Documentaries embroiled in Government-funding row

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The Sunday Telegraph says it has uncovered evidence of more than £2m in Government funding being given to television producers to make and broadcast documentaries that show its work in a positive light.

Ofcom has opened an investigation into one of the programmes named in the Sunday Telegraph investigation, over claims it breached the broadcasting code on advertiser-funded programming and editorial independence.

The investigation by Patrick Sawer and Jonathan Isaby has found at least eight television series in the past five years that were Government-funded without viewers being told.

They include a fly-on-the-wall show showcasing the work of police community support officers, which the Sunday Telegraph claims received £800,000 from the Home Office. Staff at the government department were allowed to see the edited programmes before broadcast and make changes to the narration, the paper claims.

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