Ofcom Finds GB News in Breach Over Politicians as News Presenters

Ofcom Finds GB News in Breach Over Politicians as News Presenters

Recently, Ofcom delivered a substantial judgement against GB News, finding the network in breach on five different occasions. The breaches were related to the issue of politicians acting as news presenters, a practice that goes against the Ofcom code regarding due impartiality and the use of politicians in news programs.

Shows in Breach

The episodes that were found to be in breach included two episodes of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s State of the Nation, two episodes of Friday Morning with Esther and Phil, and one episode of Saturday Morning with Esther and Phil. These shows, broadcast in May and June 2023, violated the rules regarding impartiality and the use of politicians as news presenters.

Many viewers and opposition parties have expressed frustration over the number of news shows on GB News that are hosted by members of the ruling Conservative Party. The use of Conservative MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg, Esther McVey, and Phillip Davies as news presenters has raised concerns about bias and impartiality in the network’s coverage.

Ofcom conducted a thorough analysis of the content in question, including detailed representations from GB News. The regulatory body found that the host politicians in these shows acted as newsreaders, interviewers, or reporters without exceptional justification. This lack of due impartiality in presenting news content led to the breaches of the Ofcom code.

In response to Ofcom’s findings, GB News expressed uncertainty about the specific area of the code it had violated. The network cited public discussions on the issue of politicians presenting programs and pointed to Ofcom’s own acknowledgment of the changing broadcasting landscape.

Previous Breaches

This is not the first time GB News has come under scrutiny from Ofcom. Earlier, the network faced criticism over Laurence Fox’s misogynistic rant about a female journalist, which resulted in his firing from the station. GB News was summoned to a meeting at Ofcom’s offices to address this breach.

The findings of Ofcom regarding GB News’ breaches over the use of politicians as news presenters highlight the importance of upholding impartiality and fairness in news programming. It is essential for news networks to adhere to regulatory standards to maintain the trust and credibility of their audience. It remains to be seen how GB News will respond to these findings and whether it will make changes to its programming to comply with Ofcom’s regulations.


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