Saturday, June 22, 2024

Election 2024 – the rules Kennet Radio follows

We’re now in the general election period, in the run-up to the big day on July 4th.

Along with other broadcasters, Kennet Radio recently attended an Ofcom briefing about the rules in place for our broadcasts until the election is over.

These include ensuring due impartiality in our programmes. Any local story we cover which mentions one election candidate must give due coverage to the other candidates, based on past and present evidence of public support. We don’t have to use a stopwatch and give precisely equal time to each candidate, but we must be duly impartial in our shows.

Here’s how Ofcom describes the rule:

The highest level of due impartiality applies during the election period. During this period, political parties and independent candidates must be given due weight across a broadcaster’s TV and radio coverage. This means they must receive the appropriate level of coverage based on their past and current electoral support. Broadcasters must also consider giving appropriate coverage to parties and independent candidates with significant views and perspectives. If a political candidate takes part in a programme about the constituency in which they’re standing, the broadcaster must also give the opportunity for other candidates in that constituency, based on their past and current electoral support, to take part too. But if other candidates cannot or do not want to take part, they cannot prevent the programme from going ahead.

You can read more about Ofcom’s rules here and here.