Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams has announced a range of board appointments to some of New Zealand’s iconic broadcasting institutions.

Continue reading »

TVNZ_buildingThe old media guard often mocks new media as being rogue and unaccountable.  They, of course, have bodies like the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Press Council for the highly unlikely event that they would ever be found to have crossed the line.  We all know that being members of these organisations doesn’t stop any of them from breaching the rules, standards and codes of conduct that they espouse so it comes as little surprise that TVNZ have been ordered to broadcast an apology to Conservative Party leader Colin Craig for the mocking they gave him on Seven Sharp.

Complaints under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
Seven Sharp – presenters made comments about leader of the Conservative Party Colin Craig – allegedly in breach of good taste and decency, law and order, privacy, controversial issues, fairness, accuracy, discrimination and denigration, responsible programming, and violence standards

Standard 6 (fairness) – comments in 17 April item aimed at Colin Craig in his professional capacity and therefore not unfair – comments in 24 April item were insulting and personally abusive to Colin Craig and therefore unfair to him – upheld in part Continue reading »

Warning: The following post contains language that may offend some readers. Reader discretion is advised.

The BSA has released their latest research into the words we find offensive.  The usual suspects are at the top of the list but it appears as though we’re a little less offended than we used to be.

A Broadcasting Standards Authority survey of swear words shows that there has been little change in what people consider to be unacceptable language to be broadcast on air.

The survey, What not to Swear: The acceptability of words in Broadcasting, has been conducted four times since 1999 and is aimed at measuring any change in public attitudes. Continue reading »

The Graham Norton Show - LondonDogs dressed as Jesus is acceptable according to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

The BSA has taken no further action regarding a promo for The Graham Norton Show that showed a dog dressed up as Jesus.

The promo for the TV3 series, which ran before Christmas last year, showed a couple dressed as Mary and Joseph holding a dog in swaddling clothes.

One viewer complained, saying the image was offensive to Christians and demonstrated the “anything goes” mentality in New Zealand regarding jokes about Christian beliefs. Continue reading »

omsa-logoIf anyone believes for a moment that this is going to have more teeth than the BSA then I have bridge to sell you.  You will notice the obvious absence of any print media members or any other non-MSM organisation.

New Zealand’s major radio and television broadcasters today confirmed the launch of a new industry funded, self-regulatory body, the Online Media Standards Authority “OMSA”, which will oversee online news and current affairs content standards. Continue reading »

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has released its annual report, which shows that it received fewer complaints than last year.

The BSA received 195 complaints and issued 162 decisions. This compared to a record high last year of 236 decisions, a number of which related to single broadcasts. Upheld decisions and orders also reduced.

BSA Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene says while it’s pleasing that complaints have reduced, it’s too early to say if this is a trend.

“We believe that if the system is working well, complaints will drop over time. The implication of this is that broadcasters breach codes less often, the public are better able to identify breaches and the broadcasters’ own complaints processes are more effective, prompting fewer referral to us.

“The reduction in upheld decisions and orders could relate to the BSA’s more robust analysis of freedom of expression. It is a crucial part of our regulation system to balance the right to freedom of expression and the responsibility to avoid harm. To justify upholding a complaint we must be satisfied that the potential harm is such that the importance of free speech is outweighed,” Susan Freeman-Greene says. Continue reading »

Hearing the word “vagina” on New Zealand TV this year may have ruffled a few feathers among the public but the Broadcasting Standards Authority doesn’t appear to be fazed.

The BSA has this week rejected complaints against the ad for Carefree Acti-fresh Panty Liners that used “vagina” and “discharge” in the same sentence.

Several complaints were submitted to the BSA regarding the use of the words, with one complainant saying: “I have a 9-year-old who is up until 8pm-8.30 and he definitely does not need to hear words like that.” Continue reading »


Latest BSA rulings

Lesbian kiss at 5:30pm deemed ok

A scene from Coronation Street, broadcast at 5.30pm, showed two female characters kissing. The Authority declined to uphold the complaint that this breached standards relating to good taste and decency, responsible programming, children’s interests, and controversial issues. The scene was brief and innocuous and no less acceptable for being a kiss between two women; the content was consistent with the programme’s G rating and, given the context, was not unsuitable for children; the programme screened in an appropriate time-band; and the controversial issues standard only applies to news, current affairs and factual programmes. Read More…

TV Works fined over burqa fairness Continue reading »

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has this week dismissed a complaint from the Prime Minister’s office regarding a TVNZ story on the fleet of government BMWs.

One News ran a story on May 11 that reported a Labour Party claim that BMW New Zealand donated $50,000 to the National Party soon after a contract was signed to provide cars to the government.

The Prime Minister’s press secretary Kevin Taylor made a formal complaint to TVNZ over the story, which they believed to be misleading and inaccurate.

Taylor claimed the story misled viewers by “attacking the integrity of the Prime Minister in an utterly unfounded way”.

He believed that “taken together, the promo and the item paint a picture of a dodgy deal which is not backed up by any facts presented by [the reporter].”

Taylor ended up taking the complaint to the BSA who in turn dismissed it, saying that viewers would not have been misled.

“In our view, there was a high level of public interest in the story. Reporting on allegations of this nature which are raised in the House is an important role of the media, and a vital component of freedom of expression,” the BSA said.

Source: Herald

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has labelled TV2’s decision to edit out expletives in the first few scenes of a movie on Sunday night as unnecessary.

TV2 edited the beginning of the comedy movie Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which began at 9pm, due to the fact it was preceded by a family-friendly show in My Kitchen Rules.

The first 17 minutes of the movie were edited accordingly due to the transition between the G-rated cooking show and the AO movie.

Many viewers took to Twitter to vent their frustration that the movie was edited despite airing in an adults-only timeslot.

BSA chief executive Dominic Sheehan says TV2 are passing the blame.

“They can’t put that onto us as the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

“If the viewing public is saying ‘we don’t want anything censored from 9pm onwards they should be listening to the viewing public.

“To me they’re using the BSA as a shield here. You certainly can’t say ‘we can’t do that because the BSA says we can’t’ in this circumstance. There is no precedent to show that.”

However, TV2 argues that the BSA influenced the decision.

“It’s not because we liked the extra editing work – BSA rules about going from a family show into AO,” said TV2 Twitter editor Chris Hooper.

Source: Herald