Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Second Report


Annex 2a

Broadcasting Task Group: Policy Sub Group

PRINCIPLES OF COVERAGE BY BROADCASTERS

Preface

  This paper outlines a set of principles agreed with representatives of BBC Wales, HTV Wales and S4C guiding broadcasting from the National Assembly. The Assembly will take its own view of broadcasting arrangements but there needs to be a set of guidelines to assist the broadcasters from day one. This guidance applies only to the use of material provided by the operator of the Assembly proceedings. In drafting this document we have tried to avoid being overly prescriptive while at the same time recognising the integrity of the proceedings.

Principles

  1.  The operator (ie, whoever is selected to produce the signal) should be responsible to the appropriate committee of the Assembly for implementing the rules of coverage agreed with the broadcasting organisations.

  2.  The operator should be contracted to ensure that the signal provides a full, fair and accurate account of the proceedings of the Assembly.

  3.  The rules of coverage apply to the plenary session of the Assembly and to proceedings of the Assembly Committees.

  4.  A television and radio signal will be provided for the entirety of all plenary sessions of the Assembly. All proceedings of the Assembly should be available for radio only broadcast. It may not be possible to provide television of all Committees, but a system should be agreed with the broadcasters for designating those Committees to be televised.

  5.  It is the duty of the operator to provide coverage which follows the proceedings of the Assembly and its Committees. This means that the coverage must concentrate primarily on the Assembly member who is speaking. However, a variety of shots may be used to illustrate the geography of the Chamber.

  6.  It should be the duty of the operator to provide coverage which clearly shows the method of voting in the Assembly, however it is organised.

  7.  As a general rule, the operator should switch to a picture of the Presiding Officer whenever he or she is speaking. A close-up or a wide-angle shot would be permissible.

  8.  When using the signal in their programmes, all broadcasting organisations must pay heed to the dignity of the Assembly. It would not be appropriate to use extracts from the coverage in any way which might trivialise the proceedings or undermine the authority of the Assembly.


 
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