Section 14: Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests


Part of the BBC's role is to act as a "trusted guide on the web".  Whenever we create content on a BBC site we should actively consider which external sites it may be editorially justifiable to link toWe offer external links from the BBC public service site and from the editorial pages of the commercial sites, for example to provide additional information, source material or informed comment.  BBC sites which cover matters of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or any other 'controversial subject' should normally offer links to external sites which represent a reasonable range of views about the subject.

(See Section 4 Impartiality: 4.4.10)

(See Guidance: Links and Feeds)


We must not give the impression that we are endorsing a commercial product or service when linking to a commercial site.  We must never include a link on a public service website or within the editorial content of a commercial site, in return for cash, services or any other consideration in kind.

The links we make must be editorially justified and should lead to sites which are:

  • clearly relevant to the content of the BBC page where the link is placed
  • suitable for the likely audience

(See Section 5 Harm and Offence: 5.4.15 - 5.4.17)

  • regularly updated and refreshed, if appropriate
  • normally free to access
  • normally factually accurate.

(See Section 3 Accuracy: 3.4.15)

Interactive executive editors should review the suitability of maintaining these links as appropriate.

(See Guidance: Links and Feeds)