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Spark compliance training 2012


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(C) Richard Berry

(C) Richard Berry

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  • 1. Read these later: Legal Training …or how to have lots of fun and stay out of trouble© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 1
  • 2. The training works• Spark FM: on-air = 3 years – Complaints upheld = 0• Radio Hartlepool: on-air = 4 years – Complaints upheld = 3• Bishop FM: On-air = 3 years – Complaints upheld = 2© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 2
  • 3. Why are we here?• Ignorance is not an excuse© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 3
  • 4. 3 Key things to remember•Think First•If in doubt, leave it out•Know your audience And if anything does happen. CONFESS© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 4
  • 5. The Law• This is where YOU can be fined, sued or arrested and jailed© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 5
  • 6. #1: Libel• A civil offence for which you, Spark and the University could be sued.• The best defence against Libel is the truth.© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 6
  • 7. #1: Libel• Libel are words (or images) that “tend to” disparage a person (or organisation) in their profession, trade or personal life or cause them to be shunned, avoided or ridiculed.• Libels are untruths© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 7
  • 8. #1: Libel• Myths: – If I don’t name them, that’s OK – If I say “allegedly” first – It’s Ok to read stuff out of the paper or from Twitter because they said it first© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 8
  • 9. Case Study Time…• We ALL knew it was Giggs!• But only an MP could name him and not get sued…© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 9
  • 10. Lessons / Tips• Take “reasonable” precautions.• Plan content / brief guests / callers• Moderate online spaces• “Innocent Dissemination” can be a “Get out of jail free” card but ONLY if you can prove you did all you could to prevent the libel in a LIVE programme* – *This doesn’t apply to pre-recorded content, sorry. Or the Internet.© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 10
  • 11. Contempt of Court• This is where you say things or show things that may affect the course of a current or pending criminal trial.© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 11
  • 12. #2 Contempt• Material which causes a “substantial risk of serious prejudice” in a legal case regardless of your intent• Will a jury hear this information?• Ignore, what you may hear or see online or a bloke in the pub tells you© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 12
  • 13. Can you talk about this?© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 13
  • 14. Beacon FM: 26/11/03© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 14
  • 15. Prompting one listener to text…• "You are at serious risk of prejudicing a trial. He [Huntley] could walk free because of what u are doing. Dont u know the first thing about contempt of court?”• "If you still have your jobs by the end of today, you can buy me a pint for saving your career! I hope no one tells the Radio Authority. I wont, but sum1 will."© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 15
  • 16. Contempt could also be…• Recording in the courtroom… or taking a photo• Breaking a court order – Naming juveniles, victims or revealing information when ordered not to – Breaking an injunction• Interviewing witnesses or jurors© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 16
  • 17. Tips• Avoid rewriting news copy. – There is a difference between saying someone is accused or murder and someone who “killed”• Has a story moved on? Do scripts and online copy need updating?© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 17
  • 18. #3 Copyright© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 18
  • 19. Myths and Truths• Myth – You can play what you like, up to 30 seconds – You can play youtube clips in shows and jingles• Reality – EVERYTHING is covered by copyright – You can use ‘reasonable’ amounts for the purpose of REVIEW or coverage of CURRENT events© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 19
  • 20. © Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 20
  • 21. #4 Regulation• OFCom issue the FM licence• A condition is YOUR awareness of the Broadcasting Code• Short-link:© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 21
  • 22. #4 Regulation• “Broadcasters must take all reasonable steps to protect people under 18” (1:2)• Content must meet “generally accepted standards”© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 22
  • 23. #4 Regulation• Might children be listening?• Have your guests been fully briefed about language? Have tracks been screened and edited?• Religion and religious programmes should be dealt with carefully• We have “key commitments” –© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 23
  • 24. Brick FM• Regarding the material itself, Brick FM said that a “punany” was a “sandwich sold locally and is made of Italian bread with cheese and tomato which is heated up” and therefore did not accept the song “More Punany” had sexual connotations. Brick FM also maintained that the word “fuck” is “a commonly used word in Scotland, as a description, when something goes wrong or if they get angry or upset” rather than a sexual act giving the phrases “f---cars or f---crazy” as examples. It argued that it had “the right to use the commonly spoken word which is not considered offensively locally” and claimed that Ofcom was “unfamiliar with our *its+ local dialect”.Guidance:© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 24
  • 25. Offensive Language• There is NO watershed on the Radio• Warnings can help• OFCom note: “in live programming, it is difficult for broadcasters to prevent the use of potentially offensive language, on the occasions that this happens. However, in such circumstances, listeners would expect to see quick action from the broadcaster to prevent further incidents and an apology”© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 25
  • 26. Rage Against 5 Live© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 26
  • 27. Fairness / Bias Sections 5, 6, 7 & 8• Don’t deceive the audience• Truth / Accuracy / Fairness• Competition entries MUST be real and fair• Never say you’re live, when you’re not• The public have a right to privacy• Special rules apply to election time• There also special laws around racial hatred© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 27
  • 28. Police Commissioners• We are now in an “Election Period”• Sections Five and Six of the Code apply to all Ofcom licensed services. However, there is no obligation on broadcasters to provide any election coverage, including coverage of the PCC Elections. Sections Five and Six are quite complex and can be challenging to interpret.• Guidelines:© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 28
  • 29. Un-due prominence• Of a viewpoint on potentially controversial topics• Of businesses / services (No free ads)© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 29
  • 30. A few simple rules• Think First• Ask, if you don’t know• Take sensible precautions• Know your audience• Know the law / regulations / station rules• Brief guests© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 30
  • 31. We asked Twitter for tips© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 31
  • 32. LinksBroadcasting Code: on Lyrics: Commitments:© Spark Learn / R Berry 2012 32