OFCOM FACTUAL PROGRAMME REGULATIONS
AIMS & OBJECTIVES • Have a clear understanding of Ofcoms’ remit and powers
• Make a short presentation (in pairs) to peers looking at one area of Ofcoms’ code of conduct. • Evidence your understanding of how Ofcom regulates factual programming (specifically the areas of relating to reconstructions, contributors, potentially offensive material and criminality) via an Ofcom worksheet.
MEDIA LAW GOVERNING FACTUAL PROGRAMMING OFCOM
How has it been broken in the past? Give example
How will it specifically affect your work?
Recreating an event which has already happened. However it has to be true and accurate for the audience . An example is crime watch the programme recreates an event from the history.
An example for this is when OFCOM “cleared out Iranian TV station over women's murder reconstruction”. It showed that the women Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani participating in the reconstruction of her alleged part in the murder of her husband got hanged. This is because she told false comments and “electrocuted him”.
It will affect my work because I will not be able to demonstrate to the audience information which has not happened. When filming my documentary I must ensure that I do not pretend someone else is an expert.
Dealing with Contributors
When advertising to contributors it must be approved. If sending emails to contributors this also must be approved by the lawyer. However the people who are in charge of filming cannot guarantee to give the contributors a quick view on the programme without having the permission of the contracting editor.
An example for this is PlayStation have been warned by OFCOM about there ads being “loud than actual programmes that are broadcast”.
It will affect my work because I will have to ask permission if I want to film experts for interviews and I must make sure they have agreed. Also if I send emails to contributors I must make sure that it is approved.
Potentially Offensive Material
Any cause of an offense must be for a reason an example is using language which is strong towards the audience and using any form of violence towards the audience. This however has to be “referred to the legal and compliance department”.
An example for this is dancing on ice it received hundreds of complaints. One of the judges Jason Gardiner’s comments broke the OFCOM rules as contestant Sharron Davies received insulting and unpleasant comments which were inappropriate for children to view.
It will affect my documentary because I will not be able to use strong language towards the audience. However I will have to take in consideration that if I am using any form of violence it has to be for a good reason.
Showing something that would lead to public offences. It shouldn’t give a specific understanding of how to conduct crime. This may influence the public.
An example for this is crime and investigation channel this has so much criminal activity which could set a bad example to the public as they will intend to murder. An example is murdering of “Joa nna Yeates Murder at Christmas”.
It will affect my work because I will show young people driving without insurance. This wouldn’t set a good example to the public because they maybe be influenced in doing it.
What is it?