Press Regulation

If you're a journalist your conduct and decisions you make will be determined by these conducts. 
Professional regulation: 
Ofcom, the broadcast regulator. The licensing authority. It's independent of government. 
Editorial codes: PCC, for magazines and written publications. 
The BBC editorial guidelines

The big divide on the regulatory codes at the moment is the Leveson Enquiry. The regulation for written publications is under debate. On the broadcast side the regulation is all ok. 

The cause of the crisis was phone hacking. It has allowed us to talk about press ethics. The phone hacking dilemma has put journalism in a new spotlight. 
The PCC still exists but we know that something else will take its place soon.

Who guards the guardians? 
The press groups argue that we are not here to be controlled by somebody? We shouldn't have to apply for a licence to write something. 
Newspaper regulation in limbo. Royal Charter, the press want their own regulator- the IPSO the independent press standards organisation. 
The PCC does still exist and it is still being used but it is all about to be swept away. The continuing row initially was that the government wanted a royal charter, a statute regulation. For the newspapers this was too much state intervention and freedom of the press. IPSO will be set up instead if it gains approval and there is no other scandal. 
The problem with the PCC was that nobody in the PCC highlighted the issues of phone hacking. This huge ethical scandal went on while the PCC was in operation. This is why it has failed. The problem being with the PCC was that it was a self regulator. This argument is very similar to who police's the police.  

The written press are still in a state of change in terms of who is their regulator, and this will be one to watch in the coming months. 

Although broadcast journalism is safe under how it is regulated it is still important to worry about ethics and how to deal with members of the public. The motif for broadcast journalists to behave ethically is that we represent a organisation and we must maintain our trust with the public. If we treat people properly and we have a good reputation this will give the organisation a better image. If the BBC gets stories wrong the public can turn against watching it. The trust was broken by  News of the World leading it to close because the public saw it as a toxic brand. 
The motifs for following these codes is that you are being ethically sound, and fair to the people you are representing. It is very damaging if the trust is breached. 

Examples of ethical transgressions:
The documentary about the Queen on BBC One was edited in a way it was misrepresenting the Queen. The BBC One controlled Peter Fincham had to resign from his job. 

In 2009 Russell brand and Jonathan Ross phone prank scandal on the BBC radio. Ended Jonathan Ross's career on the BBC. 

The main codes:
The PCC- newspapers and magazine 
OfCom- broadcasters
BBC- for bbc staff and licence payers. 
NUJ- Code of Conduct

What does it matter?
Ethical issues
How far can we go to get a story?
the codes of practice will tell you when it is ok to get a particular story. In investigative reporting there are ethical issues surrounding secret filming, persistence etc. 
The public interest regarding the story needs to be there and public interest should be taken into account. You may be intruding but you may be raising a public interest issue. 
Under cover investigating, secret filming may provide you a story that is justified by an overriding public interest. 

What practices are legitimate?
When circumstances make a difference? Funerals? You would cover certain funerals due to public interest but you must respect the family, no close ups of grieving people. Maybe just show a shot of them arriving. It's all about circumstances and judgement at the time. 

Codes provide a benchmark to calibrate your own ethics. 
Reassure our audiences, build the trust. 
NHS exposure. Someone will complain-  this will be your tip off, leading you to investigate. There is an expectation that something is failing. Often these exposures will help things improve. 

With the phone hacking scandal there was no public interest it was purely only commercial interest from news of the world. The state hack phones in the public interest, if your motif is worthy enough of public interest that you can. 

Protecting vulnerable people in society. Children etc. 

Ofcom is a powerful regulator, PPC is not.

We are often accused of sanitising the news by not showing the true horrific reality of an event such as a aftermath of a bombing. Under the harm and offence codes from Ofcom we must consider younger viewers and what may not be appropriate for them to watch.m

The murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich London contained coverage captured on a mobile phone. Broadcasters are required  to warn the viewers of the distressing content, and in this case the broadcasters did so. To show someone's moment of death would be distasteful and it wouldn't be shown on a news programme. 
The watershed,after 9pm, can show more explicit content. 

In broadcast you must be impartial in stand with the Ofcom guidelines. Newspapers can be partial. 

Ofcom powers
-Direction not to repeat programme
-Corrections or findings must be broadcast
-Impose fines- up to 5% of revenue. 
-Revoke broadcast licence 

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