Libel and the Media: The Chilling Effect

By Eric Barendt; Laurence Lustgarten et al. | Go to book overview

5
Broadcasting

Introduction

Obviously there are important legal and practical differences between the positions of newspapers and the broadcasting media. As far as the law is concerned, it must be remembered that the latter are relatively tightly regulated, in that, first, a licence must be granted before a commercial broadcaster, whether of radio or television, is free to operate; secondly, broadcasting legislation1 imposes a number of detailed programme requirements; and thirdly (at the time of writing), the Broadcasting Complaints Commission controls, among other matters, the fairness of programmes.2 Equally, the BBC operates under a Charter and an Agreement, which impose broadly similar programme standards to those governing private channels and stations; further, it is also subject to the control of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC) in the same way as private radio and television. Broadcasters therefore operate in a culture of control and regulation, far removed from that found in the press, whether national or regional.

An important practical difference is that many programmes,

____________________
1
Broadcasting Act 1990, as amended by the Broadcasting Act 1996.
2
The Broadcasting Act 1996 merged the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, which has exercised jurisdiction over complaints of unfairness and infringement of privacy, with the Broadcasting Standards Council, which monitored programmes from the perspective of violence, sexual explicitness, and bad language. It is contemplated that this will take effect at some stage in 1997.

-100-

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Libel and the Media: The Chilling Effect
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • 1- The Law of Defamation 1
  • 3- National Newspapers 42
  • 4- Regional Newspapers 78
  • 5- Broadcasting 100
  • 6- Book Publishers 126
  • 7- Magazines 141
  • 8- The Scottish Media 159
  • 9- Conclusions 182
  • Index 199
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