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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 22:23 GMT
Panorama wi-fi complaints upheld
Wireless hotspot sign
Wireless hotspots are becoming much more widely used
The BBC has upheld complaints against an edition of the current affairs programme Panorama.

Two viewers said Wi-Fi: A Warning Signal exaggerated the evidence for concern about the potential health hazards of wireless technology.

Another complainant said the programme, which was shown in May, was unbalanced.

The BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) said the programme "gave a misleading impression of the state of scientific opinion on the issue".

The BBC said it noted the findings.

The viewers also argued the BBC One programme was factually inaccurate and that an experiment designed to test whether certain people were especially sensitive to radiation was presented in a misleadingly way.

In addition, one of the programme's contributors, Professor Michael Repacholi, complained that the scientific evidence was presented in an unbalanced way.

'Misleading and unfair'

On Friday, the ECU said it had been "legitimate" for Panorama to examine concerns about wi-fi raised by chairman of the Health Protection Agency Sir William Stewart.

But it said the programme included only one contributor, Prof Repacholi, who disagreed with Sir William, compared with three scientists and a number of other speakers who supported him.

"This gave a misleading impression of the state of scientific opinion on the issue," the ECU said.

"In addition, Prof Repacholi's contribution was presented in a context which suggested to viewers that his scientific independence was in question, whereas the other scientists were presented uncritically.

"This reinforced the misleading impression, and was unfair to Prof Repacholi."

Panorama said it was now planning a meeting to explore issues of balance and fair dealing with contributors in relation to scientific and medical topics.

The ECU's findings will be marked on the programme's website.

Wi-fi health fears are 'unproven'
21 May 07 |  Technology
Wi-Fi: a warning signal
20 May 07 |  Panorama


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