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The BBC is required in the Agreement associated with its Charter not to broadcast programmes which "include anything which offends against good taste or decency or is likely to encourage or incite to crime or lead to disorder, or be offensive to public feeling".
Taste and decency in pictures - by Phil Coomes, Picture Editor, BBC News Interactive
A good photograph will provide a solid link between the reader and the subject allowing him or her to feel in some way present at the event. It will stimulate the reader into asking questions and then to seek answers within the text. A poor one will be little more than window dressing.
Ask yourself, what are you trying to say and does the chosen image communicate the message?
The interpretation of a photograph will vary depending on the context, so ensure the image is relevant and that the caption is accurate and a reflection of the image.
Where possible avoid stereotypes; it is easy to create a world, for example, where all doctors are men and all nurses women.
If you are really stuck for a picture then don't include one; use a graphic, a quote or fact box a few paragraphs into the story. Constantly re-using the same picture is worse than no picture at all.
Remember too that you need to apply all the editorial guidelines you would to your story to the images as well.
Given that the stories are archived on the site it is important to be aware of the BBC guidelines on taste and decency. For instance during September 11, it was felt inappropriate to run images of people jumping out of windows.
Whilst there is an argument that unless you see the personal tragedy you can't grasp the global perspective, you also have to be aware that the internet is available to all ages at all times - thus we have to be more selective.
Picture stories are incredibly popular and are a great way to get information across quickly - using good images and accurate captions.
Finally, make sure your work is checked. It's a safeguard that is vital to ensure a well balanced and cohesive site.
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