The British Broadcasting Corp. will have to adhere to stricter rules on taste, decency and impartiality under its new draft charter published Nov. 27 by the government.
In effect, these changes bring the pubcaster into line with the U.K.’s commercial webs, which already are subject to a clear regulatory code on sex and violence.
The Royal Charter that governs the BBC’s existence as a public broadcaster is up for renewal at the end of 1996.
The new charter will define the BBC’s identity into the next century.
The government has avoided the temptation for radical reform, concentrating instead on bringing the BBC’s public-service obligations into sharper focus.
For the first time, the BBC’s editorial independence will be specifically guaranteed – previously, this was an unwritten convention.