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Regulatory Bodies

Regulatory Bodies

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Regulatory Bodies

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  1. Regulatory Bodies

  2. British Board of Film

  3. Role and purpose It’s business affairs are controlled by a council of management selected from leading figures in the manufacturing and servicing sectors of the film industry. The President of the council has the statutory responsibility and formulates policy. The Board which is in London, is financed from the fees it charges for classifying films and videos and is run on a not-for-profit basis. It was founded in 1912 and is responsible for the national classification and censorship of films exhibited at cinemas and video games, released on physical media within the UK. Legal powers The BBFC currently issues a few certificates. The current symbols were introduced in September 2002, replacing the previous ones that had been in place since the 1980. Universal for 3 and under. PG for ages 7 and under. 12A is only suitable for people under 12 if they accompanied with an adult. Suitable for anyone over the age of 12. The age rating of 15 is suitable for anyone over 15. And lastly the 18 certificate is only suitable for those aged over 18.

  4. Media aspects covered The BBFC looks at the types of films shown in cinema, and they have the final legal authorisation over who can view a particular film. The majority of the time, local authorities accept the Boards recommendation for a certificate for a film. They also look at film certifications, this involves consumer advice which will reference sex, violence, and coarse language. The BBFC can also advise cuts for a less restrictive rating. This generally occurs in borderline cases where distributors have requested a certificate and the BBFC has rated the work at a more restrictive level. The BBFC has also rated some video games, some mobile operators, and lastly some websites. Case Studies ‘A Serbian Film’. This movie is a language drama that tells the story of a retired Serbian porn star, Milos, who is tempted to make one final film by an offer of money from a mysterious director. The project will require Milos to perform some degrading, violent and murderous acts. The BBFC were given only 19 days to come up with a classification for this movie. It was decided that 49 individual cuts would be required across 11 scenes. This took around 3 minutes and 48 seconds out of the film. ‘Attack the block’. This movie wasn’t requested to have a specific rating. Within the first few scenes it was automatically put at a 15 just for the language used. It remained at this classification even though there was a large amount of violence, due to the fact it involved aliens rather than the violence of other people.

  5. Controversies There are some aspects that challenges aspects of BBFC policy, or for passing a film at a lower age rating than might be expected. In this case, the educational benefits of making the work available to early teens outweighed the likelihood of upsetting some viewers. Sometimes films attract enormous pre-publicity for their treatment of controversial themes. In such instances, further viewing will usually be recommended by the examining team. In 1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park was shown at a test screening before hundreds of primary school age children in order to test its suitability for a PG rating. How they impact on the production of a media product The BBFC have the say on what age rating a movie will be classified at. They get the final say and can either give a higher rating than was wanted, or they made certain edits to the original piece to make sure it’s more suited towards the audience it was intended for. They can look at complaints from the public and decide on whether the classification they’ve given is still suitable.

  6. Role and purpose Established in September 2014. It’s the largest independent regulator of the newspaper and magazine industry in the UK and exists to promote and uphold the highest professional standards of journalism in the UK, and to support members of the public in seeking redress where they believe that the Editor’s Code of Practice has been breached. The code deals with issues such as accuracy, invasion of privacy, intrusion into grief or shock and harassment. They are able to consider concerns about editorial content in newspapers and magazines, and about the conduct of journalism. They handle complaints, and conduct their own investigations into editorial standards and compliance. Legal powers They have the power, where necessary, to require the publication of prominent corrections and critical adjudications, and may ultimately fine publications in cases where failings are particularly serious and systematic.

  7. Media aspects covered IPSO make sure that member newspapers and magazines follow the Editor’s code. They look at a he variety of different magazines and newspapers such as ‘All about Soap’, and the ‘Hackney Gazette’ as well as the ‘Worthing Herald’. Case Studies ‘Kate Farrow V Lancashire Evening Post’- A newspaper report was written about a young lady who had been an exotic dancer and had committed suicide. The step mother wrote a complaint saying that the newspaper went into detail on the death and it was upsetting to the family. ‘A man V Belfast Telegraph’- A man complained that his sons yearbook quote which featured a quote from Hitler, as well as describing himself as a Fascist. IPSO decided that there was no breach, and the son had chosen to put these comments into the public domain, and that his face had been pixelated in the newspaper.

  8. Controversies The IPSO hasn’t been involved with many controversies themselves, but they have looked at a number of different newspaper articles that have been considered incorrect. This can be seen repeatedly at the Sun newspaper where IPSO have had to get them to alter their wording, headings, articles, or to make apologies for using photo’s of people that shouldn’t have been taken, such as of Andy Murray’s daughter in a pushchair. Something that may be seen as controversial is the fact that the Financial Times, The Independent, and The Guardian newspapers have all indicated they will not take part in the organisation. How they impact on the production of a media product They are able to correct any articles that people may have assumed as factual. This helps with not misleading the general public as well as not giving them any information that could be seen as creating problems, such as fears over Muslims, as well as correlations that may have linked with leaving the EU that newspapers referred to as causation. People within these jobs will need to make sure they are careful with what they say, this is good.

