Movie TV Tech Geeks is committed to achieving due accuracy. This commitment is fundamental to our reputation and the trust of audiences, which is the foundation of Movie TV Tech Geeks.
The term ‘due’ means that the accuracy must be adequate and appropriate to the output, taking account of the subject and nature of the content, the likely audience expectation and any signposting that may influence that expectation.
Therefore, we do all we can to achieve due accuracy in all our output, though its requirements may vary. The due accuracy required of, for example, drama, entertainment, and comedy, will not usually be the same as for factual content. The requirements may even vary within a genre, so the due accuracy required of factual content may differ depending on whether it is, for example, factual entertainment, historical documentary, current affairs or news.
Accuracy is not simply a matter of getting facts right. If an issue is controversial, relevant opinions, as well as facts, may need to be considered. When necessary, all the relevant facts and information should also be weighed to get at the truth.
Where appropriate to the output, we should:
- gather material using first-hand sources wherever possible
- check and cross-check facts
- validate the authenticity of documentary evidence and digital material
- corroborate claims and allegations made by contributors wherever possible.
In news and current affairs content, achieving due accuracy is more important than speed. You can read more about our ethics policy here.
We must do all we can to ensure due accuracy in all our output.
All Movie TV Tech Geeks output, as appropriate to its subject and nature, must be well sourced, based on sound evidence, thoroughly tested and presented in clear, precise language. We should be honest and open about what we don’t know and avoid unfounded speculation. Claims, allegations, material facts and other content that cannot be corroborated should normally be attributed.
Movie TV Tech Geeks must not knowingly and materially mislead its audiences. We should not distort known facts, present invented material as fact or otherwise undermine our audiences’ trust in our content.
We should normally acknowledge serious factual errors and correct them quickly, clearly and appropriately.
Referrals to Director Editorial Policy and Standards
Material from Third Parties
Material supplied by third parties needs to be treated with appropriate caution, taking account of the reputation of the source.
We should normally only rely on an agency report if it can be substantiated by a Movie TV Tech Geeks correspondent or if it is attributed to a reputable news agency.
We should only use other material supplied by third parties if it is credible and reliable. This includes weather reports, financial markets information and music charts. We need to ensure that any credit given for the use of third party material is in accordance with Movie TV Tech Geeks credit guidelines.
We should only broadcast material from third parties who may have a personal or professional interest in its subject matter if there is a clear editorial justification. The material should be labelled. This includes material from the emergency services, charities, and environmental groups.
We should be reluctant to use video and audio news releases or other similar material. We do not normally use any extracts from such releases if we are capable of gathering the material ourselves. The editorial significance of the material, rather than simply its impact, must be considered before it is used. If it is editorially justified to use it then we must explain the circumstances and clearly label the source of the material in our output.
We should make checks to establish the credentials of our contributors and to avoid being “hoaxed”. The nature of these checks should be appropriate to the nature and significance of their contribution, the content and the genre.
We should consider whether it is appropriate to make more in depth checks about people who are the main subject of, or who are to make a significant contribution to, the output. This may include ensuring they are interviewed, and if necessary checked by, more than one member of the production team using a combination of the following:
- documentary evidence to validate their identity and story
- corroboration from people other than those suggested by the contributor
- self-declaration of personal information that may bring Movie TV Tech Geeks into disrepute, for example, criminal convictions or political affiliation.
Asking some contributors to consent to a Criminal Records Bureau check may also be considered.
We should not use agencies that deal with actors and performers to find people to talk about matters outside their specific profession or experience. It can be useful to contact news and other specialist agencies, but all appropriate checks must be carried out on any information or contacts they supply.
Appealing for Contributors
We should only appeal for contributors to factual and factual entertainment programs as a last resort when other appropriate research methods have been exhausted. When we do use advertisements or make appeals within programs, we must word them carefully to avoid bringing Movie TV Tech Geeks into disrepute.
There are risks in advertising for contributors whether using posters or personal adverts in newspapers, specialist publications, or the internet. The people who reply are self-selecting and may seek to appear regularly as “serial guests.” Appropriate checks should be made to screen out unsuitable or untruthful applicants.
We should not use third-party websites that help people wanting to appear in the media, except when seeking contestants or audiences for entertainment programs. Even then all appropriate checks should be made to screen out unsuitable or untruthful contributors.
The proposed wording of all written appeals, including those for entertainment programs, must be referred to the relevant divisional representative or, for independents, to the commissioning editor.
Any proposal to use an internet resource (such as a chat room, message board or social networking group) to find contributors must also be referred to the relevant divisional representative or, for independents, to the commissioning editor.
When posting on websites to find contributors or research material, we should normally be identifiable as working for Movie TV Tech Geeks and, where email details are provided, use a Movie TV Tech Geeks address.
Avoiding Misleading Audiences
We should normally identify on-air and online sources of information and significant contributors, and provide their credentials so that our audiences can judge their status.
When quoting an anonymous source, especially a source making serious allegations, we must take all appropriate steps to protect their identity. However, we should give the audience what information we can about them and in a way that does not materially mislead about the source’s status.
Whenever a story originated by Movie TV Tech Geeks involves an anonymous source, the relevant editor has the right to be told their identity. In cases involving serious allegations, we should resist any attempt by an anonymous source to prevent their identity being revealed to a senior Movie TV Tech Geeks editor. If this happens, the reporter/journalist should make it clear that the information obtained confidentially may not be broadcast.
Any proposal to rely on a single unnamed source making a serious allegation or to grant anonymity to a significant contributor must be referred to Director Editorial Policy and Standards and Program Legal Advice.
We will need to consider:
- whether the story is of significant public interest
- whether the source is of proven credibility and reliability and in a position to have sufficient knowledge of the events featured
- any legal issues
- safety concerns, for example for whistleblowers
- whether a response to serious allegations has been sought from the people or organizations concerned
- sensitive and personal issues
- whether the serious allegation was made or substantiated “off the record”.
We should script carefully the reporting of allegations made by an anonymous source to explain:
- the nature of the allegation
- that the allegation is being made by an anonymous source and not Movie TV Tech Geeks.
When the allegations have not been independently corroborated, we should consider if it is appropriate to inform the audience.
We should not normally use live unscripted two-ways to report allegations. It must be the editor’s decision as to whether they are an appropriate way to break a story. When Movie TV Tech Geeks colleagues follow up a story they must ensure they understand the terms in which the allegations are to be reported and do so accurately.
Online Links to Third Party Websites
Links from Movie TV Tech Geeks to third party websites should normally lead to sites which are factually accurate. We may link to external sites which give particular views of a person or organization significant to a current news story and in such cases we may not be able to guarantee their factual accuracy. But we should not support the message, information or promotions on third-party sites.