The regulation of media content in the United Kingdom primarily revolves around codes of practice. These codes are drawn by many regulating bodies which are largely or entirely independent but must be drawn after public consultation.
This ensures media freedom, while at the same time it protects the rights and privacy of individual citizens. The codes of practices can also be formulated by agencies that have been granted statutory powers to regulate the media. Journalists and the media have also created their codes to self-regulate.
This doesn’t mean the media in the UK isn’t subject to other laws of the land. For example, a media company can sue or can be sued for defamation or even a breach of contract. As a law student, you can find out more from your law tutors about how the media is affected by the laws of the land.
In the UK, print media is self-regulating and is not subject to any statutory rules. However, the players in this industry have a Press Complaints Commission (PCC) to help maintain high journalistic standards.
Their code of practice has 16 articles that deal with a range of issues such as payments for articles, confidential sources, discrimination, listening devices, children, intrusion, harassment, privacy, and accuracy of information. Anyone can lodge a formal complaint with the PCC if they feel their rights have been breached by a magazine or newspaper.
Regulation Of Broadcasting Content
The UK has a statute that regulates broadcasting. Private radio and television are regulated by the Radio Authority (RA) and the Independent Television Commission (ITC), respectively.
The statutes regulating broadcasting in the UK are anchored in the Broadcasting Act of 1990. The law requires that those who want to establish radio or television stations must meet certain requirements before they are licensed.
What a Law Student Needs To Know
As a law student, you need to be all-around. The media industry is very complex, and during your practice, you might be called upon to represent a media company or an individual against a media company. Get a good law tutor London to help guide you in this field.