Guidelines

Section 3: Accuracy

Introduction

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3.1

The BBC is committed to achieving due accuracy.  This commitment is fundamental to our reputation and the trust of audiences, which is the foundation of the BBC.  It is also a requirement under the Agreement accompanying the BBC Charter.

The term 'due' means that the accuracy must be adequate and appropriate to the output, taking account of the subject and nature of the content, the likely audience expectation and any signposting that may influence that expectation.

Therefore, we do all we can to achieve due accuracy in all our output, though its requirements may vary.  The due accuracy required of, for example, drama, entertainment and comedy, will not usually be the same as for factual content.  The requirements may even vary within a genre, so the due accuracy required of factual content may differ depending on whether it is, for example, factual entertainment, historical documentary, current affairs or news.

Accuracy is not simply a matter of getting facts right.  If an issue is controversial, relevant opinions as well as facts may need to be considered.  When necessary, all the relevant facts and information should also be weighed to get at the truth.

Where appropriate to the output, we should:

  • gather material using first hand sources wherever possible
  • check and cross check facts
  • validate the authenticity of documentary evidence and digital material
  • corroborate claims and allegations made by contributors wherever possible.

In news and current affairs content, achieving due accuracy is more important than speed.

 

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