Information for broadcasters about their obligations under the Broadcasting Act 1989 including dealing with complaints, broadcasting levies and publicity notices
The BSA does not have any power to monitor broadcasters, or to take action against a broadcaster outside of the formal complaints process. The BSA’s jurisdiction is triggered only when a formal complaint is made to the broadcaster, the broadcaster has responded to the complaint and the complainant has referred the complaint to us within the required timeframes. There are two exceptions, privacy and election programme complaints, which may be made directly to the BSA.
The BSA does not review or provide examples of warnings or audience advisories, as the wording required will be context-specific. The broadcaster is required under the broadcasting standards to determine what language is used in an audience advisory.
The BSA is unable to provide specific advice about whether certain content might breach broadcasting standards, as this might risk pre-determining the Authority’s views if a complaint about this content were to come before it.
All of the BSA’s decisions are available on our website here and are a useful resource. The decisions contain guidance from the Authority about the standards and it may be that the Authority has considered a similar issue before.
We are also able to provide general guidance about broadcasting standards and the factors the Authority might consider when looking at broadcasting standards complaints. If you have a question, please feel free to contact us.