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Unit 41 LO1 Codes and Conventions of Radio

Part 1

A short news programme reporting only the most important information.
Stories not covered in depth and gives listeners a general roundup of the
days main news stories. News bulletins are used by the majority of high
ranking stations including BBC Radio 2 and Sky radio. They are the best
way of giving the audience information on current affairs quickly and
Here is an example of a new bulletin on Sky radio news. (Taken from

The title of an article describing the context of the news that will be
Short descriptions on what's going to be in the news program. These can
contain audio clips related to the upcoming story.
Similar to how news is introduced on the TV.
A headline is used at the beginning of a report or news announcement to
tell the audience what the subject of the matter is. Headlines must be
bold and gripping for viewers or listeners as they want to hear more.

News Programme
A programme devoted to current events often using interviews and
News programme is defined as a TV broadcast presenting important
recent events or developments, often presented "live". Best Single News
Story/Report (10mins or less) A single TV broadcast or account presenting

important recent events or developments, often a breaking news/

investigative report.
In the links bellows are two news stories. BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat and Radio 5
Live. Looking at the two of them there are differences in what appears more
important to its audience and how they are told.

Radio News 5 Live

On this radio report I get the impression that they are a lot more gritty and
straightforward with facts compared to Radio 1 Newsbeat. Two of the stories are
based around the same news, however we are given a much more insightful
picture in Radio News 5 Live. Was also hear about Tony Blair and Afghanistan.
The duration of these stories in comparison to Radio 1 are twice as long with
hard hitting words such as poisoning, warplanes and environmental issues.
The issues are important on Radio 5 whereas on Radio 1 it doesnt seem to
matter as much, likely because it is more of a sports station. Numbers and
details are given. Radio News 5 Live is informative. I feel this is targeted towards
a young to middle aged people.

Radio 1 Newsbeat
The stories in this news script involve Russian agents, mountain rescue teams
searching for missing climbers and sports at the end. I feel that this radio
channel is for elderly people as the news is told in an almost patronising way and
not all the stories are relevant to our lives, it is just stories being pushed out for
the sake of it. It is not as gritty and sometimes shocking as Radio News 5 Live
and doesnt give the top stories. The stories are also short and only names are
given instead of detailed information. Radio 1 Newsbeat is dull.
Different news programmes word their script differently based on their
audience. This is because your target audience needs to be able to
understand and be interested in what you're discussing. For example,
these two scripts have different target audiences, which is apparent on
the wording. The Newsbeat script uses slightly more informal language
and shorter more concise points whereas the Five Live news fleshes the
story out more. As well as uses language such as "Tony Blaire has said
remarkable progress is being made". The other report discussing the same
story states "Tony Blaire thanked troops for the courage they've shown".

This is done because they need to relate to their target audience,

therefore using slightly more sophisticated language such as "remarkable
progress" would relate to Five Live's audience a lot better than "thanked
troops", however this slightly more informal tone relates perfectly to the
Newsbeat audience.

Copy only/with audio clips

This form of radio is where the story is read by the news reporter alone,
meaning no interviews, video clips etc. Just the reporter reading the
current events. This tends to be the case on new events when not much
information is released so only a small description is available.
This is the BBCs midnight news. From 8.20-8.44 would be a copy only
story. The reporter is giving a brief explanation of what has happened
without the aid of interviews etc. This is because it is a new story so not
much information has been released. This feature isnt used usually unless
it is a new story as things like interviews and cross overs make the report
more interesting to listen to.


Wraps are found at the ending of each different story. They are used to
conclude a subject and continue onto the next one. Some of these could

be In other news. This means the current story has finished the next one
etc. This is to change the topic without it seeming too abrupt. (2.30-2.36) this is an
example of a wrap when the reporter says, anything could happen.
Here The here is to indicate a change in news topic.

Live Cross
This is where the presenter or newsreader cross over to another reporter,
usually out of the studio and on location.
We usually see this in sports on the radio. For example on talkSPORT
(, here they do a live
cross over from the studio over to Spain. The effect this would have on us
as listeners is that it allows us to feel more part of the action as we are
hearing the player speak live from another country. It also makes the story
more exciting to listen to as we hear an interview and the players
thoughts, not just the stations presenter thoughts.

