Feeds

Iranian TV claims royals ordered Ofcom to ban it

Watchdog still mulling how to bitchslap bonkers Press TV

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.