Media Law 25: Ofcom Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Media Law 25: Ofcom Deck (12):

difference between Ofcom and PCC

- statutory vs self-regulation


reason Ofcom is statutory

- moving images are riskier / more direct
- state control of analogue channels


when was Ofcom created?

- Communications Act 2003
- Ofcom brought in 2005


what does the BBC have instead of parts of Ofcom Code

- BBC Editorial Guidelines


who is Ofcom beholden to?

- independent of Government
- accountable to Parliament


what are Ofcom's main roles?

- issue licences
- set standards
- deal with complaints


what sanctions can Ofcom use?

- forbid repeat broadcast of programme
- force channel to issue apology / Ofcom-written statement
- fine up to £250,000 (BBC and S4C) OR 5% of 'qualifying revenue'
- shorten or revoke licence to broadcast (serious and repeated offences)
- find the matter resolved and no further action needed


harm and offence in Ofcom

- offensive material must be justified in context
- factual programmes should not 'materially mislead' viewers
- methods of suicide/self-harm must be justified in contex
- simulated news broadcasts must not seem like the real news


rules about impartiality and accuracy in news programmes

- news should be presented with 'due impartiality' (depending on content, this may not necessarily mean each side gets an equal voice...)
- errors should be corrected as soon as possible
- never use politician as interviewer/presenter/reporter unless justified (then allegiance must be stated)


special rules for 'matters of political or industry controversy, or matters of current public policy'

- don't express broadcaster's own view
- due impartiality (but can be over multiple shows)
- views and facts must not be misrepresented
- make presenter/reporter's interests known
- presenters/reporters can put over their views, but must be balanced by others
- presenters appearing regularly must not use this as an advantage over due impartiality
- phone-in presenters must encourage alternative views
- 'personal view' programmes must be indicated as such from the start


rules for referendum/election

- due weight to 'designated organisations', and appropriate coverage to other 'permitted participants'
- candidates must not act as newsreaders, etc.
- no arranging for candidates to appear on non-political programmes (applies after election period begins)
- reports must use due impartiality (although if one side refuses to show, it can still go ahead)
- reports on constituencies must mention candidates names OR parties (depending on geographical size)
- all discussion ends when polling stations open
- no opinion poll results broadcast on polling day


rules about being fair

- be fair to contributors
- inform contributors
- parent/guardian permission for under 16s / not in permission to give consent
- edit fairly
- honour guarantees (e.g. anonymity, confidentiality, content of programme, etc.)
- reuse content fairly
- present facts fairly
- give 'appropriate and timely' chance to respond to allegations
- if people don't appear, you should state this and give person's excuse
- if someone doesn't take part, their view should still be represented