Complaining About Media Coverage
* Use facts
* Focus on a single issue
* Be concise . . . no more than 200 words
* Use reason and logic in your language, not emotion
What to look for on TV
* Do they hold both sides to account equally?
* Is it fair accurate and impartial?
* Are there leading questions?
* What are the issues being addressed
When filing a complaint about any media coverage that you are unhappy with, there are various ways in which you can increase the chances of your complaint being taken seriously.
Various regulatory bodies exist that seek to ensure certain standards in media coverage are upheld and if a complaint suggests coverage to have fallen short of these standards, the likelihood that action will be taken in response to the complaint is greatly increased. The following organisations regulate media coverage.
The BBC publishes a code of ethics for programme makers called the ‘Producer’s Guidelines’. These contain advice on upholding standards including accuracy, impartiality and fairness. More detailed information about these standards can be found in Chapter 2 of the Producer’s Guidelines at the following web address: www.bbc.co.uk/info/editorial/prodgl/index.shtml
The BSC monitors all licensed services including satellite and cable. The BSC is charged with monitoring the representation in television and radio of a range of issues. Under the Broadcasting Act 1990, the BSC is required to carry out research into the effects of broadcasting. The BSC deals with taste and decency or accuracy and fairness. However complaints from third parties will not be accepted, instead a complaint would have to come from someone involved in the making of the programme who feels they have been unfairly treated. The BSC Council deals with complaints from the audience. It can request recordings of material (which broadcasters are required under the Broadcasting Act 1990 to keep) and can require a written statement or hearing from the broadcasters who have to explain the editorial decisions behind the transmission of the material complained about.
Further info about BSC: www.cultsock.ndirect.co.uk/MUHome/cshtml/media/bscdet.html
THE INDEPENDENT TELEVISION COMMISSION
The ITC issues licenses that allow commercial television companies to broadcast in and from the UK. Subsequently the ITC has the power to regulate these services by monitoring broadcasters’ performance against the requirements of the ITC’s published licences and codes and guidelines on programme content.
The ITC regularly investigates complaints and publishes its findings. The Code of Practice for ITC members can be viewed in full at: www.itc.org.uk/about/code_of_practice.htm The ITC Website also provides detailed information about how to complain and what the ITC can do in response. These can be found at:www.itc.org.uk/contact/comment/index.htm The ITC does not license or regulate any BBC services
THE RADIO AUTHORITY
The Radio Authority licenses and regulates all commercial radio services and is responsible for monitoring the obligations on its licensees required by the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996. It is required to publish codes to which licensees must adhere. Sanctions include broadcast apologies and/or corrections, fines and shortening or revocation of Licenses. Full details of the Radio Authority’s codes and guidance can be found at: http://www.radioauthority.org.uk/about-ra/whatwedo.html or alternatively call: 0207 430 2724 The Radio Authority does not license or regulate any BBC Radio
The following is a general guide to the levels at which different complaints should be directed. If the complaint is: A minor irritation: Call the duty log on with your comments 08700 100 222 More serious: Call the duty log on 08700 100 222 leaving your name and number and request a response. A serious breach of standards: Write to Fraser Steel, Head of Programme Complaints, Broadcasting House, London S1AA 1AA
CHANNEL 4 PROGRAMMES
*REACH 4 FORUM – a message board forum for viewers to share their opinions with others. Tel: 020 7306 8691 *TELEVISION VIEWER ENQUIRIES – open from 9 a.m.-10.30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. weekends/bank holidays. Tel: 0207 306 8333 *WEBSITE FEEDBACK - www.channel4.comment Alternatively you can write to: Channel 4, 124 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2TX Further info:www.channel4.com/guide/contact.html
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION PROGRAMMES
To join the audience on Question Time call: 0901 111 4411
To comment on the topics discussed on Question Time contact their website
This is the BBC Network Radio listeners’ letters programme. the content of the programme is entirely directed by the letters, emails and faxes it receives from listeners. It goes out on Friday from 1.30 p.m.-2 p.m. and is repeated on Sunday 8.30p.m.-9 p.m. to raise an issues email: email@example.com
Any Questions is Radio 4’s forum for debate between decision-makers from all areas of public life, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby. It goes out on Friday 8 p.m.-8.45 p.m. and is repeated Saturday 1.15 p.m.- 2. p.m. Email any questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0870 010 0444
A sister programme to Any Questions? Jonathan Dimbleby takes listeners’ phone calls, emails and faxes in response to the issues raised in Any Questions? Each Saturday 2 p.m.-2.30 p.m. Email any answers to:email@example.com tel: 0870 010 0444
RADIO 5 LIVE
the following programmes all host debates on topical issues:
Nicky Campbell 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Tel: 0500 909 693
Fi Glover weekdays 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Tel: 0500 9009 693
Late Night Currie weekends 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. Tel: 0500 909 693
HOW TO CONTACT THE MEDIA
TELEVISION AND RADIO CONTACTS
BBC TV AND RADIO
You can respond to all BBC national and local television and radio programmes, including BBC1 & 2, Radio 1,2,3,4 and Five Live on: 08700 100 222 website: http://www.bbc.co.uk
BBC Complaint Unit: c/o Fraser Steel, Broadcasting House, London W1A 1AA tel: 08700 100 222 web address for online comments form: http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/contact/com_email.shtml
BBC Breakfast News: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today: Fax: 020 8623 1102 email: email@example.com
Newsnight: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Dimbleby show: Jonathan Dimbleby, LWT Upper Ground Floor, London SE1 9LT tel: 0207 261 3784 email: email@example.com
Question Time: tel: 0901 111 4411 email: firstname.lastname@example.org to join the audience:http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static.question_time/join_the_audience.htm
News House: BBC World Service, Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4PH , UK tel: 020 7240 3456 email:email@example.com online comments form: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/contact/index.shtml
World Today: BBC World Service, Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4PH UK tel: 020 7240 3456 email:firstname.lastname@example.org online comments form: http://www.bbc.co./worldservice/contact/index.shtml
World Update: BBC World Service, Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4PH UK tel: 0207240 3456 email:email@example.com online comments form: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/contact/index.shtml
Talking Point: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OTHER RADIO & TV
News Direct: website: http://www.newsdirect.co.uk
CHANNEL 4 News: The Editor, Channel 4 News, ITN, 200 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8XZ tel: 0207 833 3000 – ask for ‘viewer liaison line’ email: email@example.com website: http://www.channel4.com/news
LBC LBC: LBC Radio, 200 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8XZ tel: 0207 973 11521 Programme Enquiries: Bonnie Oldham 0207 312 8513 email: Editorial: Stuart Thomas - firstname.lastname@example.org Programme Enquiries: Bonnie Oldham – bonnie.Oldham@itn.co.uk Website Enquiries: Alex Wrenn - Alex.email@example.com website:http://www.lbc.co.uk