BBC Consent and fairness

Increasingly in a digital media environment there are a myriad of consent definitions.  These are created to address a wide range of events and image or editorial participation. The BBC being a fair-minded public sector broadcaster regularly reviews its legal responsibilities to its contributors. Referring to their editorial guidelines is a robust touchstone for the participation in image and media production for wide audiences.

We (the BBC) should aim to obtain consent in a form that is provable. Wherever practicable, it is advisable for consent to be in writing (by letter, email or contributor consent form) or recorded on film or tape, demonstrating the information given to the contributor and their agreement to participate. However, in many cases contributors will indicate their consent tacitly, simply by taking part in our content.  

There is a relevant caveat to the consent procedure, that recognises that contributors may be informed after the event of their consent to contribute, that the changes have been made to their contribution and  tey can be consulted and in retrospect agree (or not) their participation.

Significant Changes after Consent has been Obtained.

Remember that we should normally make contributors aware of significant changes to a programme or other content as it develops and prior to transmission, if such changes might reasonably be considered to have affected their original decision to participate, had it been known at the time.  If the contributor seeks to withdraw consent as a consequence of these changes it is advisable to consult with Editorial Policy.

(See also Editorial Guidelines Section 6 Fairness 6.4.4)

Section 6 provides insight into the producer’s desire to retain editorial control of a consenting contribution. Ie fairness will be applied.  However they retain editorial control and will only agree for: factual inaccuracies or for reasonable concerns about the welfare of children, personal safety, or national security

There is a reticence to retrospectively consider offering changes to a contribution.

Section 6:

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