PUBLIC SECTOR: PR push to gauge public opinion on party broadcasts

The Electoral Commission has launched a PR campaign to gauge viewer opinion on party political broadcasts.

The commission is finalising its recommendations, which will be published within months, on the broadcasts' future. Viewer opinions will be added to a consultation document, which includes views of broadcasters, parties, advertisers, academics and lobbyists.

The commission's early recommendations called for tougher restrictions on broadcasts, stating the system for allocating broadcasts should be 'more clearly defined in law'. Under current legislation, broadcasters make these decisions on the basis of each party's strength in Parliament.

Also being recommended is maintenance of the ban on paid-for political advertising, while conceding that regulations need to be modernised to take into account digital and satellite and cable TV.

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