Two way (live and as live)

Very similar to a live cross but can be pre-recorded, meaning it can be
played out at any time.
Again, in this BBC midnight news show, they incorporate two way (live and
as live) (4.48-5.29). Here they use pre-recorded information by David
Cameron discussing property prices and their tax. This is important to the
broadcast because we get to hear and understand more of the story by
hearing from our Prime minister.

Related to audience
How the radio news relates to a specific target audience. BBC Radio 4, talk
SPORT and Heat radio will all have different audiences due to what is said,
how the reports are told and what the main subjects of the stations are
telling us. For instance talk SPORT will inform its listeners with recent news
on sports such as football, rugby and cricket whereas Heat Radio will be
talking to its listeners about celebrity news, show business and pop music.
It is clear that the information the stations use in their broadcasts are
differing to relate to their audiences appeal.

Public Service
Public service radio is publicly funded through license fees. Due to it being
publicly funded, the news is required to be un-biased and truthful. It
should provide a representation of the UK; its nations, regions and
communities. All news forms can be covered from current affairs to
celebrity news. The BBC must follow a specific set of guidelines whether it
is on television or radio.

Most commercial radio stations serve a local or regional area and are
owned by one of Global, Bauer and UTV. Its income is generated through
advertisements and sponsorships throughout the broadcast. New
broadcasts can be more targeted towards certain regions, cultures and

Community radio serves geographic communities and communities of
interest. They often cover very local or specific news relatable only to a

small target audience. They are usually owned by the community that
they serve and are non-profit. They are a good platform for potential
broadcasters to gain industry experience. Often run as online stations to
keep costs lower. News is usually fairly basic and may rely on second hand
audio clips.

Small Scale
Small scale radio would have an even smaller target audience than a
community station. E.g. college radio. The news produced for a college
radio would have a strong college focus and feature things such as college
sports results.

Radio that provides very local news. BBC Berkshire Local radio stations
target their audience obviously very specifically depending on the area.
Including news stories only related to that area and addressing their
audience specifically do this. For example, from listening to BBC Radio
Berkshire it seems as if the presenters do more of the talking and play
less music. Whereas on a radio station such as Capital FM, they tend to
focus more on the music side than anything else, as they pride
themselves on being the number 1 hit music station. This suggests the
Berkshire audience to be slightly more mature (perhaps they don't want to
listen to the charts all day), therefore they have to be addressed in a
certain way. In terms of radio news all the topics in local news are based
on the area the station is serving. For example BBC Radio Berkshire
( in this they discuss
the murder of a boy from Reading, this is because the people of Berkshire
will want to know about local events.


Covers a larger area than local more like country sized target audience.
Whilst the BBC have large stations such as Radio 1, they also have
regional stations allow for the publics more specific interests to be met.
An example is Capital FM. London have such a vast mainstream audience
they need to make their news etc. relatable to pretty much everyone.
From looking on their website as to what stories are covered on air
( they
seem to address a variety of different issues from celebrity news to news
on murder issues. They are targeting their wide audience by including a
wide range of stories. Regional radio stations specify their news to that
specific reason, however they do include national news. Usually at the
start then the main part of the news will be regional.

National radio is made by large scale stations that cover news stories and
topics that are considered the most important to the nation. Examples of
these stations include BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 4. For example Radio
1, , here they are
discussing international news (discussing Michael Jackson: 01.30) as well
as Government changes in the UK (04.17). Radio 1 have a target audience
of people aged around 15-29, they have targeted their audience by having
music to separate the stories as well as incorporating upbeat music in the
background to give it a more fun feel even though it's the news. Whereas
BBC Radio 4, may include the same stories however they use a completely
different tone in order to address the audience. Radio 4 has an audience
of people over 35. BBC Radio 1 has a newsbeat section of their radio
where they spend a short amount of time discussing the news. Whereas
BBC Radio 4 have news programmes that reach up to an hour in length.
This suggests Radio 4s target audience of an older more mature target
audience and Radio 1s demographic being the younger generation. This
is because the more mature person would prefer to listen to a more
lengthy news show rather than a quick update.

