Broadcasting Act 2009

42.

Broadcasting codes.

42.— (1) The Authority shall prepare, and from time to time as occasion requires, revise, in accordance with this section, a code or codes governing standards and practice (“broadcasting code”) to be observed by broadcasters.

(2) Broadcasting codes shall provide—

( a) that all news broadcast by a broadcaster is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views,

( b) that the broadcast treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and that the broadcast matter is presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views,

( c) that anything being likely to promote, or incite to, crime, or as tending to undermine the authority of the State, is not broadcast by a broadcaster,

( d) that in programmes broadcast by a broadcaster, and in the means employed to make such programmes, the privacy of any individual is not unreasonably encroached upon,

( e) that a broadcaster does not, in the allocation of time for transmitting party political broadcasts, give an unfair preference to any political party,

( f) that in respect of programme material broadcast by a broadcaster that audiences are protected from harmful or offensive material, in particular, that programme material in respect of the portrayal of violence and sexual conduct, shall be presented by a broadcaster—

(i) with due sensitivity to the convictions or feelings of the audience, and

(ii) with due regard to the impact of such programming on the physical, mental or moral development of children,

( g) that advertising, teleshopping material, sponsorship and other forms of commercial promotion employed in any broadcasting service, in particular advertising and other such activities which relate to matters likely to be of direct or indirect interest to children, protect the interests of children having particular regard to the general public health interests of children,

( h) that advertising, teleshopping material, sponsorship and other forms of commercial promotion employed in any broadcasting service, other than advertising and other activities as aforesaid falling within paragraph (g) , protect the interests of the audience,

( i) that the provision of a broadcasting service which has, as one of its principal objectives, the promotion of the interests of any organisation, protects the interests of the audience, and

( j) for the matters required to be provided for by Chapters IIA, IV and V of the Council Directive.

(3) In preparing or revising a broadcasting code, the Authority shall have regard to each of the following matters—

( a) the degree of harm or offence likely to be caused by the inclusion of any particular sort of material in programmes generally, or in programmes of a particular description,

( b) the likely size and composition of the potential audience for programmes included in television and sound broadcasting services generally, or in television and sound broadcasting services of a particular description,

( c) the likely expectation of the audience as to the nature of a programme’s content and the extent to which the nature of a programme’s content can be brought to the attention of potential members of the audience,

( d) the likelihood of persons who are unaware of the nature of a programme’s content being unintentionally exposed, by their own actions, to that content,

( e) the desirability of securing that the content of a broadcasting service identifies when there is a change affecting the nature of the service that is being watched or listened to and, in particular, a change that is relevant to the application of the codes set under this section, and

( f) the desirability of maintaining the independence of editorial control over programme content.

(4) A broadcasting code prepared by the Authority under subsection (2)(g) may prohibit the advertising in a broadcasting service of a particular class or classes of foods and beverages considered by the Authority to be the subject of public concern in respect of the general public health interests of children, in particular those which contain fat, trans-fatty acids, salts or sugars.

(5) In preparing a broadcasting code under subsection (2) (g) the Authority may consult with the relevant public health authorities.

(6) Whenever the Authority prepares or revises a broadcasting code relating to the matter in question every broadcaster shall comply with such broadcasting code and any revision of it.

(7) A copy of any broadcasting code shall be presented to the Minister as soon as may be after it is made.

(8) In this section and section 43 “teleshopping material” means material which, when transmitted, will constitute a direct offer to the public for the sale or supply to them of goods or other property (whether real or personal) or services.

(9) The following codes prepared under section 19 of the Act of 2001, namely—

( a) the Code of Programme Standards (10 April 2007),

( b) the Children’s Advertising Code (1 January 2005), and

( c) the Advertising Code (10 April 2007),

if in force on the passing of this Act, continue in force as if made under the corresponding provision of this section and have effect accordingly.