BBC complaints 'too complicated'

A committee of peers has called the system for complaining about BBC programmes 'convoluted and overly complicated'

A committee of peers has called the system for complaining about BBC programmes 'convoluted and overly complicated'

First published in National News © by

The system for complaining about BBC programmes is "convoluted and overly complicated", a committee of peers has said.

Listeners and viewers have difficulty knowing where to go if they have an issue with BBC output, their report said.

Former BBC chairman Lord Grade has called his experience, since leaving his role, of complaining to the Corporation as "grisly" and described the system as "absolutely hopeless".

Wednesday's report said there should be a "one-stop shop" within the BBC where complaints are registered.

Part of the problem was that the BBC Trust, the BBC's governing body, and watchdog Ofcom have overlapping jurisdiction in several areas, the report said.

Under the current system, the BBC Trust regulates issues of impartiality and accuracy.

But the report said "the BBC should not remain judge and jury in its own case" and suggested Ofcom should take responsibility for this area.

The committee also warned that BBC creativity must not be "stifled by overly bureaucratic compliance culture".

Critics have said the broadcaster has become too risk-averse since the Ross-Brand broadcast. Recently, the stars of BBC police drama New Tricks criticised TV "censorship" - saying the Corporation was "terrified" of causing offence.

The report, The Governance and Regulation of the BBC, also said the BBC should "ease concerns that it isn't always clear to viewers what is reality, reconstructed and constructed footage".

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