In an awkward encounter, during a press conference in April 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“MOFA”) educated a BBC producer on what Ofcom does and does not regulate.
“The BBC is regulated. We have to abide by Ofcom regulations. As I’m sure you know, that’s the body that recently withdrew CGTN’s license to broadcast in the UK,” a BBC producer said to a Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Hua Chunying.
Chunying responded by saying that according to material openly available, BBC World Service is immune from any form of regulation and can produce all the disinformation it likes with legal impunity in the UK. It has caused the spread of the fake news virus not only in the UK but all over the world.
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“It is true Ofcom can regulate many BBC Departments. But maybe you could tell us: does it hold any power over BBC World Service? The answer, as we see from reports, is no, because BBC has the Royal Charter … BBC World Service is immune from any form of regulation and can produce all the disinformation it likes with legal impunity in the UK,” Chunying said.
Chunying then quoted from David Sedgwick’s book ‘The FakeNews Factory: Tales from BBC-land’ and an Express article ‘BBC failures: Half of Britons no longer want to pay licence fee for ‘bias’ reporting’.
“That’s why BBC faces a credibility crisis,” she said, BBC should try to do more just and truthful reports to tackle its credibility crisis.
During the press conference Chunying played a clip from a video by YouTuber Barrie, host of Best China Info. On his now deleted twitter account, @ChinaBazaar, Barrie posted that the BBC producer speaking at the press conference was Kathy Long.
We haven’t done so, but for those interested in investigating Barrie’s claims further, the in-conference clip can be viewed on CGTN’s channel HERE and Best China Info’s full video from which the clip was made is HERE.
On the other side of the debate is a twitter thread posted by Adrian Zenz defending his research HERE.
BBC Royal Charter and Regulation
The current Charter began on 1 January 2017 and ends on 31 December 2027.
“The BBC assumes it has (at least) seven more years left of its current charter in which to create the kind of discord it revels in. Seven years is a long time to enable a divisive agenda. Think what damage to the UK’s social fabric the broadcaster is capable of doing in just seven minutes,” Sedgwick wrote in mid-2020.
“The BBC’s Royal Charter specifies the BBC’s Mission, which is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain. It also establishes our independence from government, guarantees our editorial and artistic freedom and safeguards the licence fee.” – The BBC’s Editorial Standards, BBC
Sedgwick’s book was released on Amazon on 31 January 2020. “When I heard through a third-party that the BBC was planning, and I quote, ‘to sink’ my new book about them I wasn’t that surprised. After all, the theme of ‘The Fake News Factory: Tales from BBC-land,’ is BBC dishonesty. Indeed, it made perfect sense. Although friends scoffed at the idea, I have since discovered that this was no idle threat,” he wrote on 13 February 2020.
In a follow up article two months later Sedgwick wrote:
“The first part of the plan unfolded when Amazon cancelled my review copies, not once, not twice but thrice … Thanks largely to plenty of social media activity and despite Amazon’s best efforts, sales picked up a little. The new book just managed to creep into the top 10 best-sellers in the company’s Media category. But Amazon weren’t finished yet.
“Books don’t ‘sell out’ on Amazon. The system is called Print on Demand (POD) which means books are printed to order. There’s no stock … I noticed with horror … the book was … showing as ‘unavailable.’ Déjà vu. I knew instantly what was going on here – namely the latest attempt to suppress sales. I made a point of checking every one of the top 50 books in Amazon’s Media category: every single one was showing as ‘available’.
“It doesn’t end there … [someone] just tried to order ‘The Fake News Factory’ without success … although both my BBC critiques (BBC: Brainwashing Britain? and The Fake News Factory) show delivery dates of 7th – 9th May, every other book in Amazon’s media category shows a delivery window of March 30th – April 6th. So, Bezos’ company has apparently decided to single out two books for especially slow service: my books. Not the BBC’s Emily Maitlis and her book ‘Airhead’ which I note will be delivered in good time, just my books.
“These tactics at the behest of the BBC are designed to … frustrate.”
From just this one example, do you think BBC is fulfilling its mission: “to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial” services?
Further examples of the BBC not fulfilling its mission can be found on UK Column’s website HERE.
“BBC World Service is not regulated by Ofcom. Instead, the BBC is responsible for setting its overall strategic direction, the budget and guarding its editorial independence for World Service.” – About the BBC: Regulation
Ofcom confirms in their Broadcasting Code dated April 2017: no part of the Code applies to the BBC World Service.
Below is an excerpt from The Ofcom Broadcasting Code – not only to remind the public and the many voices who have been supressed and demonised during the Covid era but in particular – to remind the BBC and all licensed television broadcasters (emphases our own):
“The Code has also been drafted in the light of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the European Convention on Human Rights (“the Convention”). In particular, the right to freedom of expression, as expressed in Article 10 of the Convention, encompasses the audience’s right to receive creative material, information and ideas without interference but subject to restrictions prescribed by law and necessary in a democratic society. This Article, together with Article 8 regarding the right to a person’s private and family life, home and correspondence; Article 9, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and Article 14, the right to enjoyment of human rights without discrimination on grounds such as sex, race and religion, can be found in Appendix 3 of the Code.”
The question remains, who is monitoring or regulating BBC World Service’s content?
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