Monday, 27 April 2009

Dear Miss Jones,

Firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to express how sorry we are at your distress over this programme, although we knew the programme would cause controversy we hoped that the veiwers would understand the reasons behind 'Brass eye' being to expose how the media blow things out of proportion. Brass eye uses many serious issues such as animal cruelty to expose these issues and feelings.

The documentary did not break any programme codes as it was shown at 10pm, so the programme has suitable language and content for that time. In regards of the celebrities and child with enhanced breasts this also abides by the codes as the privacy was protected. It also never actually glorified paedophilia, but presented it in such a way the media could present the issue.

once again we would like to apologise about the upset caused to you or any other veiwers.

yours sincerely,



Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to inform you of my disgust at the recent 'Brass Eye' programme entitled 'Peadogeddon'. I was extremely distressed that the programme would use a issue so awful as paedophilia and presenting it as something funny and acceptable.

I was particularly uncomfortable when they showed a young child's supposedly enhanced breasts, and made it although children who are in beauty pageants are easy targets for paedophiles and its therefor acceptable to poke fun at this.

Although i understand that this programme was supposed to be humorous, i do believe that the joke went far to far, which i believe many viewers would agree made them angry and uncomfortable by this.

Also, the exploitation of celebrities could have a negative effect on their reputation and how the general public sees them.

Finally i would like to point out that this is a traumatic experience many people have gone through and are experiencing to this day. It is hard enough for these victims to open up about what they are going through without programmes like this poking fun at it making them feel inadequate.

I would like you to reconsider showing programmes like this in future, I'm sure many viewers who previously enjoy channel 4 programming feel the same. I also think you should reconsider airing this programme again, to stop any more offence or hurt to your viewers.

yours sincerely Dannii Jones

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Media: The Broadcasting Act 1990
The Broadcasting Act 1990 is a law of the British parliament, often regarded by both its supporters and its critics as a quintessential example of Thatcherism.The aim of the Act was to reform the entire structure of British broadcasting; British television, in particular, had earlier been described by Margaret Thatcher as "the last bastion of restrictive practices". It led directly to the abolition of the Independent Broadcasting Authority and its replacement with the Independent Television Commission and Radio Authority (both themselves now replaced by Ofcom), which were given the remit of regulating with a "lighter touch" and did not have such strong powers as the IBA; some referred to this as "deregulation". The ITC also began regulating non-terrestrial channels, whereas the IBA had only regulated ITV, Channel 4 and the ill-fated British Satellite Broadcasting; the ITC thus took over the responsibilities of the Cable Authority which had regulated the early non-terrestrial channels, which were only available to a very small audience in the 1980s.An effect of this Act was that, in the letter of the law, the television or radio companies rather than the regulator became the broadcasters, as had been the case in the early (1955-1964) era of the Independent Television Authority when it had fewer regulatory powers than it would later assume.In television, the Act allowed for the creation of a fifth analogue terrestrial television channel in the UK, which turned out to be Channel 5, now renamed Five, and the growth of multichannel satellite television. It also stipulated that the BBC, which had traditionally produced the vast majority of its television programming in-house, was now obliged to source at least 25% of its output from independent production companies.The act has sometimes been described, both as praise and as criticism, as a key enabling force for Rupert Murdoch's ambitions in Britain. It reformed the system of awarding ITV franchises, which would prove controversial when Thames Television was replaced by Carlton Television, for what some felt were political reasons, and when TV-am, admired by Mrs Thatcher for its management's defiance of the trade unions, lost its franchise to GMTV (the by then former Prime Minister personally apologised to the senior TV-am executive Bruce Gyngell). It also allowed for companies holding ITV franchises to take over other such companies from 1994, beginning the process which has led to the creation of ITV plc.
The Hutton Inquiry
The Hutton Inquiry was a British judicial inquiry chaired by Lord Hutton, appointed by the United Kingdom Labour government with the terms of reference "...urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly".
Kelly had been the source for reports made by three BBC journalists that the Government, particularly the press office of
Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, had knowingly embellished the dossier with misleading exaggerations of Iraq's military capabilities; specifically, a claim that Iraq had the ability to launch a strike using "weapons of mass destruction" within 45-minutes. These were reported by Andrew Gilligan on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on 29 May 2003, by Gavin Hewitt on the Ten O'Clock News the same day and by Susan Watts on BBC Two's Newsnight on 2 June. On 1 June Gilligan repeated his allegations in an article written for The Mail on Sunday, naming government press secretary Alastair Campbell as the driving force for alteration of the dossier.
The Government angrily denounced the reports and accused the corporation of poor journalism. In subsequent weeks the corporation stood by the report, saying that it had a reliable source. Following intense media speculation, Kelly was finally named in the press as the source for Gilligan's story on
9 July. Kelly apparently committed suicide in a field close to his home on 17 July. An inquiry was announced by the British government the following day. The inquiry was to investigate "the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly".On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee of the Ministry of Defence, was found dead after he had been named as the source of quotes used by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan. These quotes had formed the basis of media reports claiming that Tony Blair's Labour government had knowingly "sexed up" the "September Dossier", a report into Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.
The inquiry opened in August 2003 and reported on
28 January 2004. The inquiry report cleared the government of wrongdoing, while the BBC was strongly criticised, leading to the resignation of the BBC's chairman and director-general. The report was met with criticism by British newspapers opposed to the Iraq invasion, such as The Guardian and the Daily Mail, though others said it exposed serious flaws within the BBC
The inquiry heard evidence on 22 days, lasting 110 hours, from 74 witnesses
The main conclusions were:
There was "no underhand [government] strategy" to name him as the source for the BBC's accusations
Gilligan's original accusation was "unfounded" and the BBC's editorial and management processes were "defective"
The dossier had not been "
sexed up", but was in line with available intelligence, although the Joint Intelligence Committee, chaired by John Scarlett, may have been "subconsciously influenced" by the government
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) was at fault for not informing Kelly of its strategy that would involve naming him
Despite this evidence, Hutton's report largely cleared the government of any wrongdoing. In large measure this was because evidence to the Inquiry indicated that the government had not known of the reservations in the intelligence community: it seemed they had been discounted by senior intelligence assessors (the Joint Intelligence Committee) — thus Gilligan's claim that the government "probably knew" the intelligence was flawed, was itself unfounded. Furthermore, the Inquiry had heard that these were not the words used by Gilligan's source, but his own inference. Meanwhile, Hutton determined that any failure of intelligence assessment fell outside his remit, and the Intelligence Services thus also escaped censure.
Instead the report placed a great deal of emphasis on evidence of the failings of Gilligan and the BBC, many of which had been explicitly acknowledged during the course of the Inquiry. Gilligan, for example, admitted and apologised for surreptitiously briefing politicians on a
select committee in order to put pressure on Kelly. Gilligan, whilst disagreeing with the overall thrust of the report, also admitted that he had attributed inferences to Kelly which were in fact his own.
The Inquiry specifically criticised the chain of management that caused the BBC to defend its story. The BBC management, the report said, had accepted Gilligan's word that his story was accurate, in spite of his notes being incomplete.