Legal and Regulatory Part 2

Handling of stories involving minors
This involves the protection of minors when publishing a story about
them. If proceedings are being reported at a youth court then you are not
allowed to publish information such as: name, address, school and
photographs of the minor. As well as any other information that may lead
to the identification of the minor (anyone under 18).
In any other court than a youth court these exact restrictions do not apply.
However the court make an order putting these restrictions in place
Section 39. Again, preventing the child from identification.
An example of this would be This is a story from
the Manchester Evening News. As you can see they havent included any
details of the boy, only the estimated time of the offence. This is because
they do not want to run the risk of putting the child at any form of risk.

Contempt of court
This is the offence of being disrespectful towards a court of law in the form
of behaviours that opposes authority, justice & the dignity of court. If this
law is breached then there is possibility or prosecution or being sued. As
well as interference with the administration of justice.
For example This is contempt of
court as they are discussing the details of the case online.

Libel & Defamation

This is the protection of a persons reputation. With this law in place
people are able to sue for damage done to their reputation. Something is

seen as defamatory if it; causes them to be shunned/avoided; disparages

them in their office, trade or profession; exposes them to hatred, ridicule
and/or contempt.
Libel is pictures published in print or writing. The picture doesnt need to
be broadcasted to more than one person in order for it to be considered
For example In this case Cameron Diaz &
Shane Nickerson were friends with pictures suggesting otherwise resulting
in the damage of both Camerons & Shanes separate relationships.
Cameron Diaz then sued for defamation. As said in the article it is
unknown the amount Cameron Diaz sued for.

Coverage of elections
This involves what is broadcasted over the referendum period. During
these periods broadcasters must be impartial. Ofcom have designed a set
of guidelines known as Section 6. These rules state that equal coverage
must also consider giving appropriate coverage to other or independent
candidates. It isnt necessary for the BBC to follow these guidelines,
however they have made their own.
In 2008 Ofcom fined talkSPORT 20,000 as they breached this impartiality
rule. Ofcom regulator stated they had seriously breached the
due impartiality rules at the time of the election. The presenter directly
encouraged listeners to vote for Boris Johnson in the upcoming London
mayoral elections and criticised Ken Livingstone. This was an issue as it
is swaying the listeners and trying to persuade them to vote for one
politician in particular. This is therefore not a fair or accurate report as it is
opinion based, not based on factual references. Coverage during elections
needs to be accurate, in other words it needs to be factually correct.
In terms of in news, politicians cannot be used as reporters therefore must
not act as if reporting. This is because of the chance of it being considered
false or misleading. Politicians must not be paid for interviews except on
certain circumstances.

Official secrets act

This is the law protecting the Government from secrets that if revealed
could damage national security. There havent been too many breaches of

this act due to the fact the Government have the resources to keep
certain information incredibly private.
However in 2007 there was a breach. Two reporters received a
sentence of 6 months for leaking a memo between President Bush & Tony
Blaire. The reporters stated it was for public interest. This means that its
useful information to the public and they have a right to know if it is in
their interest. There is a fine line between what comes under public
interest and then what is considered invasion of privacy. There is no
exact definition as to what draws the line.

Ofcom are the government approved regulatory authority for broadcasting
throughout all media. They are important in radio news because they
make the guidelines for what is/isnt allowed to be broadcasted and how
to approach what is broadcasted. For example designing the rule of
impartiality when covering the referendum period. Ofcoms main duties
are to ensure radio listeners are approached appropriately and fairly and
are not exposed to any misleading information. Ofcom have devised a
Broadcasting Code, this covers: protection of under 18s; harm & offence;
crime; religion; news & current affairs; elections & referendums; fairness;
privacy; references to brands on radio.
If any of Ofcoms rules are breached they have the right to sue. For
example as mentioned earlier: talkSPORT were fined 20,000 due to rules
being discarded on impartiality during the elections.
Similarly to the official secrets act and laws on libel defamation, Ofcom
have legal rights and their regulations must be followed in order for radio
to be broadcasted.

