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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 08:51 GMT 09:51 UK
Tonight show rapped over dyslexia report
Sir Trevor McDonald
The viewers' complaints were upheld by the watchdog
Current affairs programme Tonight With Trevor McDonald gave viewers false hope about a "revolutionary" breakthrough in dyslexia treatment, a TV watchdog has ruled.

The ITV1 show's report breached guidelines about fairness and truth, the Independent Television Commission (ITC) said.


We must accept the ITC's conclusion about the programme's content, but we do not agree with it

Granada spokesman

Programme-maker Granada says it has agreed to differ with the regulator after months of talks.

Five viewers complained about a report on treatment offered by the Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, and Attention Disorder Centre (DDAT) broadcast in January on ITV1.

The programme followed the cases of three dyslexics over six months.

But those who complained said the treatment was not new at all, and said the programme gave false hope of a "quick fix" cure.

Debate missing

The ITC said "these claims by the programme that the DDAT treatment was both revolutionary and a breakthrough were not sustainable".

It added that similar methods had been available in the UK and US before DDAT was set up.

The ITC said a current affairs programme could not offer an exhaustive debate on its own, but it should at least reflect issues raised in the debate.

'Agree to differ'

A Granada spokesman said: "We must accept the ITC's conclusion about the programme's content, but we do not agree with it.

"It follows months of debate between Granada and the regulator and we must now agree to differ."

He said the film was thoroughly researched and leading figures were consulted.

"Tonight then sought to explore and alert viewers to some of the issues in an accessible, responsible way by following dyslexics over an extended period as they underwent one form of treatment," he explained.

He said the programme was meant to be a film based on experience, not a debate about theories and approaches.

See also:

13 Oct 02 | Entertainment
15 Sep 02 | Entertainment
06 Sep 02 | Education
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