5.4.27 – Our audiences, particularly children, can be frightened or distressed by the portrayal of both real and fictional violence.  We should make very careful judgements when we plan to include violence in our output; there is increasing public concern about violence in society in general and as portrayed in the media, both in factual and fictional content.

Consideration should be given to the editorial justification for any depiction of violence, and violent content should normally be clearly signposted.  When real life violence, or its aftermath, is shown on television or reported on radio and online we need to strike a balance between the demands of accuracy and the dangers of desensitisation or unjustified distress.  There are very few circumstances in which it is justified to broadcast the moment of death.

There will discussion of violence that someone experienced within my documentary – and it is important that it is included because it honestly and truthfully depicts the ordeal that someone experienced first hand. 

Children and Dangerous Imitation

5.4.48 – Children can be influenced by what they see, hear and read.  Behaviour likely to be easily imitable by children in a manner that is dangerous, must not be broadcast before the watershed or on radio when children are particularly likely to be in our audience or online when content is likely to appeal to a significant proportion of children. 

My documentary is not aimed at younger audiences below 16 really – so the inclusion of violence in my documentary can be included as it shouldn’t affect the future behaviour of young people as they won’t be listening to it. 

5.4.49 – Very careful judgements are required about content which might lead to dangerous imitation, particularly when they include the use of domestic objects (such as knives, hammers and scissors) in violent acts.  Such content must not be featured in output made primarily for children unless there is a strong editorial justification.  Factual programmes designed for children should ensure that care is taken to discourage imitation of techniques, experiments and so forth.


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