BBC editorial guidelines

Briefly mentioned earlier these guidelines are made by the BBC, meaning
the BBC dont necessarily have to follow Ofcoms rules as long as they
stick to their own. These guidelines entail rules, which aim to keep the
BBCs ethical & editorial standards at their highest, meaning to respect
the privacy of listeners, to be fair, to avoid unjustifiable offence & to
provide appropriate protection for audiences from harm.

Despite the BBC trying their best to keep all shows and broadcasts to stick
to these guidelines at all times, sometimes these rules get breached. One
of these guidelines is to not heavily endorse a commercial product.
However the BBC ran an all day Harry Potter radio day. BBC Radio 1
broadcast 33 trails promoting the day across 12-and-a-half hours of
These guidelines have been made to be similar to Ofcom rules, they both
promote fair broadcasting as well as appropriate broadcasting resulting in
happy listeners. Again, like Ofcom rules the BBC editorial guidelines are
part of the law Section 18.1.

Invasion of privacy is defined as an intrusion into the personal life of
another, without just cause, which can give the person whos privacy has
been invaded the right to take legal action. I took part in a debate with
Hamish, Finley and Isha, discussing both sides to this topic. We discussed
a variety of topics taken from newspapers from Justin Biebers behavior,
false reports of someone eating a hamster to the royal family and phone
hacking. I am going to talk about the phone hacking and royal family.

Hacking into a persons telephone was discussed in the debate and we

questioned whether this was ethical. One side argued that no. You are
going into someones private, personal life and taking information.
Publishing it to put it in the public eye, which isnt fair to that person.
However, another side disagreed with this and said it was beneficial. It
was stated that by hacking into phones etc. it enables the police to be
able to find evidence in that person. These two opinions contradicted one
another. For example if someone had been suspected of crimes then
would it be ethical to hack into their phone. Some said of course because
it gave evidence therefore being able to put the person in prison. On the
other hand it was said that no, it would not give evidence as hacking into
peoples phones is illegal anyway. I agree with this point that the police
dont have the right no matter what the circumstances, especially seeing
as it is illegal anyway.

Why us as the public have a right to know every detail about a celebrity
as well as why some things should stay private. We looked at the article
of Kate & William (Royal family). They were holidaying in France when the
paparazzi photographed Kate topless resulting in these images being
leaked in the Closer magazine. The family then took legal action against
this. In the debate it was discussed that due to the fact they are The Royal
Family, they are in the public eye. They should expect for the paparazzi to
want to take pictures of them everywhere and anywhere, therefore
because they are public figures they should allow this whatever the
circumstances. However, this opinion was contradicted. It was said that
due to the fact they were on a private holiday in private
accommodation the paparazzi do not have the right to enter in order to
take these pictures.

News Values
Story priority
This is the order in which stories are broadcasted. For example, celebrity
news first, then sports news last. A lot of this is based on personal
interests. If were doing a news broadcast, would pop culture
be one of the first stories mentioned if mentioned at all? It would most
likely not be there as listeners are not interested in pop
culture as much as perhaps listeners.
Story priority is incredibly opinion based. There are no rules stating which
stories are considered more important than others. This is why it is open
to debate. The news bulletin I listened to was BBC Radio 1Xtra 12.00pm
From listening to this broadcast the order of the stories was as followed:
celebrity news, government news, and then ending with sports new. Radio
1Xtra have a target audience of 15-24 year olds

