BAI Code Of Fairness, Objectivity And Impartiality In News And Current Affairs Implemented
A new Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs, prepared by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, has come into effect this week (implementation date: 1st July 2013).
The Broadcasting Act 2009 requires that broadcasters ensure that all news broadcast is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner, without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views. The Act also requires that the treatment of current affairs programming, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and presented in an objective and impartial manner without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views.
The Code sets out the underpinning principles and a range of more specific rules that have been developed by the BAI. The new Code applies to broadcasters within the jurisdiction of the state. A workshop for broadcasters was held on 28th May to allow BAI personnel to outline in detail the terms of the Code and to deal with any queries from practitioners. Subsequent to the workshop and in response to queries raised, guidance on the Code was developed and is now available on the BAI’s web-site; see here.
Speaking about the implementation of the new Code, Chief Executive of the BAI, Michael O’Keeffe, said “The provisions in respect of fairness, objectivity and impartiality in the treatment of news and current affairs have been required by statute since 1960 and to date the track record of all broadcasters in adhering to these provisions has been very strong. The development of this Code has drawn on the experience of broadcasters, the views of the general public and the significant regulatory experience of adjudicating on complaints in this area. In the context of a huge growth in the diversity of sources from which the public can obtain news and current affairs, this Code offers a framework to enhance and promote audience trust in the Irish broadcast media’s treatment of news and current affairs,” he said.
The new Code is available for download on the BAI web-site www.bai.ie The BAI has also published guidance notes on the Code as an aid for both broadcasters and members of the public in understanding the intent of the principles and rules and the manner of their application in a broadcast context.
Media Queries to: Catherine Heaney/Emily Kelly