ITC PROGRAMME CODE
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