BBC published its revised Editorial Guidelines, written by BBC Executive and approved by the BBC Trust. Those guidelines are available here to program makers and the public and they set out the standards expected of everyone making or presenting the BBC’s output on TV on radio and online.
BBC’s Editorial Guidelines are reviewed every five years.
The revised Guidelines take into account the changes and developments occurred both within the BBC and the broadcasting industry since the last update, in 2005, and reflect feedback from audiences following a public consultation by the BBC Trust. Moreover, BBC Academy has launched a range of online, interactive learning modules to support the roll out of the new Editorial Guidelines, to be available on its website.
The new Guidelines clearly lays out for the 1st time the editorial policy principles which show the BBC’s values and standards, emphasizes the importance of content producers using their own best judgment when making editorial decisions, in tandem with a new emphasis on the importance of taking advice from more senior people, and a requirement on those senior people to give help and support in making the right decisions. Also, the guidelines introduces the concept of “due accuracy”, clarifying that accuracy is a consideration for all BBC output but its requirements vary.
Also, the guidelines widens the application of the requirement for “due impartiality” to all output and requires that potentially offensive material is judged against “Generally Accepted Standards” the term used in the BBC Agreement and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code. In addition, the Guidelines have been re-thought and restructured taking account of the lessons learned from some very serious editorial failings and reinstated a section related to Conflicts of Interest.
The revised Guidelines also include the online guidelines, previously separate. The reason for their inclusion in the main guidelines is that new technology and new media evolved hugely in the past five years.
The Editorial Guidelines are revised every five years by BBC Executive. The last edition was published in 2005. The BBC Trust are responsible for commissioning the Guidelines for the first time as stipulated in the Agreement to the BBC’s Royal Charter 2006.
The BBC Academy, launched in December 2009, is the BBC’s centre for training, housing Colleges of Journalism, Production, Leadership and the Centre of Technology.