  9. Role and purpose To regulate the content of advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing in the UK, by investigating complaints made about ads, sales promotions or direct marketing. They will then decide whether such advertising complies with its advertising standards codes. These codes say that before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove all claims, whether direct or implied, that are capable of objective substantiation, and that no marketing communication should mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise. Legal powers Ads in the UK are regulated through a system of ‘self regulation’ and ‘co regulation’. They make sure that ads across the media are sticking to the rules. They look at potential consumer protection issues, or where there are societal concerns about specific products, for instance age restricted products like alcohol, gambling, or electronic cigarettes. The advertising codes require that advertisers hold evidence to prove claims that they make before they are published or aired. They have universal coverage across the advertising industry, advertisers cannot opt out of them. If they judge that an ad has broken the advertising rules, then it must be withdrawn or amended. They can refer to other bodies such as Trading Standards, or Ofcom. They will also be disqualified from industry awards. If they refer to ASA or Ofcom, then the company may risk facing fines, or have their license to broadcast withdrawn.

  10. Media aspects covered Print media has advertisements that fall in paid for spaces, this is in newspapers as well as magazines. If the editor of the publication maintains control over the advertorial, the piece is likely to be seen as editorial rather than advertising. Broadcast media control of regulation was handed over to the ASA on a provisional two year contract. Claims on shopping channels can also be considered by the ASA. Direct marketing such as circulars, leaflets, emails, brochures etc are all typically within the ASA’s remit. ASA has covered claims that appear on a company’s own website, as well as covering claims that appear in paid for spaces on the internet, including pop up ads, banner ads, and sponsored links. Online sales promotions are within ASA’s remit as long as they appear in ‘British web space’. Case studies Trip advertiser were found breaching the rules, when it was noted their slogan ‘reviews you can trust’ wasn’t completely factual as it couldn’t be proven all of their reviews were from real travellers, or were honest, real or trusted. Because of this, the company have since changed their slogan to ‘reviews from our community’. Apple were also found to be breaking rules when they advertised ‘the worlds fastest personal computer’, this was judged to be unsubstantiated. The complains of two other claims made for the products were not upheld. Later an advertisement for the iphone was banned because of false claims that it could access ‘all of the internet’.

  11. Controversies Other companies have been allowed to use their advertisement even though a complain was lodged, this would be due to the complaint being rejected. This was the case for the brand Sofa King. They were told they would no longer be allowed to use the tagline ‘Sofa King low’ because it would be considered likely to cause serious and widespread offence, due to its use of a pun based on profanity. The owner disputed these claims, saying that he had run advertisement in the local newspaper for 10 years without complaints, and likened it to other brands such as FCUK, which hadn’t received complaints. Another controversial case is an animal rights group saying the humane milk is a myth. This received complaints from farmers to the ASA, but it was decided that this would be seen as an opinion and not fact, so the animal rights group would be allowed to carry on with their campaign. How they impact on the production of a media product ASA will make sure that everything is factual and correct. This means that the general public will have a completely informed, and unbiased take on anything being advertised to them. This allows them to make a decision based on fact, and not to purchase a product that is spouting false claims. If companies were allowed to use false advertisement, it would mean lots of people using the product would be disappointed. Through the use of ASA, it means people know exactly what they’re going to get.

  12. Office of communications

  13. Role and purpose The Uk’s largest government approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries. Some of the main areas that Ofcom presides over are licensing, research, codes and policies, complaints, competition, and protecting the radio spectrum from abuse (eg pirate radio stations). The regulator was initially established by the office of Communications act and received full authority a year later. They have wide ranging powers across the television, radio, telecoms, and postal sectors. It has a statutory duty to represent the interests of citizens and consumers by promoting competition and protecting the public from harmful or offensive material. Legal powers Ofcom is required to take the steps it considers appropriate to promote equality of opportunity between men and women, people of different racial groups, and for disabled people in employment and training by television and radio broadcasters. If a broadcaster breaks the rules repeatedly, or in a way Ofcom consider to be serious, they have the legal powers to impose sanctions. Possible sanctions include a substantial fine, shortening or even taking away the channel or stations license to broadcast.

