Producers Handbook


Most contributors take part in programmes on the basis of their informed consent. Often, as part of that consent, contributors agree to their privacy being infringed in some way, for example when they agree to have a camera pointed at them, allow cameras into their homes or, in the case of some reality shows, agree to be filmed 24 hours a day.

However, in many cases, individuals will not have consented to any infringement of their privacy and, in some cases, may vigorously oppose it, for example where individuals are secretly filmed or recorded [see 'Surreptitious or Secret Filming'] and are exposed doing some criminal or antisocial act; or, in relation to programmes that delve into individuals' private lives and reveal information of a private nature (see 'Revealing Private Information'). In such cases where there is an infringement of privacy but no consent, the filming and broadcasting of such material should be justified by the public interest. Similarly, any decision to withhold information from contributors or to act other than in a totally honest and upfront way should be justified by the public interest. See 'Deception and Set-Ups'.

Note: some contributors may consent to take part in programmes but place conditions on their contribution, for example they wish to remain anonymous. It is important that producers do not agree to conditions that they or the broadcaster may have difficulty in complying with. In addition, where conditions in relation to a contribution are agreed to, it is vitally important that all parties are clear about the exact nature of the condition. See 'Honouring Guarantees' and 'Requests for Anonymity'.