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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 April, 2005, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
What does 'military restrictions' mean?
Audience question:

When you say you are reporting under military restrictions, or war restrictions (as has happened recently in Iraq). What does this mean? Who, or what, is the restriction?

BBC's response:

Essentially we agree to two basic restrictions.

Firstly, that we will not broadcast at times when our communications systems (eg satellite phones) might interfere with military operations.

And secondly, that we will not broadcast militarily sensitive information which might benefit an enemy (eg battle plans on which we might have been briefed).

In practice, we have found that we are able to work effectively within these restrictions which we - and other media organisations - regard as reasonable.

We are sometimes asked not to broadcast information, and if we feel it doesn't fall within the criterion above, there is a discussion, usually ending in an amicable agreement.

However, we think it's important that our audiences understand that we are not operating "normally" - ie reporting as freely as we would be usually, and that's why we make a point of saying so.

- Jonathan Baker, World Editor, Newsgathering


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