2 days before, Brand and his guest co-presenter Jonathan Ross record his show. They joke about Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter and leave messages on his voicemail. In one message, Ross blurts out "he f***ed your granddaughter"The producer said Sach gave his consent to broadcast, Sach said he demurred. Both said the consent needed toning down.
When the show was broadcasted between 9 and 11pm, on the Saturday and it opened with a warning that it contains strong language which some listeners may find offensive.
The day after, there were 2 complaints about the programme. One referring directly to the material about Mr Sachs. On Wednesday, Sach's agent Meg Pool was alerted to the contents of the broadcast when a journalist for the Mail On Sunday phones her for a comment.
She and Sachs listen to an online recording of the show which leaves the actor "offended very much indeed".

On the Sunday, the Mail On Sunday reports that "the BBC could face prosecution over obscene phone calls" to Sachs.The BBC says it is "not aware of receiving a complaint from Mr Sachs".By Monday, the story rises up the news agenda, and the BBC says it has received a further 1,585 complaints about the show. A BBC Radio 2 spokeswoman apologises to Sachs. Jonathan Ross also sends a personal apology.
By Tuesday, complaints had risen up to 4,772. Ofcom announces an investigation into the show, saying all BBc broadcasters must adhere to its broadcasting code. The code says broadcasters "must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context." By the end of the day, the total amounts of complaints passes 10,000.
The next day, 8000 more complaints.
BBC director general Mark Thompson announces that both Ross and Brand have been suspended while an investigation into the incident is carried out.
Jonathan Ross publicly apologises for the incident, saying he "greatly regrets" the upset and distress caused. Russell Brand announces he intends to quit his Saturday evening Radio 2 show. He apologises to Andrew Sachs for the comments, and to his Radio 2 listeners.
By the end of the day complaints passes 27,000.
Thursday the 30th of October and the complaints stands at 30,500.
In an interview for BBC Radio Ulster's Across The Line, Noel Gallagher - Oasis guitarist and frequent guest on Russell Brand's show - defends the comedian."It's so typical of the English in general - 10,000 people get outraged, but only five days after it has happened," he said.
Lesley Douglas resigns.