  14. Media aspects covered Ofcom covers a variety of different media. They license all Uk commercial television and radio services. Broadcasters must comply with their terms or their license can be revoked. They have rulings such as when programmes not suitable for children can be aired on TV. They also look into telephone and broadband, they enforce conditions by which all must abide. These general conditions are wide ranging rules relating to matters such as telephone numbering, sales, and marketing. Ofcom made a number of changes to the way phone calls to Uksevice numbers would be charged. Call charges must be clearly stated on all materials that advertise a service number. They are also responsible for the management, regulation, assignment and licensing of the electromagnetic spectrum in the Uk, and licenses portions of it for use in television and radio broadcasts. Ofcom have inherited the functions of Postcomm after regulatory responsibility services was transferred to them. Case studies They have ensured customers have uninterrupted access to emergency organisations. This involved informal engagements with certain telecoms companies to assess, the processes they have in place for carrying out 999 or 112 test calls, as well as the effectiveness of emergency call monitoring that they have in place to alert them to any issues arising on their networks. When investigating the Royal Mail’s performance, they found it was disrupted by certain events beyond its control, in particular, the severe weather which had a significant impact. They found that the Royal Mail had missed its targets by a relatively small amount. The Royal Mail took steps to mitigate the impact of events outside its control.

  15. Controversies The Qatar based newsmedia outlet was reported to Ofcom following an expose about Israeli diplomatic cop irregularities and influence peddling amongst political and student groups in the UK. After investigations exceeding eight months, Ofcom reported that Al Jazeera was in line with journalism standards, and cleared the filmmakers of the allegations. Ofcom ruled that Press TV was responsible for a serious breach of UK broadcasting rules and could face a fine for airing an interview with MaziarBahari. It was suggested that the regulator is made up of former executives of which some are well linked to and influenced by powerful pro-Israeli politicians. How they impact on the production of a media product Ofcom are very important, especially when it comes to the Royal Mail. They are in charge of making sure that they are working to the highest standard, and make sure that they are delivering all postage to the rulings they have been given, this includes making sure mail arrives at the allotted time. They have a statutory duty to represent the interests of citizens and consumers by promoting competition and protecting the public from harmful or offensive material. They also make sure that radio stations aren’t being interfered with pirates. This could be seen as very important as these pirate radios don’t abide by any laws, so they will just do what they want. This could potentially be incredibly harmful. But it also means that the radio station that is paying money to be on that frequency, can no longer promote their station, this would effect advertising and could cost a lot of money to fix.

  16. Role and purpose They are a European video game content rating system. They allow consumers to make informed decisions when buying video games or apps through the use of age recommendations and content descriptors. It’s now used in 39 countries and is based on a code of conduct, a set of rules to which every publisher in contractually committed to. It’s composed of five age categories and eight content descriptors that advise the suitability and content of a game for a certain age range based on the games content. The age rating is not intended to indicate the difficulty of a game, or the skills required to play it. Legal powers It must be ensured that the content, distribution by any means, promotion and advertising of the Products covered have been complied with at all times, with existing and future laws and regulations and an EU and national level. They can cause a temporary suspension of products. They can have a mandatory modification of any associated advertisements both on and off line. They can disqualify products for a set period. They are allowed to give fines of up to £500,000 per violation depending on the gravity and the failure to take appropriate remedial action.

  17. Media aspects covered PEGI will only look at the games from producers that use them. This means that other countries such as USA, will have an alternative company to issue game ratings. However games monitored by PEGI are still bought and played in every country, so they need to make sure they are doing the correct job. The only other media was in a PC gamer article that stated PEGI had leaked a confirmation of a remaster for a Call of Duty. It said that PEGI had given it an age rating of 18. Case studies The game ‘Hatred’ was given an age rating of 18 by PEGI. This was due to the fact it involved unleashing genocide, killing innocent people. It goes in to graphic detail and there are points in it where civilians are begging for their life. Call of Duty: Black Ops III was also given an age rating of 18. This was due to the amount of realistic violence it portrayed. People may feel that this is actually happening. Call of Duty has also been attributed to a number of mass shootings, with people suggesting that it could be the fault of the games for causing people to want to do this.

  18. Controversies The game Hatred had been removed from streaming sites such as Steam and Valve. However after a review it was put back on just two days later as the co founder felt that removing it had not been a good decision. PEGI, had not made any comments about it publicly. PEGI couldn’t and wouldn’t suggest a rating based on the content of a trailer, as they are only able to comment on actual game content, and at the time it wasn’t available. PEGI doesn’t censor games in any way, and they do not have the authority to ban games, this is left up to the local government. How they impact on the production of a media product Because PEGI are unable to ban games, they would not be able to prevent a game from being released. However they are able to suggest what could possibly get the game banned, and then the company can make changes. This rating system is good as it allows younger people to also play video games, without needing to be worried about graphic violence, and other similar things. The PEGI rating system may however cause a game to be rated higher than the company was hoping, however they would be able to make the required changes to then lower the rating.