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Ofcom assess ITV Border Penrith and The Border candidates Election Coverage

Jonathan Davies, Independent Candidate for Penrith and The Border
Jonathan Davies, Independent Candidate for Penrith and The Border

[J]onathan Davies Independent Candidate for Penrith and The Border constituency in Thursdays General election has made a formal complain with TV & Radio regulator Ofcom regarding ITV Border constituency report.

ITV Border broadcast a segment covering the candidates in Penrith and The Border during the early evening news show at 6pm with a report by Tim Backshall but failed to include all candidates standing in the General election for Penrith and The Border.

The report failed to include coverage of Jonathan Davies standing as Independent Candidate for Penrith and The Border but included interviews with the other candidates standing.

Ofcom have strict Broadcasting Codes that cover election broadcasting and impartiality that Jonathan has reported ITV Border and the broadcast item for been in breach of.

The news segment was also available online on the ITV Border website but has been removed following the complaint being raised.

Jonathan Davies said: “I am concerned that not only have I been omitted by coverage but also other Independent Candidates standing in other parts of the ITV Border region and believe this is of serious concern for a free and open media and impartiality that should be observed by both Print and Broadcast Media.

“There is also concern that by omitting Independent candidates ITV Border is acting in a way that may delegitimize Independent candidates in the election and their campaigns in the general election.

“Ofcom has said that its investigation can take up to 15 days and ITV Border managing editor Catherine Houlihan has now declined to communicate further on the issue with me instead saying in an email “I do not feel it would be appropriate for me to discuss it further with you at this stage”.

“Unfortunately with the polling stations opening on Thursday morning there is no way Ofcom can resolve this to ensure Independent Candidates are given equal coverage before the election by ITV Border and at this time ITV Border do not appear to be willing to resolve the situation.”

Jonathan has pledged that regardless of the Election result he will continue to take Broadcast Journalism to task over the lack of impartiality show in this election and pending the result of the Ofcom investigation will if required take legal action against ITV Border.

A spokesman for ITV said: “We’re aware of the complaint and do not wish to comment further at this time.”

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