5.1.1 & 6.1.1 Legal and Ethical Issues Related to News

5.1.1 Comparative Analysis of Radio News

6.1.1 Comparative Analysis of Online Video News

If I worked in the news department, following the Ofcom Broadcasting Code I would need to be aware of;

  • Section One Protecting the Under-Eighteens
  • Section Two Harm and Offence
  • Section Eight Privacy
  • Section Nine Commercial References in Television Programming
  • Section Ten Commercial Communications in Radio Programming

Section One: According to the Ofcom Code, news editors should not include “Material that might seriously impair the physical, mental or moral development of people under eighteen must not be broadcast.”(1.1)  This is a really important rule as if news programmes displayed certain news exactly how they are, the content could affect a person under the age of eighteen. For this reason, the content should be filtered suiting the audience.

This links to the watershed mentioned in Section One. Content unsuitable for children (those aged 15 and under) will be broadcasted after the watershed. “The watershed only applies to television. The watershed is at 2100. Material unsuitable for children should not, in general, be shown before 2100 or after 0530.” (1.4)

Section Two: “Programmes must not include material (whether in individual programmes or in programmes taken together) which, taking into account the context, condones or glamorises violent, dangerous or seriously antisocial behaviour and is likely to encourage others to copy such behaviour”. (2.4) This takes us back to Section One 1.1 that could affect an individual mentally. News editors must carefully pick out what they show to the audience behind the television.

Section Eight: “To ensure that broadcasters avoid any unwarranted infringement of privacy in programmes and in connection with obtaining material included in programmes.” Section Eight shows us that unless it is in the public interest, you cannot infringe a persons privacy and this links to the Defamation Law. (EXPLAIN)

Section Nine: “The rules ensure that the principles of editorial independence; distinction between advertising and editorial content; transparency of commercial arrangements; and consumer protection are maintained.”

Section Nine explains rules about prohibited advertising and product placement within programming.

9.6 Product placement is prohibited except in the following programme genres:

a) films;
b) series made for television (or other audiovisual media services);
c) sports programmes; and
d) light entertainment programmes.

This shows us that this does not apply to news programmes.



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