BBC Trust Updates Editorial Guidelines
October 12, 2010 at 5:00 AM (PT)
The BBC TRUST has issued newly-revised editorial guidelines for the BBC that have updated the standards for impartiality, harm and offense, contests, brand mentions, accuracy and fairness, privacy, children, and conflicts of interest.
The changes include guidelines to "protect" "real people" from "unduly intimidatory, humiliating, intrusive, aggressive or derogatory remarks for the purposes of entertainment," which appears to be a reaction to the infamous RUSSELL BRAND/JONATHAN ROSS "SACHSGATE" prank call incident on BBC RADIO 2 in 2008. "This does not mean preventing comedy or jokes about people in the public eye, but simply that such comments and their tone are proportionate to their target," the BBC TRUST press release said.
In addition, the TRUST extended the definition of "controversial subjects" requiring impartiality to a wider range of subjects, including religion, science, culture and ethics, and other topics; placed tighter reins on repeated mentions of products or brands in a manner that gives them "undue prominence" (a reaction to BBC RADIO 1's "HARRY POTTER DAY" promotion and the BBC's coverage of a new U2 album release, both in 2009; and issued more guidelines against "misleading audiences through programme editing or commentary" or through faked contests.