14 May 2008

UK - Ofcom defends 9pm watershed

Ofcom has dismissed claims by a group of MPs that the 9pm watershed is failing to protect young children because they can now access television online. Giving evidence at a culture, media and sport committee hearing, the Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards, denied the regulator had put itself in an "impossible and absurd position" by not doing more to regulate objectionable content on the web. Richards was responding to claims made by Nigel Evans, the Ribble Valley conservative MP, who argued that Ofcom's powers over broadcasting should be more rigorously applied to internet content. The cross-party group of MPs raised concerns about services such as the BBC iPlayer, which make it possible for anyone to view post-watershed content at any time of the day. The Ofcom partner for content and standards, Stuart Purvis, said a lot of the responsibility rested with parents to make sure their children were not watching inappropriate material.