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Unit 24 - P3
Transcript of Unit 24 - P3
Identify the methods used in the regulation and self-regulation of the media in the UK. Regulation Data protection act (1998);
Confidentiality and data protection is enshrined in law. The media is regulated by this legislation so that they cannot breach confidentiality and must preserve anonymity of individuals who are protected in law. The main purpose of the act is to protect the right of an individual to privacy in relation to their personal data. A good example of this in action is the preservation of the anonymity of serious criminals such as the killers of 2 year old James Bulger, who were given a new identity when they were released from prison to protect them from attacks by members of the public.
There are many bodies that regulate the conduct of the media in the UK, these include:
The Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC)
The Press Complaints Commission (PCC)
The Broadcasting Standards Commission
The Broadcasting Standards Commission was established by the Broadcasting Act (1996). Its main functions are to produce codes of conduct regarding broadcasting standards, to evaluate and assess complaints made against TV and radio programmers and to conduct research into issues of standards in TV and radio broadcasting.
Ofcom is funded by fees from industry for regulating broadcasting and communications networks, and by the government. Ofcom’s main functions are:
To regulate TV and radio sector, fixed line telecoms and mobiles, plus the airwaves over which wireless devices operate, and to advise parliament when it is setting technical aspects of regulation.
To promote the interests of citizens and consumers and make sure they get the best from their communications services by ensuring that:
The UK has a wide range of electronic communications services, including high speed services such as broadband, and that the radio spectrum is used by everyone, in the most effective way.
A wide range of high quality television and radio programmes are provided, appealing to a wide range of tastes and interests, provided by a range of different organisations.
People who watch television and listen to the radio are protected from harmful and offensive material.
People are protected from being treated unfairly in television and radio programmes, from having their privacy invaded and from offensive and potentially harmful effects from radio or television.
The Press Complaints Commission
It is the Press Complaints Commission the responds to issues regarding written media. The PCC is an independent body that is funded by the annual levy it charges newspapers and magazines. It has no legal powers, but all newspapers and magazines voluntary contribute to its costs and follow its ruling.
The PCC deals with complaints about the content of newspapers and magazines. All national and regional magazines are bound by a code of conduct the covers issues such as accuracy of reporting and invasion of privacy. The PCC provides a free service to the public who may have concerns about the accuracy or editorial comment of a news story that concerns them or their organisations. The PCC itself claims that there are many benefits to the way the organisation is run.
Right to privacy
In the United Kingdom there has been no specific law in relation to a free standing ‘right to privacy’. However there are numerous laws that protect your privacy. Since the implementation of the human rights act (1998), individuals have significantly increased scope to use the law, therefore increasing their privacy.
Libel and slander are two forms of defamation. A defamatory statement is one which injures the reputation of another person or organisation, effectively reducing their good name in the eyes of others.
Libel is a defamatory statement which has a permanent nature, such as writing, printing, pictures, films and broadcasts made on radio or TV.
Slander is a temporary form of defamation, such as the spoken word.
Defamation has tremendous impact on the operation of both the broadcast and written media it means the media must be extremely careful how they portray people and what they say about them if they are to avoid a costly court case.
Human rights legislation
The human rights act (1998) is a very important piece of legislation. It sets out the rights that individuals can expect to enjoy in the UK. The act initially caused consternation among the press, particularly around two of the eighteen articles:
Act 8: everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and correspondence.
Act 10: everyone has the right to freedom of expression.
These two rights appear to be contradictory and the press was concerned about the relationship between the two.
The HRA was adapted from the European convention of human rights (UCHR). Across Europe, Act 10 had taken precedence over Act 8, giving the press a much strengthened position when the law came into effect in the UK. However the provisions of the act are not being applied equally across the courts.
Censorship in other countries
Censorship can be viewed as the ability of individuals or groups in power to restrict freedom of expression, although a slightly wider definition is provided in the key term box. Censorship criminalises or suppresses the production of certain information and access to that information. Censorship is often explicitly defined as law. In other countries censorship may rely on unspoken intimidation by government officials. This can leave people frightened to speak out on an issue for fear of losing their jobs or in some countries their lives. For example, North Korea suppresses knowledge of how life is lived in other countries, particularly South Korea. Political censorship means that people in countries such as Burma and Iran cannot demonstrate to demand the reforms they want without risking their lives.
Self-Regulation Control of internet
The internet is just another form of communication. There is some content on the internet that could be deemed as illegal or offensive, such as inappropriate images and pornography. Although it is difficult to regulate these different forms of content on the internet, they cannot simply be ignored. Criminal activity is also evident on the internet for example, spam, scams, viruses, hacking, money laundering, identification and other forms of theft.
Freedom of press
In any democratic society it is vital that the press are free to discuss current political issues away from the control of the government, who may apply bias or restrictions on what can be covered in a news story. Governments often have their own agenda in terms of what the media broadcast. It is also argued that self-regulation offers a much better service to the public who make complaints. Self-regulatory bodies, such as the PCC are able to offer a fast accessible and free service to anyone making a complaint.