Focus E15 campaign censored by Channel 4

 

On 19 December 2014 Jasmin Stone from the Focus E15 campaign appeared on Channel 4 News as part of a live housing debate with Ryan Bourne from the free-market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Jasmin responded well to Ryan Bourne’s free market mantra, putting her points clearly and simply. What viewers would not have known is that beforehand Jasmin received strict orders from the Channel 4 news team about what she was allowed to talk about.

Jasmin described to FRFI her experience of appearing on the programme:

“10 minutes before I was due to arrive at the studio, a producer at Channel 4 phoned to tell me they had spoken to Newham Council and I was unable to speak about any cases we have dealt with in the campaign. This included anything relating to the council including the current Labour mayor, Robin Wales.

“When I arrived in the studio I made it clear that I wanted to talk about Newham Council and that I would. I was told it would not benefit the campaign mentioning any of the situations and that I needed to keep it an open generalised discussion. I was told that if I did I would be cut off air.

“I was disgusted by this. I am aware of the media being corrupt and controlled but to think that they were able to censor what I was saying was very frustrating. I was told it would be unfair to Newham Council and Robin Wales as they would not be present to defend themselves. I would not have minded having a debate with Robin Wales. Meanwhile Ryan Bourne had the opportunity to speak about whatever he wanted to, uncensored. 

“It‘s ridiculous to invite someone from an active housing campaign in East London, Newham, who is campaigning for decent homes in the borough and beyond and calling for the resignation of the local Labour mayor and say that none of this can be mentioned.”

Jasmin continued, "This is censorship and the curtailment of the right to democratic debate. What is it Newham Council has to hide and why was Channel 4 so keen to protect it?"

Focus E15 website (link to http://focuse15.org/)

Focus E15 campaign (link to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Focus-E15-Mothers/602860129757343)