Teesdale law 2013


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  • They key thing is being aware that rules exist and what they mean for the kind of radio you want to make. When you drive a car you accept that there are things like speed limits, so trying to plead ignorance of their existence when caught is never going to work. In fact, it can make things a whole lot worse. This is serious. Real world radio. Being a student at a community station does give you special privilege to say what you want and make mistakes.
  • A few simple steps. Always think. Make it part of show prep. Is this legal? will it offend? If in doubt etcKnow who listens. Will they find it offensive? Is there context? But then anyone can listen and anyone can complain - even if they are not the audience. (But ofcom consider that) context is all important
  • Basic info - really important as it will cost you moneyIn Libel, truth is key - or at least what you can prove - keep notes, do proper researchThe bloke in the pub is not a real source of provable fact
  • Defamation IS Libel.Slander is a different offence but is still defamation
  • Words that TEND to disparage. The intent doesn’t have to be there. Read between the lines. Can also be in tone, implication or images. "Everyone who knows me would know it is me" don't try to be clever. If someone has hurt feelings, they have reasonable cause for action
  • Can people identify the complainant? even without a name? You don’t need to name someone for them to be identified or feel that they have been.If the libel was unintended that doesn’t really offer a defence but it might be a factor in mitigation, if you say sorryAllegedly is NOT a defenceRepeating libels or contempts is the same as the first offence
  • There are limits to this but the key is honesty and the presence of facts
  • GIGGS John hemming used parliamentary privelege. we don’t have that. even when he did name there are issues. He has legal protection but did we when talked about what he had said. Strict legal reading would say we could've been sued for libel and/or prosecuted for breach of an orderThe defence here is QUALIFIED PRIVILEGE
  • All about good planning and training
  • Definitionsall about being fair - forget US TV news and drama. We cannot have an opinion on guilt.
  • Social media is a problem. The baby p case saw people naming her on Facebook. But the order was in place to prevent the jury in a 2nd trial knowing their suspect had been found guilty in this case. The order also prevented the media from explaining the nature of the order, even though they knew Others orders may also be issued. Such as the Northumbria police memo to media during raoul moat. Telling the media he had made threats if he heard things he didn't like. There was no real legal weight to the order and we weren't allowed to mention there was an orde
  • Huntley case. Also Mark Kaye at Rock FM. Suspended, arrested and taken to courtIpswich murders warningApril jones also present problem
  • Also how you can break the law - dont be silly. Stick to official sources
  • protecting audiences - woman on a bridge, M60 closed. Manchester in gridlock. Callers joked that stevepenk should play jump by van halen - which he did -bad idea. He did not link the track to the event, playing it cold out of a feature. He said listeners would know and feel empathy but not be offended, ofcom did not agree.
  • Rage against the machine on 5live. Considered resolved by ofcom, they had briefed the guests and then said sorry. 36 people complained but 500 complained the host had told audience to buy Joe's single insteadBroadcasters should note, for example, that when appropriate before live interviews and performances, it is important for them properly to brief interviewees about the need to avoid offensive language, they must be vigilant during the broadcast itself for any potential breaches of the Code and where necessary take timely action during the broadcast to prevent them. In addition, broadcasters should consider carefully whether it would be appropriate to pre-record material or interviews where there is a material risk of breaching the Code if the output were broadcast
  • A few simple steps. Always think. Make it part of show prep. Is this legal? will it offend? If in doubt etcKnow who listens. Will they find it offensive? Is there context? But then anyone can listen and anyone can complain - even if they are not the audience. (But ofcom consider that) context is all important
  • Teesdale law 2013

    1. 1. Legal andCompliance Training Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 1
    2. 2. Why are we here?• Ignorance is not an excuse Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 2
    3. 3. 3 Key things to remember•Think First•If in doubt, leave it out•Know your audience And if anything does happen. CONFESS Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 3
    4. 4. The Law• This is where YOU can be fined, sued or arrested and jailed Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 4
    5. 5. #1: Libel• A civil offence for which you and the Radio Station (and maybe the directors) could be sued• The best defence against Libel is the truth. Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 5
    6. 6. #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.• Does what you say lower someone in the estimation of most people?• Libels are judged by what people understand• Libels are untruths Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 6
    7. 7. #1: Libel• Myths: – If I don’t name them, that’s OK – If I didn’t mean to, I’m OK – If I say “allegedly” first – It’s Ok to read stuff out of the paper or from Twitter because they said it first Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 7
    8. 8. Who Can Sue You?• You can libel a person, a small group of people, a business or a voluntary organisation• The council you cannot sue but a councillor or it’s employees could Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 8
    9. 9. Would you say it to their face? Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 9
    10. 10. The Defence of Honest Comment• You can make reasonable and honest comments on matters of public interest, if what you say is your honest opinion, informed by the facts and is not fuelled by malice. Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 10
    11. 11. Case Study Time…• We ALL knew it was Giggs!• But only an MP could name him and not get sued… Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 11
    12. 12. Risks on Social Media – pt1 Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 12
    13. 13. 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. Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 13
    14. 14. Contempt of Court• This is where you say things or show things that may affect the course of a current or pending criminal trial. Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 14
    15. 15. #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 Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 15
    16. 16. Can you talk about this? Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 16
    17. 17. Beacon FM: 26/11/03 Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 17
    18. 18. 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." Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 18
    19. 19. Contempt could also be…• Breaking a court order – Naming juveniles, victims or revealing information when ordered not to – Breaking an injunction• Interviewing witnesses or jurors• Taking callers on-air to talk about cases Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 19
    20. 20. The risks on Social Media – Pt2I’ve blurred this Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 20
    21. 21. #3 Copyright - 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 Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 21
    22. 22. #4 Regulation• OFCom issue the FM licence• A condition is YOUR awareness of the Broadcasting Code• Short-link: http://bit.ly/b-code Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 22
    23. 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 also be dealt with carefully Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 23
    24. 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 “f***” 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”. (Bulletin 189)Guidance:http://bit.ly/offensivelyrics Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 24
    25. 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” Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 25
    26. 26. Fairness / Bias Sections 5, 6, 7 & 8• Don’t deceive the audience• Be balanced (with opinions and businesses)• 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 Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 26
    27. 27. This started on March 26th! Elections• Applies during the “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.• Politicians cannot present or form part of programmes (*) unless pre-booked and election is avoided• ALL candidates must be invited to debates• Broadcasters cannot show bias or offer endorsements and must ensure fairness and balance• No coverage on election day, until polls close Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 27
    28. 28. Top Tips• Think about and plan every link, feature or interview• Ask, if you don’t know• Take sensible precautions• Know your audience• Don’t make things up or deceive• Brief guests Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 28
    29. 29. 3 Key things to remember•Think First•If in doubt, leave it out•Know your audience And if anything does happen. CONFESS Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 29
    30. 30. This is a plug• Radio Academy North East – The Breakfast Battle Part Deux.• Thursday – 7pm• Star Bar – Newcastle College – Anna Foster (Magic) – Robin Banks (Star) – Charlie Charlton (BBC Newcastle) – JoJo Hatfield (Capital) – Hosted by Mike Parr (BBC Tees) Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 30
    31. 31. LinksBroadcasting Code: http://bit.ly/b-codeGuidance on Lyrics: http://bit.ly/offensivelyrics Email me: richard@richardberry.eu Legal Training 2013 / (c) R Berry 31