Media regulation companies set rules and codes of practice by which media companies must comply. These rules exist to protect the general public from obscene, offensive and inaccurate content, information and services being provided by media companies. These rules also work to enable the media to free speech.
Within media regulations you may work for a company which specialises in media, journalism, telecoms, radio, advertising, magazines or broadcasting. There are a range of roles available in media regulation, including:
Content and standards
Responsibilities include implementing standards and licensing regulation within your field and ensuring the effective delivery of your field's services. Within broadcasting you'd ensure the effective delivery of public service broadcasting via terrestrial or on demand television broadcasters. You would also be responsible for licensing, regulating and setting standards in community, local and national radio.
Policy and business development
Responsibilities include writing, updating policies and developing your company's services. For example, within film you'd be in charge of the classification policy and improvement of classification services.
Ensuring a good choice of services within your field for the general public and businesses is part of this role. For example, within telecoms your role would be to ensure competitive phone deals exist among providers.
Tasks also include inviting companies to introduce new deals and incentives to customers to ensure sufficient competition. If working in broadcasting you would evaluate the different markets and as a result of findings ensure good competition by establishing and improving broadcasting rules.
An external affairs employee would keep abreast of changing international law which may affect their company by liaising with international partners. A secretariat member provides administration assistance, corporate planning, information, direction and advice on governance. For example, changing internet regulation and censorship rules in the EU would have an effect on the way in which a company such as the Internet Watch Foundation would deal with potentially illegal on-line material.
A public affairs team are responsible for investigating specific matters by organising select committees to discuss and advise. They also handle correspondence and questions from MPs by liaising and building relationships with parliament members.
Deal directly with the media, customers and the public and manage publicity. For example, the Press Complaints Commission regularly deal with high profile customers who have a complaint about how they have been portrayed in the press. Some cases may prove particularly newsworthy requiring the communications team to manage released information.
An examiner within film classification views media material and recommend a category, cuts or other appropriate courses of action, applying their understanding and background in film or video games. A good understanding of child development and the effects inappropriate material can have on children is important. Read our case study about a film examiner at the BBFC.
Strategy and market progress
This team are responsible for monitoring the regulatory changes needed in the future and also for strategic thinking. They ensure the company has a clear approach to regulation including examining and gaining a good understanding of strategies within relevant media and communications companies. Tasks include evaluating and ensuring the performance of the company whilst keeping abreast of improvements to global, local and national policies in order to influence other external policies.
This role focuses on how organisations manage personal data and comply with the Data Protection Act and other related legislation. Responsibilities include examining and assessing policies and procedures of organisations advising on good practice for the future.
Ensures the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations are adhered to. Also ensures the general public's data and information is kept secret, giving advice to companies about their rights and obligations. From time to time organisations face personal data being exposed. The data protection team help organisations manage this crisis and work with them to ensure it does not happen again.