161mc – Good Practice

If I was the producer for a 7pm primetime show and there was offensive content I would have to deal with it. Say if the show included footage of an animal being harmed, I would have to ensure that the audience is treated with care and consider if the content is appropriate for the show. When there is footage that will potentially offend or disturb the viewer there is a warning beforehand. This is to inform the viewer that the next few scenes may be uncomfortable to watch. As a producer, I would handle situations like this carefully ensuring the content is suitable and comfortable for viewers. If there was disturbing content then I would state it beforehand so the viewer is aware of what is coming and can choose if they wish to keep watching. The warning statement would mention that the following scenes may be found distressing for some viewers.

As a producer, it is also important for me to think about what time the TV show is going to be broadcasted and on what channel. In most cases, programmes containing graphic or offensive content may have to air after the 9pm watershed. This makes sure that younger viewers are not exposed to the material therefore not affected by it. If the show is aired before 9pm then a warning statement will be required.

When researching guidelines to shows, I came across a few that apply in this case.

 ITV guidelines for live shows:
“Some content may require information or an explicit warning to be given by the programme presenter before it is shown (eg “some viewers may find this footage upsetting”). Where a programme has a potential for offence or harm (eg where strong language might be anticipated from some guests, or where it is known that flashing images or studio lighting might cause problems for some viewers with photosensitive epilepsy, despite measures having been taken to minimize such risks), then compliance may need to schedule a continuity warning before the start of the programme.”

BBC guidelines to harm and abuse:
“Audiences, particularly children, can often be distressed by images or scenes which show human violence against animals.  If the scenes are graphic but we know that the animal suffered no harm, then we should consider saying so in an on-air or online announcement or caption.”

ITV. 2015. Live Programmes Compliance Guidelines. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.itv.com/documents/pdf/Live%20Programmes%20as%20pdf.pdf. [Accessed 30 March 2017].

BBC. 2017. Editorial Guidelines. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines/harm-and-offence/violence#heading-violence-against-animals. [Accessed 30 March 2017].

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