We are proposing new rules to require broadcasters to ensure they take ‘due care’ of people participating in television and radio programmes, extending existing protections.
Ofcom already has rules in the Broadcasting Code placing responsibilities on broadcasters around programme participants, and specific guidelines on the ‘due care’ required for minors who take part in programmes.
There has been growing openness and concern in society about mental health and wellbeing in recent years. Ofcom has also seen a steady rise in complaints expressing concern about the welfare and wellbeing of people who take part in programmes.
Against this backdrop, we have been reviewing our existing protections for participants, and whether they should be extended to reflect the level of protection that exists for under-eighteens. Since we began examining these issues, events surrounding the cancellation of ITV’s Jeremy Kyle Show in May 2019 – and high levels of public concern about aspects of reality and other types of TV programmes – have underlined the importance of our review.
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