Thursday, 23 April 2009

Response to letter of complaint

Dear Miss Robinson,

Firstly, we would like to express how sorry we are at the offence you have taken towards this programme, we in no way set out to create such controversy but instead wanted to expose how the media blow things out of proportion. Brass eye uses many serious issues such as animal cruelty to expose these issues.

I would also like to point out that the broadcast of this documentary did not break any programme codes. It was shown at 10pm and so the programme has suitable language and content for that time. In regards of the celebrities and child with enhanced breasts this also abides by the codes as the privacy was protected. It also in no way promoted anti social behaviour nor glorified paedophilia.

Again, we are very sorry to offend you and any other viewers who are offended.

Yours sincerely,
Mr A Strange

Letter of complaint

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to inform you of my disgust at the recent 'Brass Eye' programme entitled 'Peadogeddon'. The fact it took such a serious issue and mocked it to the point where it no longer became funny. I found several aspects of the programme very offensive including the 'art' pictures of a child's face on a woman's body and the showing of a young child's supposedly enhanced breasts.

I understand that you wanted this programme to be perceived as humorous but it was in no way funny as I am sure many viewers would agree. The exploitation of many celebrities in this programme also caused me offence as I was aware many celebrities did not agree to the mocking of paedophilia.

I would like you to reconsider showing programmes like this in future as it causes offence to many viewers who previously enjoy channel 4 programming. I also think you should reconsider airing this programme again as it does not create a good impression for your company.

Yours sincerely,
Rebecca Robinson

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

ITC Programme Code

The ITC Programme Code sets out the editorial standards which audiences are entitled
to expect from commercial television services in the UK. It aims to ensure that
requirements covering programme content which Parliament stipulated in the 1990
and 1996 Broadcasting Acts are met, while allowing for and encouraging creativity,
development and innovation.

Section One
Family Viewing Policy, Offence to Good Taste and Decency, Portrayal of
Violence and Respect for Human Dignity
Section Two
Privacy, fairness and gathering of information
Section Three
Section Four
Party Political and Parliamentary Broadcasting
Section Five
Terrorism, Crime, Anti-Social Behaviour, etc
Section Six
Charitable Appeals and Publicity for Charities
Section Seven
Section Eight
Commercial References in Programmes

Section one of the code deals with violence and offensive language not being shown before 9pm. With the programmes becoming increasingly more acceptable the later it becomes. I think this section is useful as it does not allow young children to watch programmes which may influence bad behaviour. This also is required for films with them not showing '12' rated films before 8pm, '15' rated films before 9pm and '18' rated films before 10pm. I think this section although useful can be seen as unnecessary as it should be common sense that certain programmes should only be watched by more mature audiences.

Section two of the code deals with the right to privacy within the family domain and not filming people in a public place without their permission. It also deals with freedom of expression and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority. This concern needed to be included as it respects the public's right to privacy which programmes may take advantage of. I think this is a reasonable concern to include as respects the right of an individual.

Section three of the code deals with the equal balance of viewpoints. This is a very necessary code as some directors/producers may have very strong viewpoints which may influence the way they make a programme. This code prevents racism, sexism and other prejudice behaviours being portrayed in programmes. I do not think this is unnecessary as it is a way of protecting behaviours which may cause conflict within society.

Section four deals with how long a political broadcast can be and how frequent they can be shown. This is needed as some political broadcasts may take longer to promote their party than others and so there would not be an impartial viewpoint anymore. This code is not unnecessary because it maintains who will show election broadcasts (ITV) and this then prevents every station broadcasting it imposing their own values onto the programme.

Section five deals with discouraging anything which promotes anti social behaviour. This is needed as it is a way of protecting anything with may cause tragic events, such as promoting terrorism may glorify it. This section also deals with drugs, alcohol and tobacco, where it states that there should be special care taken when dealing with these issues. I do not think this section is unnecessary because without it programmes could be shown which may lead to anti social behaviour.

Section six deals with charity broadcasts and funds and how a station should not use broadcast appeals to fund programmes. This is necessary because it creates a non-profitable way of promoting charities therefore a concern of a channel can be shown without money being involved.

Section seven of the code deals with religion and how the channel should not be biased against certain religions nor present them in a negative way. This is a very necessary section as religious views cause a lot of conflict within society and without this section a channel could become biased towards certain religions.

Section eight deals with promotions. It states that certain things (books, DVDs, etc) can not be promoted until after a programme and how premium telephone services must follow rules. This is a useful section as it stops channels exploiting viewers for there money and sets up strict guidelines they must follow when wanting viewers money.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Ross and Brand debate

Team BBC
To justify the BBC's punishment of Ross and Brand, to put together a case outlining and supporting the BBC's handling of the incident and to prove that it was in keeping with the corporation's values and responsibilities.

BBC director general Mark Thompson "In the meantime, I have decided that it is not appropriate for either Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross to continue broadcasting on the BBC until I have seen the full report of the actions of all concerned." This is a fair punishment of the two actors as they caused a lot of controversy amongst the viewers of the BBC. This therefore gave the corporation no choice in handling the incident the way they did.

