Guidance

Financial Journalism

Summary

In this article

  1. Editorial Guidelines Issues
  2. Summary of Main Points

Last updated: October 2010

 

Editorial Guidelines Issues

This guidance note should be considered in conjunction with the following Editorial Guidelines:

  • Conflicts of Interest

See Editorial Guidelines Section 15 Conflicts of Interest

 

  • Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests

See Editorial Guidelines Section 14 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests

 

Summary of Main Points

 

  • It is essential that the integrity of the BBC and its output is not undermined by the outside activities or financial interests of any of its journalists.  Our audiences must be able to trust the objectivity and impartiality of the BBC's output and to be confident that editorial decisions are based purely on sound, objective editorial judgement, and that those judgements are not influenced by outside business or financial concerns.
  • Journalists and presenters of the BBC's financial output should register all their shareholdings, financial and business interests or dealings in securities.  All BBC employees must conform to the BBC's Employment Policy "BBC Declaration of Personal Interests" (see here. Link only available to internal BBC users.)
  • Journalists must not use for their own profit any privileged information or financial information they receive in advance of its general publication, nor should they pass such information to others.
  • It is essential that financial journalists do not promote, or give the impression of promoting, any business or financial service in the BBC's output.
  • Financial journalists are subject to some specific legal restrictions.  They must not promote financial services or products without proper authorisation from the relevant regulatory authority.  And they must not use non-public information they acquire to trade in securities, or pass that information on to others who may trade in securities.  This is "insider trading", which is a criminal offence.
  • We may need to make our audiences aware that guests on financial news output have a financial or commercial interest in the topics under discussion.
  • The EU's Market Abuse Directive requires to us to make our audiences aware of some additional information if it directly recommends buying or selling some securities.

 

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