ITV has been issued with a warning by Ofcom following a Covid segment with Dr. Hilary Jones on the morning show Lorraine. The Glasgow Times has more.
The broadcaster has been told to take “greater care” after Dr. Hilary shared inaccurate vaccine statistics in December.
The programme attracted 3,833 complaints from viewers over a discussion about the number of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in hospital.
The segment, on December 6th 2021, saw host Lorraine Kelly and resident medical expert Dr. Hilary encouraged viewers to accept the offer of a coronavirus vaccination. …
ITV viewers lodged complaints after ITV’s resident medical expert, Dr. Hilary, shared inaccurate information.
He said: “Those people who haven’t been vaccinated, we’d really love you to think again and be vaccinated because 90% of people in hospital are unvaccinated right now with Covid.”
On Monday, media watchdog Ofcom ruled it would not be launching a formal investigation, but has issued ITV with guidance.
In a statement, Ofcom said: “This programme incorrectly referenced the proportion of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in hospital.
“We have told ITV that greater care should be taken by trusted medical experts when presenting facts and figures on public health issues.
“However, given official statistics and research have consistently shown that vaccination against COVID-19 offers greater protection against serious health consequences, we do not consider that the error was sufficient to materially mislead viewers on this main point of discussion.”
I suppose we should applaud Ofcom for warning a broadcaster over pro-vaxx inaccuracies rather than anti-vaxx inaccuracies, but claiming the error wasn’t bad enough “to materially mislead viewers” is pretty extraordinary. Claiming that 90% of all people in hospital are unvaccinated is pretty misleading. Moreover, the article also includes the following paragraph:
A clarification was broadcast on the show two days later, explaining the statistic related to patients in intensive care units rather than the proportion of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in hospital.
In fact, it’s also not true that 90% of Covid patients in ICUs are unvaccinated, as we’ve pointed out many times before on this website. So even the “clarification” was misleading.