BBC news online – Undercover report reveals IS recruitment tactics

The video is short but full of content, there is a woman narrating over the news article as well as the people who are speaking, news worthy because ISIS are a huge matter in the world at the moment, packed all of the important information into a short time, single strand narrative.
The news story was told in a linear order.

Strengths –

  • The video is informative and easy to follow
  • The information was not too much to swallow
  • The video kept me entertained/interested

Weaknesses –

  • There was obviously a lot more to the video that we didn’t see
  • Would’ve been nice to see the full conversation that was had between the undercover reporter and the ISIS member.

There are a few broadcasting laws that you have to keep in mind when broadcasting news online like this. One of these is defamation. Defamation is a law which states that people cannot broadcast anything that causes serious harm to anyone’s reputation. If they do then the person in questions is liable to sue. However if they are stating facts and have the evidence to prove they are facts, they can publish it.

Another thing to keep in mind is contempt of court. Contempt of court is interfering with justice to prejudice a person getting a fair trial. You are at risk of this when a crime is ‘active’ and you write something which creates a substantial risk of serious prejudice. So for example if you are reporting on a person who has allegedly committed a crime it would be incredibly important to remember this.

Task – ”In accordance to the Ofcom guidelines what considerations would you have to think about before producing a programme to an under 18 audience?”

In order to prevent people of a really young age (those who have bedtimes) from viewing content that can be considered harmful there is a ”watershed”. This basically means that any content that is being broadcast before 9pm is safe for young people to watch. This would mean there would have to be a lack of swear words, violence would have to be fantasy or kept to a minimum. Some swear words can be acceptable when used in humorous context but these words are not to become frequent.  The important thing about showing violence pre-watershed is to make sure that it does not encourage children to emulate the behavior. The ofcom regulations state that these areas of concern are to be avoided:

  • the use of accessible domestic implements, such as knives, or other offensive weapons, articles or substances portrayed in a dangerous or harmful manner
  •  any portrayal of household items, such as micro-waves and tumble-dryers, which can cause harm if misused,
  •  certain locations, such as railway lines;
  •  certain material which may lead children to fail to recognise potentially dangerous play especially if there is no serious outcome; and
  •  hanging or the preparations for hanging, if easily imitable, particularly if shown before the watershed, unless the setting gives strong grounds for believing that imitation is unlikely.

We would need to ”consider the impact that the representation of the use of illegal drugs, the abuse of drugs, smoking, solvent abuse and the misuse of alcohol, may have on younger viewers and listeners”. This would mean that the decision to include drug use would have to be editorially justified and not be a regular occurrence in the programme. This also applies to sex scenes, however explicit sex scenes are not to be shown.

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