BBC designs new editorial guidelines

MUMBAI: The BBC has launched the latest edition of its editorial guidelines, the corporation's code of ethics for all BBC staff. The Corporation will introduce a time delay on its live coverage of sensitive news events such as 9 /11 and the school massacre in Beslan, Russia.

The BBC's editorial system, which was criticised as "defective" by the official Hutton inquiry into the death of scientist David Kelly, who committed suicide after being quoted as the source of a BBC radio report that said the government had hyped Iraq's weapons threat.

The guidelines formalised are for a multimedia world and the changes apply to everyone involved in creating BBC editorial content across radio, television, new media and magazines.

The new code book replaces the Producers' Guidelines and has been revised to reflect Ofcom's new broadcasting code and the changing media environment, and to apply editorial lessons learned since the last update in 2000, says the company release.

The guidelines, which come into effect on 25 July, are shorter and aim to be clearer and easier to use in both print and a searchable web form.

The BBC's television and radio content must now comply with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code in six key areas: protecting the under eighteens; harm and offense; crime; religion; fairness and privacy.

BBC controller of editorial policy Stephen Whittle says, "The guidelines are part of our contract with our audiences. These are our editorial ethics and values and the standards we set for ourselves. We intend to live and be judged by them."


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