Guidelines

Section 4: Impartiality

News, Current Affairs and Factual Output

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  1. Where BBC Content or the BBC is the Story
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4.4.12

News in whatever form must be treated with due impartiality, giving due weight to events, opinion and main strands of argument.  The approach and tone of news stories must always reflect our editorial values, including our commitment to impartiality.

4.4.13

Presenters, reporters and correspondents are the public face and voice of the BBC - they can have a significant impact on perceptions of whether due impartiality has been achieved.  Our audiences should not be able to tell from BBC output the personal prejudices of our journalists or news and current affairs presenters on matters of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or on 'controversial subjects' in any other area.  They may provide professional judgements, rooted in evidence, but may not express personal views in BBC output, including online, on such matters.

(See Section 4 Impartiality: 4.4.29 and Section 15 Conflicts of Interest)

 

4.4.14

We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities) are unbiased and we may need to make it clear to the audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint, if it is not apparent from their contribution or from the context in which their contribution is made.

 

Where BBC Content or the BBC is the Story

4.4.15

When dealing with controversial subjects concerning the BBC, our reporting must remain duly impartial, as well as accurate and fair.  We need to ensure the BBC's impartiality is not brought into question and presenters or reporters are not exposed to potential conflicts of interest.  It will be inappropriate to refer to either the BBC as "we" or the content as "our".  There should also be clear editorial separation between those reporting the story and those responsible for presenting the BBC's case.

 

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