Monday, 15 June 2009

OFCOM consultation

The UK Communications Regulator, OFCOM, has launched a consultation on their broadcasting code. Thre is more information on this at the Mediawatch-uk website.

In the Plain English Campaign approved "Short Guide to what we do", OFCOM states that one of its legal duties is to ensure that:
people who watch television and listen to the radio are protected from harmful or offensive material
This makes it clear that the "on-off" switch is not an adequate answer to harmful and offensive broadcast material.

Here are some links for the consultation:
Press announcement of the Code review
Summary consultation paper
Full consultation documents
Online Response Form

Mediawatch-uk commented:
A news release issued today says: “Ofcom has in place a number of rules relating to offensive language and the watershed. Our rules are applied on the basis of Ofcom’s understanding of the attitudes of viewers and listeners, and this is underpinned by audience research”. In a pre consultation meeting with Ofcom officials earlier this year, we said there was enough evidence available for them to regulate effectively on this matter. It is their intention to conduct further research. Significantly, Ofcom is not proposing to revise their rules but will “continue to take firm action against breaches”. The question we shall be asking is when exactly are the rules breached if there are no prohibitions?
I recommend joining mediawatch-uk whether you have a television or not: poor standards and offensive broadcasting affect our society as a whole.
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