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Action Alert – BBC failure to address biased reporting on Palestine: How to escalate your complaint to Ofcom

Action Alert – BBC failure to address biased reporting on Palestine: How to escalate your complaint to Ofcom

Categories: Latest News

Friday June 04 2021

Following MEND’s action alert, which prompted hundreds of complaints to the BBC about its biased and inaccurate portrayal of Israeli violence in Palestine, generic BBC responses to these complaints have overwhelmingly failed to address any of the concerns raised, instead providing only generalized defenses of its position while ignoring the direct evidence provided by complainants.

If you have received a generic response from the BBC, follow the steps below to escalate your complaint to Ofcom.

The process for complaining to Ofcom is slightly different depending on whether you are complaining about content that you have seen on a BBC programme on TV/ radio (option 1) or something you have seen on a BBC website or app (option 2).

Option 1: Complain about TV or radio

Step 1:

Go to https://www.ofcom.org.uk/home

Step 2:

Click on the ‘Complaints’ bar and then click ‘Make a complaint’

Step 3:

Choose ‘Complain about TV, radio, on demand services or video sharing platforms’

Step 4:

Choose ‘A programme I saw or heard’ and then choose ‘On a BBC TV channel or radio station’.

Step 5:

  1. Tick ‘Yes’ to confirm that you have completed all stages of the BBC’s complaints process, including receiving a response from the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (‘ECU’).
  2. Click ‘Next’.

Step 6:

Fill out the ‘BBC programme details’ including:

  • ‘Programme title’ e.g., BBC News,
  • ‘Date you watched, heard, downloaded or streamed programme’,
  • ‘Time of broadcast (if known)’,
  • ‘BBC Channel/ station/ website/ app on which the programme was seen or heard’ e.g., BBC One and/or BBC News.

Step 7:

  1. Type out the ‘Your complaint details’ including:
  • Subject: e.g., ‘Biased and Inaccurate Coverage of Israeli violence in Palestine’.
  • Description of original complaint: e.g., “I complained about the BBC’s biased TV/ radio coverage of the recent attacks against Palestinians by Israeli forces…”.
    • As a reminder, MEND’s action alert provides a template that you may have used to complain to the BBC originally and which may be helpful.
  • Have you made this complaint to the BBC?: Select ‘Yes’.
  • Reason for dissatisfaction with the outcome of the BBC’s final response: e.g., “The BBC’s response failed to address any of my concerns directly and rather sent out a generic email stating…”.
  • BBC Reference Number: The BBC should have sent you a reference number for your complaint as subject of their email reply.
  • Date you submitted your complaint to the BBC: Enter the date you submitted your complaint.
  1. Add your personal details
  2. Confirm that you are not a robot
  3. Click next

Step 8:

  1. Attach your final response from the BBC and any other information you deem relevant to the complaint.
  2. Tick to confirm that you are not a robot.
  3. Click ‘Attach and Submit’.

Option 2: Complain about a BBC website or app

Step 1:

Go to https://www.ofcom.org.uk/home

Step 2:

Click on the ‘Complaints’ bar and then click ‘Make a complaint’

Step 3:

Choose ‘Complain about TV, radio, on demand services or video sharing platforms’

Step 4:

Select ‘something I have seen on a BBC website or app’.

Step 5:

  1. Tick ‘Yes’ to confirm that you have completed all stages of the BBC’s complaints process, including receiving a response from the BBC’s Executive Complaints Unit (‘ECU’).
  2. Click ‘Next’.

Step 6:

Fill out the ‘Online Material details’ including:

  • The name of the website e.g., BBC News
  • The name of the article(s)
  • Link(s) to the relevant articles
  • The date you accessed the materials

Step 7:

  1. Type out the ‘Your complaint details’ including:
  • Have you made this complaint to the BBC?: Select ‘Yes’.
  • Summary of original complaint: e.g., “I complained about the BBC’s biased website coverage of the recent attacks against Palestinians by Israeli forces…”.
  • What was your complaint to the BBC?: Include as much detail as you can, including the original complaint that you sent the BBC if you are able to.
    • As a reminder, MEND’s action alert provides a template that you may have used to complain to the BBC originally and which may be helpful.
  • Reason for dissatisfaction with the outcome of the BBC’s final response: e.g., “The BBC’s response failed to address any of my concerns directly and rather sent out a generic email stating…”.
  • BBC Reference Number: The BBC should have sent you a reference number for your complaint as subject of their email reply.
  • Date you submitted your complaint to the BBC: Enter the date you submitted your complaint.
  1. Add your personal details
  2. Confirm that you are not a robot
  3. Click next

Step 8:

  1. Attach your final response from the BBC and any other information you deem relevant to the complaint.
  2. Tick to confirm that you are not a robot.
  3. Click ‘Attach and Submit’.
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