Editorial Policy Newsletter
Created on 24 Sep 2012
Welcome to the Newsletter
This latest bumper edition of the BBC Editorial Policy Newsletter includes election guidelines for Police & Crime Commissioners, new guidance on the Reporting and Portrayal of Tribal Peoples plus guidance on Marketing Events for those in Global News.
Please forward this newsletter to any colleagues you think would benefit from reading it and encourage them to sign up to receive future editions direct via email.
ELECTION GUIDELINES FOR POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONERS IN ENGLAND (EXCEPT LONDON) AND WALES
The Election Period for the Police and Crime Commissioners elections in England (outside London) and Wales begins on 8th October. Polling day is on 15th November. From 22nd November these Commissioners will be accountable for how crime is tackled in their local police force areas and will replace the 41 Police Authorities (outside the Greater London Authority).
Guidelines for these elections were approved by the BBC's Trust Editorial Standards Committee on the 6th September. Read Them Here
Campaigning is already underway and, as these are new elections, there are going to be new issues to deal with. Make sure you’re aware of the issues and personalities involved and if in any doubt seek advice from the Chief Adviser Politics, Ric Bailey.
You can’t have missed that the Autumn party conference season is now in full swing. Don’t forget that our impartiality commitment to breadth and diversity of opinion means taking a consistent view of the output across all the conferences. The SNP conference (18-21st October) will bring the season to a close.
As always don’t hesitate to contact, Ric Bailey, Chief Adviser Politics, for specific advice about the approach for your output.
Sometimes journalists need to protect the identity of their sources. On radio and TV this means disguising voices, covering up faces, and sometimes even more extreme measures. Whatever we do, if we’re offering anonymity we have to be able to deliver on it.
Technology has overtaken some of the ways we have been using to make people unidentifiable. Free software easily available from the internet can reverse voice distortion and with so much of our output freely available online, if someone wanted to have a go at reversing any technical wizardry we’ve applied then they could probably succeed.
Our Editorial Guidelines make it clear that when we offer anonymity we must ensure it is effective. So BBC News is no longer distorting voices – but will instead get producers, reporters or for those with big budgets, actors, to voice over contributions from those whose identity we need to protect.
USE OF PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS GUIDANCE
Private eyes are now in the public eye, thanks to the conviction of one for phone hacking and the intense scrutiny about what they do during the Leveson Inquiry. In June Editorial Policy launched its guidance note on the use of private investigators and other third parties for investigation purposes. Read it here.
GUIDANCE FOR BBC GLOBAL NEWS ON MARKETING EVENTS LAUNCHED
There’s new guidance for BBC Global News including BBC World News and bbc.com/news on Marketing Events.
Global News may be asked to take part in conferences, debates, trade fairs etc that a third-party is putting on; or it may want to promote programming through its own event.
So how do you make sure what you do enhances the BBC’s reputation rather than damages it ? The new guidance walks you through all the eventualities.
GUIDANCE ON REPORTING AND PORTRAYAL OF TRIBAL PEOPLES.
New guidance has been issued on the Reporting and Portrayal of Tribal Peoples. Read it in full here.
Filming indigenous tribes can really help us understand how such communities exist, but when asking for their informed consent to take part, we should bear in mind that they may have less understanding of the consequences of appearing in media than we usually expect our contributors to have.
Our content might be the only way our audiences learn about the people in question, and so our portrayal of them on screen may play a significant role in determining public opinion and attitudes towards the tribe. We should avoid stereotyping or portraying unusual behaviour as the norm.
NEW SYNDICATION GUIDELINES
The BBC has new Syndication Guidelines - rules about how organisations who want to bring our on-demand content to licence fee payers can do so. This could be through set-top boxes, mobile telephones, music players, tablets, integrated televisions, or games consoles.
We want to make sure our audiences get the best possible experience, but we do need to make sure we’re happy with how our material is used.
The new Guidelines apply to nearly everything – from full length TV and radio programmes, to clips, trails and podcasts.
TRUST RULING ON DIANE ABBOTT MP’s APPEARANCES ON THIS WEEK
The BBC Trust has ruled that Labour MP Diane Abbott should not have been paid appearance fees by political discussion show This Week for the past two years. You can read the Trust’s finding here.
The fees paid to Ms Abbott, a regular guest with ex-Tory MP Michael Portillo and presenter Andrew Neil, should have stopped when she became the Shadow Minister for Public Health in Oct 2010.
The Guidelines about payments to MPs are here.
EDITORIAL POLICY MONTHLY MEETINGS
The next Editorial Policy Monthly Meeting will take place in LONDON on Thursday 11th October.
There will be another of our regular Editorial Policy Meetings in SALFORD on Tuesday 16th October.