HC Deb 10 April 2002 vol 383 cc310-1W
Miss McIntosh

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which elements of the programme content rules imposed upon broadcasters cover(a)responsibility in religious programme content, (b)exploitation of audience susceptibilities, (c)abuse/incitement to hatred, (d)declaration of identity of religious bodies involved in programmes, (e)accuracy and fairness, (f)recognition of other religions, (g)appeals and donations, (h)recruitment, (i)claims and substantiation, (j)blasphemy and obscenity, (k)unacceptable organisations or practices, (l)religious advertising and (m)religious worship; and what assessment she has made of whether these rules adequately regulate the content of religious broadcasting. [46128]

Dr. Howells

The information is set out in the following table:

Question Provision
(l)Religious advertising BSC: Code on Standards (Section 13)
ITC: Broadcasting Act 1990: Section 6 (1) (d) and ITC Programme Code (Sections 7.5–7.9)
BBC: Not applicable.
RAu: Advertising and Sponsorship Code, particularly Section 3, Rule 3 Religion, Faith and Related Systems of Belief
(m)Religious worship BSC: Code on Standards (Section 31)
ITC: Broadcasting Act 1990: Section 6 (1) (d) and ITC Programme Code (Sections 7.1–7.3)
BBC: BBC Producers' Guidelines (Chapter 6: Section 9)
RAu: Broadcasting Act 1990: Section 90 (2)(c) and Programme Code Rule 7.1

We stated in the Communications White Paper that we will "maintain the requirement that due responsibility be exercised with respect to the content of religious programmes. Under the Broadcasting Act 1990, such programmes must not involve an improper exploitation of any susceptibilities of those watching or any abusive treatment of the religious views and beliefs of those belonging to a particular religion or religious denomination" [6.9.1]. The regulators are responsible for the Codes and guidelines, and from time to time to review them. Copies are available from the regulators. We are considering, in the light of the responses to the various consultations on ownership of the permitted licences by religious organisations, whether or not to retain rules in this respect also.