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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 March, 2003, 14:07 GMT
War prompts song guidelines
Aerosmith
One of Aerosmith's songs was used as an example on MTV's guidelines
Radio station and music video channels are keeping to guidelines to avoid playing offensive or insensitive material during the war with Iraq.

The guidelines are similar to those used in the first Gulf War of 1991, when songs were banned if they had dubious titles or lyrics.

Several stations contacted by BBC News Online on Friday said they were making sure they did not play tracks that could cause offence.

A spokeswoman for BBC Radio 2 said: "In the event of hostilities, Radio 2 operates a policy of sensitivity to the music played on the station.

"We do not have a banned list of records but are careful to reflect the mood of the country as events unfold."

Radio 1, which banned a list of songs in the first Gulf conflict, did not comment.

A spokesman for Virgin Radio said it too was urging its DJs to be careful, though it had not banned specific tracks.

'Mood and tone'

"The watchword is that we're being sensitive. We haven't set out strict guidelines of what we will play and what we won't.

"We need to match the mood and tone of the nation, which seems to be changing on an hourly basis."

MTV Networks Europe has issued stricter guidelines, using examples of specific tracks in a memo sent by its broadcast standards manager.

The memo, relating to channels like MTV, VH1 and The Music Factory, has been distributed over the internet.

It said the channel had to be careful with song title and lyrics, and with content in videos even if the songs themselves were not likely to cause problems.

The memo listed several example songs, including Bombs Over Baghdad by rappers Outcast, Aerosmith's Don't Want to Miss a Thing and Manic Street Preachers' Why So Sad. The latter two songs were singled out because of imagery in their videos.

A spokesman for MTV told BBC News Online: "Our recommendations are in keeping with the Independent Television Commission's guidelines. That's set out in terms of both images and content."

During the 1991 Gulf War, Radio 1 banned several songs, including Phil Collins' Something in the Air because they could be construed as being insensitive.




SEE ALSO:
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17 Mar 03 |  Entertainment
Arabs rock to anti-war song
11 Mar 03 |  Middle East
Michael accuses BBC in war row
07 Mar 03 |  Entertainment


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