Local Council complains about Radio Scilly
The Council of the Isles of Scilly has had a complaint it made about Radio Scilly rejected by Ofcom.
The Council said it did not have enough time to reply to allegations about a former head teacher, Mr Bryce, being refused a copy of a report.
The community radio station broadcast the story on a Monday morning starting at 7am, continuing every hour till 11am. The report ended with “We are waiting for a response from the Town Hall over Bryce’s claims.”
The station saw the story on an evening news bulletin on ITV and decided to email the council for a comment at 21:28 on the Sunday evening, but wanted to get the story on-air as soon as possible – which was 7am the next day.
Radio Scilly said that each week it broadcasts at least 25 Scilly-centred news stories, most of which are sourced from attending the Council Chamber or talking to councillors and officers. It said it had regular dealings with the Council and it always deals with the Council’s Community Relations Officer via email for comment before running a story.
But Ofcom found that the Council was given an appropriate and timely opportunity in the circumstances of this case to respond to the allegation made about it in the
programmes. Therefore, it was not treated unfairly in this respect.
“We considered it not unreasonable that those with a specific job responsibility to respond to media enquiries (such as the Council’s Community Relations Officer) may, on occasion, need to be prepared do so out of traditional office hours,” Ofcom said.
Radio Scilly says it is still awaiting a response on the matter from the Council.