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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

320Special impartiality requirements
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The requirements of this section are—

(a)the exclusion, in the case of television and radio services (other than a restricted service within the meaning of section 245), from programmes included in any of those services of all expressions of the views or opinions of the person providing the service on any of the matters mentioned in subsection (2);

(b)the preservation, in the case of every television programme service, teletext service, national radio service and national digital sound programme service, of due impartiality, on the part of the person providing the service, as respects all of those matters;

(c)the prevention, in the case of every local radio service, local digital sound programme service or radio licensable content service, of the giving of undue prominence in the programmes included in the service to the views and opinions of particular persons or bodies on any of those matters.

(2)Those matters are—

(a)matters of political or industrial controversy; and

(b)matters relating to current public policy.

(3)Subsection (1)(a) does not require—

(a)the exclusion from television programmes of views or opinions relating to the provision of programme services; or

(b)the exclusion from radio programmes of views or opinions relating to the provision of programme services.

(4)For the purposes of this section—

(a)the requirement specified in subsection (1)(b) is one that (subject to any rules under subsection (5)) may be satisfied by being satisfied in relation to a series of programmes taken as a whole;

(b)the requirement specified in subsection (1)(c) is one that needs to be satisfied only in relation to all the programmes included in the service in question, taken as a whole.

(5)OFCOM’s standards code shall contain provision setting out the rules to be observed in connection with the following matters—

(a)the application of the requirement specified in subsection (1)(b);

(b)the determination of what, in relation to that requirement, constitutes a series of programmes for the purposes of subsection (4)(a);

(c)the application of the requirement in subsection (1)(c).

(6)Any provision made for the purposes of subsection (5)(a) must, in particular, take account of the need to ensure the preservation of impartiality in relation to the following matters (taking each matter separately)—

(a)matters of major political or industrial controversy, and

(b)major matters relating to current public policy,

as well as of the need to ensure that the requirement specified in subsection (1)(b) is satisfied generally in relation to a series of programmes taken as a whole.

(7)In this section “national radio service” and “local radio service” mean, respectively, a sound broadcasting service which is a national service within the meaning of section 245 and a sound broadcasting service which is a local service within the meaning of that section.

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