The principle of section one
is to ensure that people under eighteen are protected. This section outlines
the rules around scheduling and content information in regards to protecting
the children. Scheduling should be judged according to nature, the likely
audience and the time which it is being broadcast. Thus meaning that television
broadcasters must observe the watershed rule which typically begins at 9pm and
must be especially careful “when children are particularly likely to be
listening”. This phrase refers to mainly the school run and breakfast time.
Broadcasters must also attempt to prohibit the identification of those who are
not of age. Broadcasters are unable to provide clues which may lead up to the
identification of anyone involved in a case of sexual offences.
Section two projects the
standards for broadcast content. The section is to provide adequate protection
for members of the public from any harmful or offensive material. Acceptable
standards must be applied at all time in reference to television and radio
services. Meaning it is to provide adequate protection for members of the
public from inclusion in such services of any harmful or offensive material.
The next section of the code
covers material that is “likely to incite crime or disorder”, which reflects Ofcom’s
duty to disallow the broadcast of this type of programme. This can include content
which directly or indirectly amounts to any criminal action, criminal activity,
disorder or hate speech. Broadcasters’ must pay specific attention to Sections
22 and 29F of the Public Order Act 1986, which sets out the criminal offences which
can arise from the broadcast of hatred of any description.
Section four revolves around
religious sensitivity, especially within our community. This section relates to
the responsibility which broadcasters hold in respect to the broadcast of religious
content. Ofcom’s principle is clear and states that it is there “to ensure that
broadcasters exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the
content of programmes”, specifically when dealing with religion as the central
subject or when religion takes up a significant part of the programme.
To guarantee that news, in
whatever form and under any situation is reported with due accuracy and offered
with due impartiality and in certain situations, that special impartiality
requirements are compiled with. Impartiality simply means to not favour one
side over the other. The term ‘due’, which means that it is adequate and
appropriate to the nature of programme. This is a significant qualification surrounding
the concept of impartiality.
Respect for privacy is an
increasingly important section. This section ensures that broadcasters are able
to avoid unjust or unfair treatment, specifically of individuals or
organisations in programmes. The right to fairness and privacy apply mainly to
how broadcasters cooperate with individuals or organisations which can be directly
affected by their programmes. This is to guarantee that broadcasters avoid any unwarranted
infringement of privacy in programmes.