Producers Handbook

Reporters & Presenters

Personal Interests

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. For example, if a guest presenter or reporter had close connections to one political party and was reporting on a politically sensitive issue, it would be appropriate to alert viewers to the individual's political allegiances. Producers must ensure that all presenters and reporters are briefed about this requirement and that they have appropriate procedures in place to ensure that they become aware of any personal interests that could impinge upon the perceived impartiality of a programme or programme item. If in doubt, please seek advice from the programme lawyer.


Views & Opinions

Presenters and reporters in non-news programmes (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

Personal view or authored programmes which present a particular view or perspective must be clearly signalled to viewers as being so at the outset. Viewers' expectations are likely to be different if they know at the outset that what is being presented to them is acknowledged as being someone's personal view. However, such programmes require careful handling and merely signalling a programme or programme item as being "personal view" may not be enough to discharge entirely impartiality requirements. Producers must seek advice from the programme lawyer at an early stage.


Undue Prominence of Views and Opinions

Undue prominence must not be given to the views and opinions of individuals or bodies on matters of political or industrial controversy or on matters relating to current public policy, taking into consideration everything that is broadcast in relation to a particular issue, over an appropriate timeframe. This requires broadcasters and, in particular, commissioning editors and senior editorial executives to think carefully about how particular subjects are being dealt with generally by the channel with a view to ensuring, cumulatively, that output is duly impartial.