsequently apologised to Lord McAlpine
The investigation on BBC Two's Newsnight looked into allegations of sexual abuse at the Bryn Esytn children's home in Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.
Ofcom said the broadcast of the allegations in the context of the widespread internet speculation had led to Lord McAlpine being incorrectly identified.
During the live ITV programme on 8 November 2012, This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield produced a list of people linked to allegations of child abuse which he said he had put together by searching on the internet.
He handed the list - which included Lord McAlpine's name - to the Prime Minister David Cameron, and it was briefly and inadvertently broadcast by the channel.
Ofcom ruled both programmes had breached the broadcasting code and had treated Lord McAlpine unfairly.
ITV also fell foul of rules relating to provided adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion of harmful material.
Both the BBC and ITV subsequently apologised to Lord McAlpine, and paid substantial libel damages.