Ethical Considerations

“Bournemouth University is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards in all its activities, including projects such as this one.  You are responsible for ensuring that your work meets these standards.”

As a journalist making a feature for Elle Magazine I have ensured the Editorial Guidelines (IPSO) which apply to my MMP project will be followed.

Editors’ Code of Practice

About the Editors’ Code

  • The Editors’ Code of Practice sets out the rules that newspapers and magazines regulated by IPSO have agreed to follow. 
  • The Code is written and administered by the Editors’ Code Committee and enforced by IPSO.

The Code

“The Code – including this preamble and the public interest exceptions below – sets the framework for the highest professional standards that members of the press subscribing to the Independent Press Standards Organisation have undertaken to maintain. It is the cornerstone of the system of voluntary self-regulation to which they have made a binding contractual commitment. It balances both the rights of the individual and the public’s right to know.

To achieve that balance, it is essential that an agreed Code be honoured not only to the letter but in the full spirit. It should be interpreted neither so narrowly as to compromise its commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly that it infringes the fundamental right to freedom of expression – such as to inform, to be partisan, to challenge, shock, be satirical and to entertain – or prevents publication in the public interest.

It is the responsibility of editors and publishers to apply the Code to editorial material in both printed and online versions of their publications. They should take care to ensure it is observed rigorously by all editorial staff and external contributors, including non-journalists.

Editors must maintain in-house procedures to resolve complaints swiftly and, where required to do so, co- operate with IPSO. A publication subject to an adverse adjudication must publish it in full and with due prominence, as required by IPSO.”

Accuracy 

  • The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.
  •  A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator. 
  •  A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.
  •  The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
  • A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.

 My feature has first-hand sources who are involved in the initiative. My interview with everyone was typed up and sent to them for approval before including it in my MMP project. Furthermore, all relevant facts and information originate from a credible website which has been named.  

The Public Interest

“The public interest includes, but is not confined to:

  • Detecting or exposing crime, or the threat of crime, or serious impropriety.
  • Protecting public health or safety.
  • Protecting the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation.
  • Disclosing a person or organisation’s failure or likely failure to comply with any obligation to which they are subject.
  • Disclosing a miscarriage of justice.
  • Raising or contributing to a matter of public debate, including serious cases of impropriety, unethical conduct or incompetence concerning the public.
  • Disclosing concealment, or likely concealment, of any of the above.
  • There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself.
  • The regulator will consider the extent to which material is already in the public domain or will or will become so.
  • Editors invoking the public interest will need to demonstrate that they reasonably believed publication – or journalistic activity taken with a view to publication – would both serve, and be proportionate to, the public interest and explain how they reached that decision at the time.
  • An exceptional public interest would need to be demonstrated to over-ride the normally paramount interests of children under 16.”

The initiative itself is aimed at improving the public’s health, therefore it is essential that they are aware of the initiative. I have done this through my MMP project, by producing an impartial project with fact allowing for the public to make an informed decision.

Hospitals

“Journalists must identify themselves and obtain permission from a responsible executive before entering non-public areas of hospitals or similar institutions to pursue enquiries.”

 “The restrictions on intruding into privacy are particularly relevant to enquiries about individuals in hospitals or similar institutions.”

I contacted all the hospitals that were used in my project and got permission to film and interview people in them. There were certain areas which were out of bounds because of the hospital patients and confidentiality. I respect this area and no filming was conducted in these areas.

BBC Editorial Guidelines

The Editorial Guidelines are the BBC’s values and standards. They apply to all our content, wherever and however it is received.

 Section 4 – Impartiality 

“Impartiality lies at the heart of public service and is the core of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences.  It applies to all our output and services – television, radio, online, and in our international services and commercial magazines. We must be inclusive, considering the broad perspective and ensuring the existence of a range of views is appropriately reflected.”

I have created a balance feature with opposing views by interviewing Sarah Watson and contrasting this with John Halle, therefore, showing the positive and negative experiences of Choosing Wisely. I have also included doctors who are optimistic about the initiative and those who have their reservations about it.

7.4.1 Privacy and Consent

“When contributors give informed consent to take part in our output, they can be assumed to have waived their expectations of privacy in relation to their contribution, subject to any agreed conditions placed on their participation.”

All my interviewees have signed an Interview Release Form which allows all content to be edited and published online. In regards to phone interviews, they have emailed me giving their consent for the interview to be used and published.

Copyright- OFCOM

“The current act is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions, rights to control the ways in which their material may be used.”

I have taken this into consideration and my music and sound content were downloaded from copyright free websites which give me permission to use the content. (www.bensound.com)


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