According to the Ofcom guidelines, there are many considerations that I, or anyone would have to think about before producing a program to an under 18 audience. Some of these guidelines are:
- Watershed- Watershed separates the over 18’s programs/movies and the under 18’s. Anything that is aimed at 18’s or over must be played past 7:00pm. Therefore if I was aiming my news story to to people under the age of 18, I would make sure that the program would be put on before 7:00pm.
- The coverage of sexual and other offences in the UK – There are certain statutory provisions in force which already prohibit direct identification of those who are not yet adult. However the statutory provisions dealing with indirect identification (the “jigsaw effect”) have not been brought into force. However the statutory provisions dealing with indirect identification (the “jigsaw effect”) have not been brought into force.
- Drugs, smoking, solvents and alcohol abuse-“Programme makers should always consider the impact that the representation of the use of illegal drugs, the abuse of drugs, smoking, solvent abuse and the misuse of alcohol, may have on younger viewers and listeners. Any such inclusion prewatershed or at times when children are particularly likely to be listening must therefore be editorially justified”.
- Violence and Dangerous behavior- Research shows that children may emulate what they see on television. This is mediated to a certain extent by factors such as a child’s ability to distinguish between degrees of fantasy and reality and the identification with the character. Children have different stages of development and broadcasters should bear this in mind. Areas of concern include:
- • the use of accessible domestic implements, such as knives, or other offensive weapons, articles or substances portrayed in a dangerous or harmful manner
- • any portrayal of household items, such as micro-waves and tumble-dryers, which can cause harm if misused,
- • certain locations, such as railway lines;
- • certain material which may lead children to fail to recognize potentially dangerous play especially if there is no serious outcome; and
- • hanging or the preparations for hanging, if easily imitable, particularly if shown before the watershed, unless the setting gives strong grounds for believing that imitation is unlikely.
- Offensive Language-Offensive language is a feature of British life and, in certain contexts, it has an appropriate place in broadcasting. However it raises concerns about harm to children and offence in general. There is a concern that children may imitate offensive language or be upset to hear this language, when their parents or carers have told them it is wrong, before they have worked out their own attitude to its use. Milder language in the early part of the evening may be acceptable, for example, if mitigated by a humorous context.
All of these regulations are in favor of children. Ofcom says that “Research shows that children may emulate what they see on television. This is mediated to a certain extent by factors such as a child’s ability to distinguish between degrees of fantasy and reality and the identification with the character. Children have different stages of development and broadcasters should bear this in mind”. This links to the hypodermic needle theory that children are passive, which means children are more easily influence and more vulnerable about what they see on television, therefore these rules are here to ensure that they don’t see any harmful or offensive programmes.
Copyright- There could have been some issues with the copyright law when it comes to using images for our visual video and because of the law in place which clearly says that you would have to give some assets to the original owner we have had to produce and shoot our own photos for the video however this is for educational purposes so there would have been some flexibility and because it isn’t intended on financial gain.
Defamation – I had to be careful when writing my script and talking because when following the defamation law you can’t: lower the person in the minds of right-thinking members of society, injures the person’s job reputation, causes a person to be shunned or avoided, and exposes a person to hatred or ridicule. So when speaking quotes they had to be correct to the words of the interviewee.
Editors code – because I had to make the video suitable for people under the age of 18 there were some rules you had to follow which is covered by the editor’s code. I had to make sure that the material that I was producing wouldn’t physically, mentally or morally harm people who were under the age of 18 as this would be against the ethical code.