TIME TO DISINFECT T.V. LANGUAGE.
Effing and fining
Swearing on TV and radio has always been a contentious subject and in recent weeks broadcasters have come under increasing fire over the issue.
Several national newspapers have launched campaigns to curb bad language and MPs have also waded into the debate.
But rules already exist on what can be aired and when - and Ofcom takes action if these rules are broken.
Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code sets standards for television and radio shows which broadcasters have to follow.
These rules not only exist to protect viewers and listeners but also to ensure broadcasters have the freedom to make challenging programmes.
For example, broadcasters can transmit provocative material, such as swearing, sex scenes and violence.
But if they do transmit such material they have to ensure it is editorially justified and the audience is given appropriate information.
The Code also has strict rules on swearing before the 9pm watershed when children could be watching.
It states that the ‘most offensive language’ must not be broadcast before the watershed or when children are particularly likely to be listening.
Offensive language must also not be used in programmes made for younger children, except in the most exceptional circumstances.