Feeds

Iranian TV claims royals ordered Ofcom to ban it

Watchdog still mulling how to bitchslap bonkers Press TV

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Press TV, not waiting to get its official reprimand for broadcasting a dodgy interview, has accused Ofcom of being in league with the Royal Family to get it taken off the air.

The channel, which is a division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and funded by the state of Iran, reckons it has inside knowledge that the UK watchdog is about to have it kicked off the Sky satellite platform, and that the regulator is only doing that in response to Press TV's irreverent coverage our of monarchy and reporting of civil unrest in the UK.

Ofcom retorts that it still hasn't made any such decision, despite having spent more than 15 months investigating the case of the broadcast interview with Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari. Ofcom has decided that Press TV was wrong to broadcast the interview, and said in May that the station "omitted material facts and was placed in a context in which inferences adverse to Mr Bahari in could be drawn" (pdf), but despite that the regulator tells us it hasn't yet made a decision on what action to take.

It's pretty unlikely that Ofcom would actually block the channel being transmitted, in response to a 10-second interview, even if it was shoddy journalism. Some sort of fine, a broadcast apology, and a promise to behave better in future is more usual in such cases, but that wouldn't fit in with the ideology being pushed by Press TV.

The channel is one of a handful of government-funded stations that are increasingly pushing national perspectives and agendas onto international TV screens. Russia Today is another good example, already available on Freeview it offers an alternative view of the news - often one at odds with common perception and (sometimes) sense.

Living in the country that's offered the BBC World Service for decades we're in no position to complain about other governments broadcasting their point of view, but it's an interesting trend just as we are cutting our own investment in projecting our perspective abroad.

Press TV's rant about Ofcom starts off dismissing the complaints, then gets down to accusing the regulator of being a mechanism of state censorship before concluding that Peter Mandelson is a Jew.

It's true that Ofcom censors UK television, generally preventing the display of too much flesh before the watershed (though "gently thrusting buttocks" are OK). Most slaps are administered for rogue advertising, such as imploring X-Factor viewers to rush to iTunes and download stuff, or claiming to offer internet connections fast than anyone else's, hardly the stuff international politics is made of.

But, notably, when we asked the regulator directly if it operated as a royalist lickspittle there was no denial forthcoming - the laughter could have been taken either way. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.