Sky News flooded with Ofcom complaints over asylum seeker coverage

Sky News has been bombarded with Ofcom complaints for its controversial coverage of asylum seekers crossing the English Channel.

On Tuesday, it broadcast refugees making their way to Dover, with one reporter approaching a boat for interview.

Telly watchdog Ofcom received an enormous 496 complaints about Sky News’ coverage throughout the day.

A spokesperson told ‘We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.’

Clips of the coverage were shared on Twitter, with viewers branding the scenes ‘shameful’ and ‘ disgusting’.

In one video, correspondent Ali Fortescue reported live from the English Channel as one dinghy sailed past.

Ali asked the members onboard the vessel where they had come from, with the passengers replying ‘Iraq’.

‘Our boat is just calling the Coast Guard now, so obviously we’ll stay with this boat and make sure it’s safe as it comes into shore,’ she told the camera.

‘It really has been extraordinary morning out here on the English Channel. Of course, we know that this is now a very familiar scene – that doesn’t make it any less unsettling to see.’

Ali added: ‘These are migrants very determined to take a very, very dangerous journey across the English Channel. We know that even on a calm day on today, it is a dangerous journey.’

BBC Breakfast also came under fire for its reportage of the crisis after airing live footage of a ‘sinking’ refugee boat attempting to reach Dover.

Viewers slammed Monday’s programme, which saw Simon Jones report from a neighbouring vessel as he watched Syrian refugees in a dinghy.

The BBC later addressed the backlash and a spokesperson told ‘This report was a stark illustration of the significant risks some people are prepared to take to reach the UK.

‘Channel crossings is a topic of huge importance and we always endeavour to cover the story sensitively.

‘In this instance, the Dover Coastguard were aware of the boat before our crew spoke to them and at no point did they, or those in the boat signal that a rescue operation was required.

‘The Coastguards instead alerted Border Force, who then safely picked up the occupants and took them to shore.’

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