A BBC Radio 2 spokeswoman apologises to Sachs saying: "We have received a letter of complaint from Mr Sachs' agent and would like to sincerely apologise to Mr Sachs for the offence caused. "We recognise that some of the content broadcast was unacceptable and offensive. We are reviewing how this came about and are responding to Mr Sachs personally.
"We also apologise to listeners for any offence caused."
Ross sends a personal apology to Sachs. It is understood Brand plans to do the same.

The 12 week suspension of Jonathan Ross is in keeping with the corporations values as he was unpaid for that time and was not allowed to film his well loved show 'Friday night with Jonathan Ross' For him to come back to work for the BBC was a thought out decision but as he is a much loved actor with no previous controversy attached to his name it was felt he could come back from this relatively unscathed. Russel Brand's resignation and public apology is also in keeping with the BBC's responsibilities as they believe him to be the main influence having posted his past offences on their website. Both of these punishments were fair as Jonathan Ross makes the BBC a lot of money being the best paid television presenter, and Russel Brand who's image amongst the youth was only heightened by this incident but with the BBC no longer dealing with him.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Homework from 31/03 lesson

The Peacock Committee, 1986
The Peacock Committee, was a review into financing of the BBC. It was initiated by the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher on March 27, 1985 and reporting on May 29, 1986. The committee was led by Professor Alan Peacock. The government had expected the committee to report that the television licence fee used to fund the BBC should be scrapped. However, the Peacock Committee favoured retaining the licence fee as they believed it was the 'least worst' option.The immediate recommendations of the report were:

BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 should be privatised.
All television receivers should be built fitted with encryption decoders.
The television licence fee should be indexed to inflation and the BBC should become responsible for the collection of the licence fee.
The licence fee should be extended to car radios.
Pensioners dependent on benefits should be exempt from the licence fee.
Not less than 40% of the BBC’s and ITV's output should be sourced from independent producers.
The transmission space used by the BBC and ITV overnight should be sold.
Censorship should be phased out.

The Broadcasting Act, 1990
The aim of the Act was to reform the entire structure of British broadcasting; British television, in particular, had earlier been described by Margaret Thatcher as "the last bastion of restrictive practices". It led directly to the abolition of the Independent Broadcasting Authority and its replacement with the Independent Television Commission and Radio Authority (both themselves now replaced by Ofcom), which were given the remit of regulating with a "lighter touch" and did not have such strong powers as the IBA; some referred to this as "deregulation". The ITC also began regulating non-terrestrial channels, whereas the IBA had only regulated ITV, Channel 4 and the ill-fated British Satellite Broadcasting; the ITC thus took over the responsibilities of the Cable Authority which had regulated the early non-terrestrial channels, which were only available to a very small audience in the 1980s.
An effect of this Act was that, in the letter of the law, the television or radio companies rather than the regulator became the broadcasters, as had been the case in the early (1955-1964) era of the Independent Television Authority when it had fewer regulatory powers than it would later assume.

The Hutton Report, 2004
The Hutton Inquiry was a British judicial inquiry chaired by Lord Hutton, appointed by the United Kingdom Labour government with the terms of reference "...urgently to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly". On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee of the Ministry of Defence, was found dead after he had been named as the source of quotes used by BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan. These quotes had formed the basis of media reports claiming that Tony Blair's Labour government had knowingly "sexed up" the "September Dossier", a report into Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. The inquiry opened in August 2003 and reported on 28 January 2004. The inquiry report cleared the government of wrongdoing, while the BBC was strongly criticised, leading to the resignation of the BBC's chairman and director-general. The report was met with criticism by British newspapers opposed to the Iraq invasion, such as The Guardian and the Daily Mail, though others said it exposed serious flaws within the BBC.

The report was eventually published on 28 January 2004. It ran to 750 pages in 13 chapters and 18 appendices, though this was mainly composed of excerpts from the hundreds of documents (letters, emails, transcripts of conversation, and so on) that were published during the inquiry. The main conclusions were:

There was "no underhand [government] strategy" to name him as the source for the BBC's accusations
Gilligan's original accusation was "unfounded" and the BBC's editorial and management processes were "defective"
The dossier had not been "sexed up", but was in line with available intelligence, although the Joint Intelligence Committee, chaired by John Scarlett, may have been "subconsciously influenced" by the government
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) was at fault for not informing Kelly of its strategy that would involve naming him
The report exonerated the Government much more completely than had been expected by many observers prior to its publication. Evidence presented to the inquiry had indicated:
That the wording of the dossier had been altered to present the strongest possible case for war within the bounds of available intelligence
That some of these changes had been suggested by Alastair Campbell
That reservations had been expressed by experts within the Intelligence Community about the wording of the dossier
That David Kelly had direct contact with the dissenters within the Defence Intelligence Staff and had communicated their reservations (and his own) to several journalists.
That, following Kelly's decision to come forward as one of Gilligan's contacts, Alastair Campbell and Geoff Hoon had wanted his identity made public
That the Prime Minister himself had chaired a meeting at which it was decided that Dr Kelly's name would be confirmed by the Ministry of Defence if put to them by journalists
That Kelly's name had been confirmed after journalists had made multiple suggestions to the MOD press office