Entertainment & Arts

Ofcom rejects complaints over C4 Muslim reporter

Fatima Manji Image copyright Channel 4 News
Image caption Fatima Manji co-presented the news bulletin from the London studio the day after the attack

Ofcom has rejected complaints that it was inappropriate for a Muslim TV reporter wearing a hijab to cover the Nice terrorist attack in July.

The media watchdog said there were no grounds to investigate after receiving 17 complaints about the attire of Channel 4 News presenter Fatima Manji.

"The way in which the presenter chose to dress in this case did not raise any issues under our rules," Ofcom said.

The watchdog will not be "taking the matter forward for investigation".

'Religious discrimination'

The Ofcom spokesman also said that "the selection of a presenter is an editorial matter for the broadcaster".

Manji co-presented the Channel 4 News bulletin, produced by ITN, from London during coverage of the lorry attack in Nice which killed 86 people on 15 July.

So-called Islamic State subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kelvin MacKenzie questioned whether it was appropriate for a Muslim presenter to report on the attack

Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie questioned whether the Muslim presenter should have appeared on the bulletin.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) has received some 1,700 complaints over his remarks, including one from Manji herself and one from Channel 4 news.

The programme's editor, Ben de Pear, said last month that the correspondent had been a victim of "religious discrimination".

"ITN believes the article was in breach of a number of provisions of the Editor's Code, in particular discrimination, harassment by intimidation and inaccuracy," he added.

De Pear said a "further complaint" had been made by ITN chief executive John Hardie "which fully supports and endorses the grounds and reasoning of Fatima's complaint".

A ruling from Ipso is not expected until the autumn.


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