Legal, Ethical and Contractual constraints in the Media Industry
What is a constraint?A constraint is a limitation or a restriction onsomething to prevent something else from happeningIn the Media industry, there are manylimitations, laws and restrictions…Some regulations aren‟t legal in that they aren‟tprovided by law.
Employment LegislationThis legislation refers to the laws in which help toprotect employers and employees from unsafeworking conditions and unhealthy situations.This means that all health and safety regulations beproperly assessed and considered as wellemployee‟s rights and equal opportunities
Employees RightsEmployees rights at work will depend on Statutory rights Contract of employmentStatutory rights are legal rights based on laws passed by Parliament.Nearly all workers, regardless of the number of hours per week theywork, have certain legal rights. There are some workers who are notentitled to certain statutory rightsThe Contract of employment is the agreement made between the employerand the employee. This could be in the form of a written agreement or whathas been agreed verbally between them.In addition, the contract of employment will also include „custom andpractice‟ agreements. These are how things are usually done in theworkplace, for example, if the employer always gives the employees aday‟s holiday in August. Even though this is not mentioned in the writtencontract this will form part of the contract of employment as it is the usualpractice.
Employers Liability InsuranceEmployers are responsible for the health and safety of theiremployees during work hours, this applies in any workplace.Employees may be injured at work or may become ill as a resultof their work while in during employment. If an Employee feelsthat the Employer is responsible then they might try to claimcompensation.The Employers‟ Liability Act 1969 ensures that you have at leasta minimum level of insurance cover against any such claims.
Public LiabilityPublic liability insurance is important when out filmingin public premises because it will pay out in the eventthat a mistake is made which causes an injury to amember of the public, or which damages theirproperty.
Copyright and TrademarksCopyright applies to work that is recorded in some way; rights exist initems such as literary, artistic, musical and dramatic work as well asfilms, sound recordings and typographical arrangements. It gives theauthor specific rights in relation to the work, prohibits unauthorisedactions, and allows the author to take legal action against instances ofinfringement or plagiarism.Trademarks are registered at a national or territory level with anappointed government body and may take anywhere between 6 and 18months to be processed.Registered trademarks may be identified by the abbreviation TM, or the® symbol.
Intellectual PropertyIntellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary andartistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used incommerce.IP is divided into two categories:Industrial property, which includes inventions(patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications ofsourceCopyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poemsand plays, films, musical works, artistic works such asdrawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs.Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in theirperformances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those ofbroadcasters in their radio and television programs.
exclusivity & confidentialityA non-disclosure agreement, is a legal contract between at least twoparties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or informationthat the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, butwish to restrict access to or by third parties.A non-disclosure agreement creates a confidential relationship betweenthe parties to protect any type of confidential and proprietaryinformation or secrets of production.A non-disclosure agreement in a contract may also include exclusivitybetween the parties involved, more likely the person signing thecontract to a company makes that person limited and exclusive toworking for the production company, the production or any other detailsthe contract states.
Ethical ConstraintsEthics are the Moral Principles that define how a person orgroup acts. There are ethical issues that TV producers areeffected by including: Trust Liability Truth Privacy Serving the Publics interestand many more…
Editorial Standards CommitteeThe Committee will consider appeals concerning complaintswhich allege that: The Complainant has suffered unfair treatment either in a transmitted programme or item, or in the process of making the programme or item. The Complainant‟s privacy has been unjustifiability infringed, either in a transmitted programme or item, or in the process of making the programme or item. The has been a failure to observe required editorial standards.
The BBC Charter and AgreementThe BBC follows a Charter.The Charter sets out the public purposes of theBBC, guarantees its independence, and outlines the duties ofthe BBC Trust and the BBC Executive Board.The Agreement sits alongside the BBC‟s Royal Charter. Itprovides detail on many of the topics outlined in the Charter andalso covers the BBCs funding and its regulatory duties.
BBC Editorial Guidelines Trust Truth & Accuracy Impartiality Harm and Offence Fairness Privacy Conflicts of Interest Accountability
Trust“Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we areindependent, impartial and honest. We are committed toachieving the highest standards of due accuracy and impartialityand strive to avoid knowingly and materially misleading ouraudiences”The trust that the BBC implies has a broad sense of meaning;the word “trust” is used in the name of the BBC Trust in acolloquial sense, to suggest a body which discharges a publictrust as guardian of the public interest. The word is not used inits technical legal sense, and it is not intended to imply that themembers of the Trust are to be treated as trustees of property orto be subject to the law relating to trusts or trustees.
