Channel 4 launches new appeals procedure for online complaints

Channel 4 has introduced a new appeal process to handle complaints about online editorial content which will be overseen by a new independent complaints reviewer, Chris Banatvala the former Director of Standards and Content Board member of Ofcom.

The new framework will cover complaints about fairness and/or privacy related to online content. It provides a process for people directly affected so they can request an independent review if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of Channel 4’s own complaints procedure. It will not cover complaints which already come under the remit of the television and radio regulator Ofcom.

Channel 4’s General Counsel Prash Naik said: “We have introduced the new procedure to address a lacuna in our complaints handling, as previously a complainant had no right of appeal if they disagreed with Channel 4’s investigation of their complaint.”

The reviewer Chris Banatvala said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the first independent reviewer and I look forward to bringing my regulatory experience to the new appeals framework.”

Under the new process, which became operational this week, the independent reviewer will only assess complaints made by the person affected or someone specifically authorised by the person affected to make a complaint on their behalf.

A complainant should first raise their fairness and/or privacy complaint directly with Channel 4. If the complaint is not upheld or only partly upheld by Channel 4, the complainant can then seek an independent review of the decision subject to meeting one or more of two grounds of appeal. Requests for an independent review should normally be made within 20 days of a decision made via Channel 4’s own complaints process.

The independent reviewer will have the power to recommend whether or not Channel 4 should reconsider the merits of the case.

Full details of the procedure and how it will be operated are available here –

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