Individuals or organisations that are approached for a contribution to a programme, whether or not specifically in order to provide a response (see below), may choose to make no comment or refuse to appear. That is their right and programmes should make clear that the individual or organisation concerned has chosen not to appear and should give their explanation for not appearing, if it would be unfair not to do so.
The refusal of any individual or organisation to take part would not normally prevent a programme or programme item from going ahead.
Representing the Views of Third Parties
Where programmes are representing the views of individuals or organisations that are not actually participating, this must be done fairly, that is it should be accurate and not be misrepresentative.
Re-Use of Material
When incorporating into a programme archive footage or material which has been filmed or recorded for another programme or purpose, programme-makers must ensure that this does not result in unfairness or an unwarranted infringement of privacy.
If a programme makes potentially damaging allegations about an individual and that individual chooses not to appear or make a comment, the audience may draw an adverse inference, for example that they have something to hide. However, the person may have a perfectly good reason not to participate, such as that the allegations are the subject of legal proceedings. In such circumstances, the reason for not contributing should be made clear.
It would be unfair to use footage of identifiable teenagers, originally recorded for a news item about GCSE pass rates, in a later item about the problem of teen pregnancies, for obvious reasons. In some circumstances, obscuring people's identities, for example blurring faces, will suffice in removing any risk of unfairness or infringement of privacy; in others, this may not be sufficient and different footage should be sourced. See also 'Accidental Defamation'.