Guidelines

Section 14: Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests

Free and Reduced Cost Facilities, Products and Services

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  1. Makeovers
  2. Media Facility and Fact Finding Trips
  3. Promotional Material or Stories Supplied by Outside Bodies
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14.4.14

We should normally pay for travel, accommodation and most other services we use.  Only a few specific output areas may accept free or substantially reduced cost facilities, products or services.

Consumer and lifestyle programmes which review or feature a wide range of products may occasionally accept free or reduced cost products or services.  But in such cases it is essential that we:

  • keep accurate departmental records of what has been accepted
  • only accept discounts if they are in line with those offered to other large organisations
  • do not guarantee any product or service will be featured, and if featured, that it will be in a favourable light
  • inform suppliers that they cannot refer to the BBC's use of their products or services in any advertising or promotions
  • only give on-air and online credits if editorially justified. The BBC should never promise to feature a supplier's details online in return for the supply of free or reduced cost products or services.

Suppliers must not have an editorial say in the programme and should not be given a preview of it.

Makeovers

14.4.15

The BBC must always cover the full production costs of makeover programmes and will also meet the costs of the home makeover itself where such makeovers have been directly instigated by the BBC.

However, in some limited cases, it may be appropriate for the home-owner to contribute towards the cost of the materials for a makeover.  Such arrangements must conform with the Statement of Policy on Alternative Finance and be referred to Chief Adviser Editorial Policy.

(See Section 16 External Relationships and Funding: 16.4.13 - 16.4.15)

(See Guidance: Makeover programmes)

Media Facility and Fact Finding Trips

14.4.16

We should not normally accept expenses paid trips unless they are the only way to cover a significant event, such as an inaugural flight or voyage or military operation. 

Any proposal to accept such an expenses paid trip must be referred to a senior editorial figure or, for independents, to the commissioning editor.  We should also consider whether to make a contribution towards the cost. 

14.4.17

We should not normally refer in our content to the commercial operators offering the facility.  Any proposal to do this must be referred to a senior editorial figure or, for independents, to the commissioning editor.

We must ensure that any reference in our content to any other organisation which has facilitated a trip, for example a charity or lobby group, is clearly editorially justified. 

Promotional Material or Stories Supplied by Outside Bodies

14.4.18

We must select and cover stories for our own independent editorial reasons and be on our guard for "spin" from outside bodies and commercial companies who may also try to place stories across our services in a short space of time.

We must ensure that when a product, service or organisation is named in a news report or factual content it is clearly editorially justified.

(See Section 14 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests: 14.4.4 - 14.4.13 and Section 3 Accuracy: 3.4.5 -3.4.6)

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