Ofcom tells CNN to drop Nigerian bank sponsor

Website: Rapid TV News

CNN International transmits an weekly show ‘Inside Africa’. The show has been sponsored by Nigeria’s Zenith Bank (based in Lagos). That sponsorship must cease, says UK regulator Ofcom.

The problem is that Current Affairs and News programming must not be sponsored. Ofcom doesn’t criticise CNN’s news coverage in any way and the specific show (that a single viewer objected to) featured reports on the 64th UN General Assembly, Africa’s role in the Assembly and climate changes issues in Africa.

CNN told Ofcom that its Inside Africa show had been transmitted since 2000, although admitted that the programme’s content “appeared [to have been] a recent inadvertent editorial shift” in the nature of the programme.

So, for the sake of one complaint, Ofcom has told Turner Broadcasting to strictly honour “the important principle that news and current affairs must be reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality. A broadcaster’s editorial control over the content of its news and current affairs programming should not be, or appear to be, compromised,” said Ofcom.

Ofcom found CNN “in breach” of its rules as far as Inside Africa was concerned. Turner and CNN says it will relocate its lead producer from Atlanta to Johannesburg to “help to ensure the show stays true to its editorial mission as…feature programming focussing on African culture.”

And all because of a single complaint!

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Comments in chronological order (1 comment)

  1. Duncan Hill says:

    And so they should be held to account, even after just 1 complaint. After all, the complaint was completely justified as the channel was breaking rules.

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