Public opinion concerning television's coverage of politics

Date of publication: June 15, 1986

Author: Robert Towler

Abstract:

Politicians and broadcasters alike concerned that the balance of television coverage should be fair to all side's during elections and over those much longer periods between them. In the production of news and current affairs, the BBC's Charter and the Broadcasting Act, which covers the independent broadcasting sector, require television and radio services to be informative and impartial, while arrangements are negotiated between broadcasters and the major political parties to determine the distribution and production of party political (and election) broadcasts. However, there are often occasions when the requirement to report political events with "due impartiality" conflicts with the journalistic criterion to fill news programmes with events that are newsworthy, especially if one party happens to be making all the running.

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