Media regulation is the control or guidance in the media. It consists of rules and procedures in which are set out by the governing body. There are two types of media regulation, external and internal.

External.

This is the laws set by the government. Things like; contempt of court, Deformation law and obscene publication act.

Internal.

This is the codes and conducts set by national organisations linked to a range of media industries. The following media industries are linked to this; ASA, bbfc and Ofcom.

Defamation Law.

The defamation law is something published which causes serious harm to a persons reputation under this law, a person can sue for any damage. The person must always be identified, not always by name. This can lower the person in the minds of right thinking members of society, can injure their job reputation and exposes them to hate and ridicule as well as causing them to be stunned or avoided.

Defenses

Journalists can print defamatory comments if they can prove a legal defense.

Defense 1- Truth. This means if a statement is true and you can prove it, you can print it. However, you have to back this up with evidence, something like recordings or notebooks.

Defense 2- Privilege. This is circumstances when law says there should be complete freedom of speech. A reporter can write exactly what is said, even if it is defamatory, providing it is fair and accurate. This is usually used in court cases, inquests and council meetings.

Defense 3- Honest opinion. This means a reporter can make a defamatory comment as long as it is in public best interest.

  • Something within the publics best interest.
  • Something based on privilege occasion.
  • Something based on true facts you can prove.
  • Something which is your honest held opinion.

TASK

Consider the following scenario:

Prince Harry has been photographed at a party where police were called after reports of illegal drug abuse.

You are an Editor working on the CBBC news programme ‘Newsround’ , and you have to decide how to cover the story on the programme. How would Defamation Law and the Ofcom Broadcasting code affect how you cover this story?

In Section One: Protecting the Under-Eighteens, according to Ofcom “The use of illegal drugs, the abuse of drugs, smoking, solvent abuse and the misuse of alcohol:

must not be featured in programmes made primarily for children unless there is strong editorial justification” (2015).

1.10  “must generally be avoided and in any case must not be condoned, encouraged or glamorised in other programmes broadcast before the watershed (in the case of television), or when children are particularly likely to be listening (in the case of radio), unless there is editorial justification; • must not be condoned, encouraged or glamorised in other programmes likely to be widely seen or heard by under-eighteens unless there is editorial justification. Violence and dangerous behavior”

This type of story would not normally appear on a childrens news show but there is justification for it to be featured, this because of the public interest and that the public need to be aware.

If I was to broadcast this story on a children news show I would have to find out if there is any further confirmation as to weather prince Harry was there or not. I would need to know if it was all facts or just rumors because if it was just rumors I would be violating the defarmation act. I would not include any graphics because it wouldn’t be suitable for children to see. I would also make sure there was strong education on what drugs can do and make sure that the children know how badly it can affect someone and their way of life. I would have to make sure that the story was not glamorized because the children would be influenced by this, especially because it is a member of the royal family.

If this story was true and i had evidence of that and I decided to run this story, I would make my reporters go out and interview people that were at the party, this confirming the story further and making it a lot more trust worthy and believable.

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