Jonathan Ross is suspended for 12 weeks without pay, the BBC announces.
The complaints stand at 37,500.
David Barber resigns.
Friday the 3rd of April. Ofcom fines the BBC £150,000 over the calls made to Sachs.The media regulator said the fine reflected "the extraordinary nature and seriousness of the BBC's failures" and the "resulting breaches" of its code.The BBC said it accepted Ofcom's findings and added that the material "should never have been broadcast".

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Peacock Committee 1986

The Peacock Committee 1986
in 1986, the thatcher government established a committee chaired by professor Alan Peacock,an economist, to look into the future funding of the BBC. Pressure from the avertising industry for new broadcast outlets, and an application from te BBC for a 41% increase in the lisence fee (not granted) were among te factors that le to a drive in some political quarters for the BBC to take advertising. Indeed, it was expected that Peacock would recommend this.

indeed, among te Peacock report's main recommendations were:

  • No advertising on te BBC
  • The eventual replacement of te lisence fee with subscription;
  • improvements in the efficiency of resourse allocation in broadcasting;
  • The BBC and ITV to increase the proportion of programmes from independent producers to 40%
  • The ITV franchises to be put to competitive tender;
  • Channel 4 to sell its own advertising

It is ironic tat, although Peacock was set up to consider te funding of BBC television services,few of its main recomendations involved te BBC! Furthermore, the consequences of Peacock were to be felt primarily in the commercialsetor, wit many of its proposals influencing te subsequent reshaping of the financial, organisational and regulatory structures of commersial broadcasting.

A number of Peacocks recomendations, albeit in a modified form, appeared in te government White Paper, broacasting in the 90s; competotopm, coice and quality, wic waas published in 1988 and paved te way for a new broadcasting bill that, after extensive parliamentary debate, recieved Royal Assent in November 1990.


Section 1: Family Viewing Policy, Offence to Good Taste and Decency, Portrayal of Violence and Respect for Human Dignity
Section (1) of the Broadcasting Act 1990 requires that the ITC does all it can to secure that every licensed service includes nothing in its programmes which offends against good taste or decency or is likely to encourage or incite to crime or lead to disorder or be offensive to public feeling.

Section 2: Privacy, Gathering of Information, etc.
The principles of the right to respect for private and family life and the right to freedom of expression are reflected in Article 8 and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, incorporated into UK law in the Human Rights Act 1998. As a public authority, the ITC must seek to ensure that the guidance given throughout this Code is consistent with Convention principles.

Section 3: Impartiality
As stated in the Foreword, the Broadcasting Act 1990 makes it the statutory duty of the ITC to draw up, and from time to time review, a code giving guidance as to the rules to be observed for the purpose of preserving due impartiality on the part of licensees as respects matters of political or industrial controversy or relating to current public policy. The Impartiality Code relates specifically to Section 6(1)(c) of the Act and is drawn up in accordance with Section (3), (5) and (6). It is published under Section (7).
For ease of reference, guidelines relating to the requirement under Section 6(1)(b) that news be presented with due accuracy and impartiality and the requirement under Section 6(4) relating to the views and opinions of persons providing a licensed service are also incorporated here. These are based on the ITC's code making powers under Section 7(1)(c) of the Act as well as those deriving from Section 6(3). Section 47 of the Act allows the ITC to substitute for Section 6(1)(c) a modified requirement in respect of local licensable programme services. Guidance is given in Section 3.8 of the Code.
This section refers mainly to programmes covered by the impartiality requirements: i.e. those dealing with matters of political or industrial controversy, and current public policy. The only exceptions to this are in relation to news (3.4), where the due accuracy requirement relates to news on all topics, and to appearances by politicians and other political activists.

Section 4: Party Political and Parliamentary Broadcasting
the Broadcasting Act 1990 requires the ITC to ensure that Party Political Broadcasts (PPBs) are included in the regional Channel 3 (ITV), Channel 4 and Channel 5 services. This section of the Code reflects the rules which the ITC has determined in accordance with the Act. Within the terms of these rules, the precise allocation of broadcasts is the responsibility of licensees. Unresolved disputes between licensees and any political party, as to the length, frequency, allocation or scheduling of broadcasts, should be referred by the party or the licensee to the ITC.

Section 5: Terrorism, Crime, Anti-Social Behaviour, etc
Any programme item which on any reasonable judgement would be said to encourage or incite crime or to lead to disorder is unacceptable.

Section 6: Charitable Appeals and Publicity for Charities
Under Section 7(1)(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1990 the ITC is required to give guidance as to the rules to be observed with respect to appeals for donations. Licensees should also refer to The Charities Act (Appendix 4).

Section 7: Religion
This section applies both to programmes specifically categorised as religious and, where appropriate, to general programmes which deal with religious matters.

Section 8: Commercial References in Programmes
Commercial products or services must not be promoted within programmes