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Key Points

In News Programmes

  • News, in whatever form, must be reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality. Presenting a story or item with "due impartiality" means presenting it in an appropriately balanced and fair way.
  • Significant mistakes in news should normally be acknowledged and corrected on air quickly. Corrections should be appropriately scheduled.
  • Politicians must not be used as newsreaders, interviewers or reporters in news programmes unless, exceptionally, it is editorially justified, in which case that person's political allegiance must be made clear to viewers.

In Non-News Programmes

  • Programmes dealing with matters of political or industrial controversy or matters relating to current public policy must be duly impartial. Whilst in most cases individual programmes should be duly impartial in themselves, impartiality can be achieved over a series of programmes taken as a whole. However, wherever impartiality is to be achieved over two or more programmes, this should be made clear to viewers, for example by an on-air announcement immediately prior to each programme. In addition, views and facts must not be misrepresented and should be presented with due weight over appropriate timeframes.
  • Any personal interest of a reporter or presenter, which would call into question the due impartiality of the programme, must be made clear to the audience.
  • Presenters and reporters (or a chair in a discussion programme) can express their own views on matters of political or industrial controversy or matters relating to current public policy as long as alternative viewpoints are represented and due impartiality is achieved either within the programme itself or within a series of programmes taken as a whole.
  • "Personal view" or "authored" programmes, which present a particular view or perspective, must be clearly signalled to viewers as being so at the outset. Producers must seek advice from the programme lawyer at an early stage.
  • Major matters. In addition to the above rules, in relation to major matters of political or industrial controversy and major matters relating to current public policy, for example matters of national or international importance, a programme or clearly linked programmes must include and give due weight to an appropriately wide range of significant views. Views and facts must not be misrepresented.