New regulatory code for broadcasters

Ofcom Broadcasting Code comes into force

The new Ofcom Broadcasting Code, which replaces the old codes devised by the ITC, BSC and Radio Authority, came into effect today.

The Code itself is divided into sections that represent the objectives set out in the legislation. It sets out to provide adequate protection for the under-eighteens in respect of programme content, protect the public from harmful and offensive material, set standards for fairness and accuracy, ensure that content does not incite crime, or lead to public disorder, secure impartial coverage of elections and referenda and respect for religious views and beliefs as well as ensuring that broadcasters avoid unwarranted infringements of privacy in the making of programmes.

The Broadcasting Code also includes provisions intended to regulate programmes for commercial and sponsorship interests and safeguard editorial independence. There are a range of sanctions that OFCOM is entitled to enforce should a broadcaster seriously or repeatedly infringe any provision of the Broadcasting Code. Adjudications made under the Code will be published in Ofcom’s Broadcast Bulletins, which are available from the Ofcom website.