Truth & Accuracy“We seek to establish the truth of what has happened and are committed toachieving due accuracy in all our output. Accuracy is not simply a matter ofgetting facts right; when necessary, we will weigh relevant facts andinformation to get at the truth. Our output, as appropriate to its subject andnature, will be well sourced, based on sound evidence, thoroughly testedand presented in clear, precise language. We will strive to be honest andopen about what we don‟t know and avoid unfounded speculation”All BBC output, as appropriate to its subject and nature, must be wellsourced, based on sound evidence, thoroughly tested and presented inclear, precise language. The BBC should be honest and open about whatthey dont know and avoid unfoundedspeculation. Claims, allegations, material facts and other content thatcannot be corroborated should normally be attributed.To enforce Accuracy, the BBC can employ different tactics, including NoteTaking, finding Contributors, Mandatory Referrals, etc.
Impartiality“Impartiality lies at the core of the BBC‟s commitment to its audiences. Wewill apply due impartiality to all our subject matter and will reflect a breadthand diversity of opinion across our output as a whole, over an appropriateperiod, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected orunder-represented. We will be fair and open-minded when examiningevidence and weighing material facts”The BBC strive to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with dueimpartiality in all their output. News in whatever form must be treated withdue impartiality, giving due weight to events, opinion and main strands ofargument. The BBC are committed to reflecting a wide range of opinionacross our output as a whole and over an appropriate timeframe so that nosignificant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented.The BBC can accomplish this by having a breadth and diversity of opinion;The BBC seek to achieve „Due Weight‟. This means that the range ofperspectives or opinions to be covered in equal proportions either acrossour output as a whole, or within a single programme, web page or item.
Harm and Offence“We aim to reflect the world as it is, including all aspects of the humanexperience and the realities of the natural world. But we balance our rightto broadcast innovative and challenging content with our responsibility toprotect the vulnerable from harm and avoid unjustifiable offence. We willbe sensitive to, and keep in touch with, generally accepted standards aswell as our audiences‟ expectations of our content, particularly in relation tothe protection of children”The BBC must apply generally accepted standards so as to provideadequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion ofoffensive and harmful material. They must observe the 9pm televisionwatershed to ensure material that might be unsuitable for children isappropriately scheduled and must balance responsibility to protect childrenand young people from unsuitable content with their rights to freedom ofexpression and freedom to receive information.This includes, violence, strong language, nudity, sex, portrayal ofalcohol, smoking, drugs, etc.
Fairness“Our output will be based on fairness, openness, honesty andstraight dealing. Contributors and audiences will be treated withrespect”The BBC look to be open, honest, straightforward and fair in alldealings with contributors and audiences unless there is a clearpublic interest in doing otherwise, or they need to considerimportant issues such as legal matters, safety, or confidentiality.The BBC employ different tactics by giving contributors andaudiences the right to anonymity, informed consent, accessagreements, refusal to take part, etc
Privacy“We will respect privacy and will not infringe it without goodreason, wherever in the world we are operating. Privatebehaviour, information, correspondence and conversation will not bebrought into the public domain unless there is a public interest thatoutweighs the expectation of privacy”The BBC must balance the public interest in freedom of expression with thelegitimate expectation of privacy by individuals. Any infringement of alegitimate expectation of privacy in the gathering of material, includingsecret recording and „doorstepping‟, must be justifiable as proportionate inthe particular circumstances of the case. They must balance the publicinterest in the full and accurate reporting of stories involving humansuffering and distress with an individuals privacy and respect for theirhuman dignity.This includes Privacy and Consent from contributors, using sourcesappropriately and only using secret recording when it is in the publics bestinterests.
Conflicts of InterestExternal activities of individuals working for the BBC must not underminethe publics perception of the impartiality, integrity, independence andobjectivity of the BBC. Nor should they bring the BBC into disrepute.There must never be any suggestion that commercial, financial or otherinterests have influenced BBC editorial judgements. Those involved in theproduction of BBC content must have no significant connection withproducts, businesses or other organisations featured in that content.There are many external activities which are likely to raise issues inconnection with conflicts of interests. These range from writingcommitments (such as regular articles, columns or blogs), through topolitical activities, public appearances and media training, to appearing incommercial advertisements and giving endorsements
Interacting with AudiencesAll audience interactivity must be conducted in a manner that is honest, fair andlegal. In particular, winners must always be genuine and never invented or pre-chosen.Interactive competitions and votes must be handled with rigorous care andintegrity. Competitions, contests and votes must have clear rules, which must bemade known as appropriate. Prizes must be described accurately, and beappropriate for the target audience. The audience must be made aware if theopportunity for interactivity is no longer available when content which includesinteractivity is repeated, made available via an on-demand service or otherwisetime shifted.Production values must not override these principles.Most importantly, it must be stated when a pre-recorded programme or arepeated programme and the audience are made aware.