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 criminal offences
arising from the broadcast of material stirring up hatred relating to race,
religion or sexual orientation.
Section 4 Religious Sensitivity
This section relates to the
responsibility of broadcasters with respect to the content of religious
Principles: To ensure that
broadcasters exercise the proper degree of responsibility with respect to the
content of programmes which deals with matters of religion as the central
subject or significant part of the programme.
Section 5 Accurate and impartial news
To ensure that news, in whatever
form, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality. To
ensure that the special impartiality requirements of the act are compiled with.
“Due” is an important
qualification to the concept of impartiality. Impartiality itself means not
favouring one side over another. “Due” means adequate or appropriate to the
subject and nature of the programme. So “due impartiality” does not mean an
equal division of time has to be given to every view, or that every argument
and every facet of every argument has to be represented.
Section 6, under elections
and referendums covers the special
impartiality requirements and other legislation that must be applied at the
time of elections and referendums.
Fair treatment and Respect for privacy
This section is to ensure
that broadcasters avoid unjust or unfair treatment of individuals or
organisations in programmes. This section and the following section on Privacy
are different from other sections of the code. They apply mainly to how
broadcasters interact with individuals or organisations directly affected by
their programmes. This is to ensure that broadcasters avoid any unwarranted infringement
of privacy in programmes and in connection with obtaining material included in
Section 10 Editorial Independence
This section relates to radio
broadcast only and is to ensure the transparency of commercial communications
as a means to secure consumer protection. This section of the code applies only
to radio programmes and not broadcasted TV.