4.4.29 – The BBC has a tradition of allowing a wide range of individuals, groups or organisations to offer a personal view or opinion, express a belief, or advance a contentious argument in its output. This can range from the outright expression of highly partial views by a campaigner, to the opinion of a specialist or professional including an academic or scientist, to views expressed through contributions from our audiences. All of these can add to the public understanding and debate, especially when they allow our audience to hear fresh and original perspectives on familiar issues.
Such personal view content must be clearly signposted to audiences in advance.
All of my interviewees, have something to add to the documentary, from personal experiences of death row, to a lawyer discussing the judiciary system in place and an organisation helping those death row inmates through a pen pal system. All my interviewees will be expressing their opinions – some of these will be very strong and opposing views. I must clearly and coherently express that these are the views of the individuals.
4.4.30 – Additionally, when personal view programmes and websites (for example, blogs) cover ‘controversial subjects’, especially those concerning matters of public policy or political or industrial controversy, we should:
- retain a respect for factual accuracy
- fairly represent opposing viewpoints when included
- provide an opportunity to respond when appropriate, for example in a pre-arranged discussion programme
- ensure that a sufficiently broad range of views and perspectives is included in output of a similar type and weight and in an appropriate timeframe.
Not only will I ensure that the personal content expressed within the actual documentary is signposted but I must also ensure the same for any online content created for this blog.