Section 4: Impartiality
Personal View Content
The BBC has a tradition of allowing a wide range of individuals, groups or organisations to offer a personal view or opinion, express a belief, or advance a contentious argument in its output. This can range from the outright expression of highly partial views by a campaigner, to the opinion of a specialist or professional including an academic or scientist, to views expressed through contributions from our audiences. All of these can add to the public understanding and debate, especially when they allow our audience to hear fresh and original perspectives on familiar issues.
Such personal view content must be clearly signposted to audiences in advance.
Additionally, when personal view programmes and websites (for example, blogs) cover 'controversial subjects', especially those concerning matters of public policy or political or industrial controversy, we should:
- retain a respect for factual accuracy
- fairly represent opposing viewpoints when included
- provide an opportunity to respond when appropriate, for example in a pre-arranged discussion programme
- ensure that a sufficiently broad range of views and perspectives is included in output of a similar type and weight and in an appropriate timeframe.
BBC staff and regular BBC presenters or reporters associated with news or public policy-related output may offer professional judgements rooted in evidence. However, it is not normally appropriate for them to present or write personal view programmes and content on public policy, on matters of political or industrial controversy, or on 'controversial subjects' in any area.