New Ofcom rules to protect people in TV and radio shows

posted on 30 July, 2019   (public)

UK regulator adds new rules to Broadcasting Code and consults on guidance to help broadcasters interpret and apply new rules

In recent years, mental health and wellbeing have become subjects of concern regarding the participants of TV and radio shows.

To answer these concerns, the Ofcom is proposing to add two new rules to its Broadcasting Code which already contains provisions around participants in programmes, and specific safeguards for people under 18.:

  • Due care must be taken over the welfare, wellbeing and dignity of participants in programmes
  • Participants must not be caused unjustified distress or anxiety by taking part in programmes or by the broadcast of those programmes

Furthermore, the regulator seeks to help broadcasters interpret and apply these new rules. For this purpose a consultation is opened from 29 July to 23 September  2019. It aims to determine the content of this guidance, ensuring broadcasters take 'duty of care' of people participating in television and radio programmes.

Source: Ofcom

Additional EPRA background: in 2016 on the occasion of the 43rd EPRA meeting in Barcelona, a working group discussed the topic of the protection of minors: focus on reality and talent shows. A comparative background document on the protection of minors from content in reality and talent shows, the participation of minors in reality and talent shows and looking at best practice examples was produced on that occasion.