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Ofcom 'Extremely Concerned' Over Coverage Of Nicola Bulley's Death

Nicola Bulley was last seen on the morning of Friday January 27, when she was spotted walking her dog on a footpath by the nearby River Wyre.
Nicola Bulley was last seen on the morning of Friday January 27, when she was spotted walking her dog on a footpath by the nearby River Wyre.

Nicola Bulley was last seen on the morning of Friday January 27, when she was spotted walking her dog on a footpath by the nearby River Wyre.

Media watchdog Ofcom has written to broadcasters ITV and Sky over their handling of the death of Nicola Bulley after her family criticised their coverage.

The regulator has said it is “extremely concerned” by the family’s comments and has asked the outlets to “explain their actions”.

Nicola’s body was pulled from the River Wyre in Lancashire on Sunday after she was last seen on January 27.

On Monday, in a statement read out by a Lancashire Police officer, the family questioned the role of the press during the investigation, and accused the media of “misquoting and vilifying” Nicola’s partner, relatives and friends.

It read: “It saddens us to think that one day we will have to explain to (Nicola’s children) that the press and members of the public accused their dad of wrongdoing, misquoted and vilified friends and family.

“This is absolutely appalling, they have to be held accountable this cannot happen to another family.

“We tried last night to take in what we had been told in the day, only to have Sky News and ITV making contact with us directly when we expressly asked for privacy. They again have taken it upon themselves to run stories about us to sell papers and increase their own profits. It is shameful they have acted in this way. Leave us alone now.

“Do the press and other media channels and so called professionals not know when to stop? These are our lives and our children’s lives.”

A spokesperson for Ofcom said on Tuesday: “We are extremely concerned to hear the comments made by the family of Nicola Bulley about two broadcast licensees.

“We have written to ITV and Sky to ask them to explain their actions. We will then assess whether any further action is required.”

Sky has received Ofcom’s letter, it is understood, and will closely with the watchdog to answer its questions.

The police hunt for Nicola generated a huge level of public interest, and even led to officers to criticise “TikTokers ... playing their own private detectives” as the story was picked over on social media.

Lancashire Police has faced criticism over its investigation after Nicola was reported missing, including why it took 23 days to find her body in the river, and for releasing some aspects of her private life into the public domain.

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