Mass Media: Down's Syndrome

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the perpetuation of negative stereotypes about people with Down syndrome in broadcast media on the qualify of life of those people.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

The Government recognises the editorial and operational independence of broadcasters but believes the broadcasting sector should reflect and represent all parts of society.

Ofcom, as the UK’s independent TV and radio regulator, sets rules in its Broadcasting Code to ensure broadcasters provide adequate protection to members of the public from the inclusion of harmful and offensive material in programmes. Ofcom can investigate and determine whether a breach of the Code has occurred, for example if the broadcast of negative stereotypes of people with Down’s syndrome is so severe that there is the potential for harm to be caused to viewers.

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