I’d completely forgotten this, but then I saw last week’s edition of Have I Got News For You presented this week by Alexander Armstrong.
The MPs’ expenses scandal is the gift that keeps on giving as far as satirical programmes go, but when illustrating the resignation of the Speaker, Armstrong pointed out that programmes like this one were explicitly not allowed to use parliamentary footage. (He went on to use an “artist’s illustration” to make the point).
I’ve just been looking around, and that’s completely true:
no extracts of Parliamentary proceedings may be used in any light entertainment programme or in a programme of political satire;
I really hadn’t thought about this for years. But it’s in the Rules of Coverage.
So while over on More4 we can nightly watch Jon Stewart mercilessly taking apart C-Span coverage of US politicians, we’re simply not allowed to the same here.
Interestingly, this doesn’t prevent magazines such as Private Eye, taking stills from the video feed and putting them on the front cover with words coming out of the speakers’ mouths.
Meanwhile Sky News is running a promo for itself which uses an extract of the (soon to be retired) Speaker saying nice things about it. Curious in itself, but seemingly not against the rules:
no extracts of Parliamentary proceedings may be used in any form of advertising, promotion or other form of publicity, except in the form of trailers for programmes which use extracts within the requirement of these guidelines and where the trailers also comply with those requirements;
As Sky News obviously can run extracts, it can use extracts to promote itself.
Here’s The Daily Show’s take on it:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
(Not at its best to be honest) But they didn’t use clips from Parliament – probably more by luck than judgement.
It’s worth noting that More4 will make the odd edit – there’s a rant about that over here.