Astrology and Television
Message from Wendy Stacy, Chair of the AA:
Below this message you will find a press release from the Independent Television Commission (ITC), the UK's independent television regulator. Part of this concerns the presentation of astrology on British television.
You will notice that in the old code 'Horoscopes' are
(a) linked to 'similar 'psychic' practices' and
(b) deemed 'only acceptable where they are presented as entertainment or are the subject of legitimate investigation'.
The new code proposes keeping this restriction but is asking for responses to the address given at the top of the press release. This gives us a vital chance to change the wording of the code.
Given that Horoscopes are singled out the code would seem to be highly discriminatory. In addition, horoscopes are defined as a 'psychic practice, but, as this is an extremely debatable definition, it would seem that the original stricture in the code was drawn up without any particular argument or evidence. The association of horoscopes with practices such as exorcism is also very strange and cannot be sustained.
It is also not clear whether 'Horoscope' is used as a synonym for astrology, although the experience of those who have worked in the media suggests that it is. The consequence is that intelligent discussion (including, ironically, critical discussion) of astrology, is prevented.
We now have a valuable opportunity to amend the code.
The AA will draft a formal response, but we would like to encourage as many members as possible to send in an objection. This could be one line. It could be several pages. We just want the ITC to be aware that they cannot justify an unfair restriction on freedom of speech.
We would also like to encourage you to pass this round at your local group or post it on other email lists in order make for as large a volume of responses as possible.
Also, could all responses be copied to the AA Office so that we can keep a record.