UK broadcaster talkRADIO reinstated on YouTube


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop and mobile device users next to a screen projection of the YouTube logo in this picture illustration

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LONDON (Reuters) -British national radio station talkRADIO on Tuesday said that YouTube had reinstated its channel from the video-sharing platform after a review.

TalkRADIO has more than 400,000 listeners and is regulated by Britain’s main broadcast watchdog, Ofcom.

“TalkRADIO’s YouTube channel was briefly suspended, but upon further review, has been reinstated,” the radio station said in a statement. “We quickly remove flagged content that violate our community guidelines, including COVID-19 content that explicitly contradict expert consensus from local authorities or the World Health Organization.”

YouTube did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

TalkRADIO is one of Britain’s main news and speech radio stations and regularly hosts government ministers.

The station broadcasts via digital radio as well as online and used YouTube to host a video feed of live broadcasts and an archive of past shows.

Some of its presenters have criticised government measures to slow the spread of coronavirus as excessive or ill-targeted.

Senior minister Michael Gove, speaking to talkRADIO on Tuesday, said the broadcaster should be free to question COVID policy without interference from large technology companies.

“I don’t believe in censorship,” Gove said. “I think it’s absolutely right that people should ask questions.”

Under Ofcom rules, all British broadcasters are required to ensure that news is reported accurately and impartially.

In February Ofcom fined talkRADIO 75,000 pounds ($101,737), relating to broadcasts in 2018 by former lawmaker George Galloway, which it ruled lacked impartiality. TalkRADIO sacked Galloway in 2019 over a separate incident.

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TalkRADIO said on Tuesday that it had robust editorial controls and took care to balance debate.

“We regularly interrogate government data and we have controls in place, use verifiable sources and give space to a careful selection of voices and opinions,” it said.

($1 = 0.7372 pounds)

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