Page 2, 27th February 1970

27th February 1970
Page 2
Page 2, 27th February 1970 — `Freedom and responsibility'
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People: Charles Curran
Locations: London

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`Freedom and responsibility'

BY A STAFF REPORTER

FREEDOM and responsi bility are the best guardians of broadcasting standards, said Mr. Charles Curran, Director-General of the B.B.C., addressing the Religious Weekly Press Group in London last week.

Referring to the BBC's standards, Mr. Curran said the attempt to enforce too detailed a code of moral rules would probably defeat its own object. "The professional standard is that of excellence," he said.

The broadcaster was constantly making choices, as all broadcasting was a process of selection. Each choice had to be primarily directed towards the rejection of the inferior in short, towards perfection.

ART FORM

Broadcasting was basically an art form, produced by people of talent. It would be wrong to limit or curb the creative imagination of the programrrie maker. Moreover, it would result in a kind of sterilised broadcasting service, incapable of any kind of fruitful genera• Lion.

"It is intolerable," continued Mr. Curran, "for any authority to say that rules are fun damental and unchangeable and that discussion may not take place.

"There are those who take a conformist view and suggest that things of which they disapprove should be excluded from our programmes. They have made up their minds on certain issues and set great store by convention and precedent.

STATIC FAITH They believe in the stability of society, but their reliance on stability leads them to proclaim a static society and a static faith. Any creative society must find itself at odds with what they have to say."

Broadcasting, maintained Mr Curran, inevitably reflected the society it served. In a free society there had to be freedom of expression, including freedom of expression in all the arts.

Unfortunately, it was the provocative which tended to be remembered, and not necessarily the profound. The B.B.C. had no monopoly for rock-ribbed conservatism.

"We are a medium, not a message. By conscience we should judge ourselves, and by this standard wish to be judged, said Mr. Curran.




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