xtra.html). This means that they have put celebrity news first for a reason.
This would be because people between the ages of 15 & 24, they are
more interested in pop culture and the world of celebrities. They started
buy talking about Michael Jackson, and how he requested the drugs that
killed him. This is top priority out of news for this station, due to the
interests of the audience. Not suggesting they are not interested in the
more political side of the world, but they are more into pop culture &
celebrities. Following on from the celeb world was Government issues with
do bosses have enough power to sack slackers. They broadcasted this
by starting with an audio clip of Alan Sugar saying youre fired. This is
considered important news because it is again relatable to the audience.
Most 15-24 year olds will have jobs with management. Be it a small part
time job on the weekend or a more managerial role. It applies to all of the
audience. Therefore the BBC is successfully approaching their target
demographic. This differs to something like BBC Radio 4. Their news
broadcast would be completely different due to the different audience.
Radio 4 has a slightly more mature audience. With an interest
in the more important topics such as Government over celebrity news.
For example in this BBC Radio 4 broadcast
( the order of the stories
and the way they are delivered are different. They start by discussing
Hilary Clintons White House Campaign, following with Ed Milibands
manifesto, then discussing David Camerons increase on property tax,
finishing with sports news, golf being they main topic. This differs to the
1Xtra broadcast, as they are appealing to a different audience. The more
mature audience as you can see prefers the more serious news, such as
politics. Three quarters of this news broadcast is politician based, with the
last quarter involving sport. However one third of the 1Xtra broadcast is
Government based.

In terms of immediacy, meaning how recent the stories are. In this BBC
Radio 1Xtra broadcast it seems that all the stories mentioned in the
broadcast were relatively new at the time (2010). There are still articles
with this information that came out in 2013
( This relates to the audience, as they want to know the
new gossip about the celebrities. This is because celebrities are all over
the Internet, which we as younger audiences have access anytime,
anywhere. Therefore radio is becoming less and less popular with a
younger audience, meaning stations have to keep up to date with news
etc. in order to receive listeners.

The Radio 4 broadcast also has incredibly new news. For example they
mostly discuss politics. They have a correspondent live in America at the
White House for Hilary Clintons campaign (01.18).

A follow-up angle is a journalistic term, meaning a story with more details

still available. Therefore something is a follow-up story if a report has been
previously broadcasted on the event, then a new report comes out later.
Follow-ups are necessary because it allows the details of the event to be
fleshed out more, for example if there isnt enough time to flesh out the
story (e.g. Radio 1 news beat) then a later report is necessary in order for
the public to get as much information as possible.
For example,, this story states that it is a
follow-up on a man that has been missing, this follow-up marks the 1 year
mark to his disappearance. The reason for this follow up is to allow
publishers to give more specific details that when it was breaking news.
When the story first came out very little detail was available
( in this report which was issued the day after his
disappearance it doesnt give much detail and says supposedly
suggesting theyre not too sure yet. However if you have a look at the
later report, the detail is much more specific. For example when the report
gives details of the time of disappearance, they can estimate the exact
time he went missing 05:00am.

Availability of audio
There are audio clips within this 1Xtra broadcast. Again, in an attempt to
relate to the audience. One of them being at 01.45-01.48, an audio clip of
Alan Sugar saying his famous line youre fired. They have incorporated
this because The Apprentice is a very popular show; especially due to
the fact they candidates tend to be quite young entrepreneurs. Therefore
connecting to 1Xtras younger audience. In the radio 4 broadcast audio
clips are used as well. However they use interviews etc. with no little
audio clips to draw the audience in like with the Alan Sugar clip. For
example they have used audio clips to show correspondents on the scene
of Hilary Clintons campaign (01.18).

Newsroom policy

Similar to BBC Editorial Guidelines as well as Ofcom guidelines, newsroom

policy is particular rules that a certain newsroom follows. This is so
everything runs smoothly. These policies differ depending on the
For example the BBC guidelines state that all broadcasts must be fair and
appeal to public interest ( The
guardians policies
(,5814,642387,00.html) are
somewhat similar to the BBCs, in the fact that they both revolve highly
around the trust between them and their listeners in terms of the
accuracy of the reports.

Human & Public interest

Radio 1 ( predominantly
uses public interest stories rather than human, whereas radio 4
( uses human rather than
public interest. This is all based on the audiences preferences and what
they like to know about. For example there is no celebrity pop culture
news (public interest news) in the radio 4 broadcast, however a majority
of the 1Xtra broadcast is celebrity pop culture.