Last updated: October 2010
Editorial Guidelines Issues
Summary of Main Points
- Legal Issues. Material published on the web may not comply with UK law in such areas as defamation, contempt of court and intellectual property. It may also contain illegal images.
- Hoaxes & Spoofs. Some websites are not what they seem - they are set up to actively mislead readers. Takes steps to verify information.
- Sites run by amateurs or those promoting commercial or other interests. These can be useful, but do not assume they are impartial. Beware, particularly, of the possibility of bias by omission.
- Topicality. Many sites are not updated. Check that information they contain remains current.
- Social Media. Material posted on an individual's personal pages on social media sites, particularly pictures or video, will receive much wider circulation if re-used by the BBC.
- Posting in online communities or emailing potential sources. Transparency is essential. Observe the requirements of the BBC email policy.
- Covert or specialist research. Permission should be sought in advance, and specialist advice taken before undertaking this kind of research