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22/02/2001

ITC PUBLISH REVISED PROGRAMME CODE

THE Independent Television Commission (ITC) have published a revised edition of the ITC Programme Code, following last year’s external consultation.
The revised Code, which has a crucial role in standard setting for programme content, comes into force from April 2 2001, and applies to all services licensed by the ITC.
Part of the ITC's policy to streamline, simplify and modernise regulation, the revised Code sees no radical changes in policy, but is significantly shorter and provides greater clarity of intent for ease of use by licensees.
The ITC are seeking greater sensitivity in the content of daytime programmes during school holidays and attempt to clarify the rules with regard to children participating in programmes.
New rules on recording of telephone calls by programme makers and journalists have been added to the existing provisions on secret filming and recording. Written confirmation about the purpose and conduct of interviews is now required when allegations of criminality or serious wrongdoing are put to an interviewee. The ITC say that is to ensure informed consent from participants in programmes, which are not primarily journalistic in character, such as talk shows.
The revisions include a new reference to Internet addresses to ensure that no undue prominence is given to commercial Internet sites, whether to a licensee or third parties.
The text of the revised ITC Programme Code can be found on the ITC website at www.itc.org.uk and paper copies are available from the ITC information office.
The ITC are also producing a pocket-sized card detailing the Code's key principles for use by viewers and programme makers. (CMcL)
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