The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has found that a Newshub item on the shooting of two Israeli police officers at a mosque in East Jerusalem, should have carried an audience advisory alerting viewers to potentially disturbing content.
The report was carried on the 6pm news bulletin on TV3 on 15 July 2017.
The item featured footage of police officers being chased and shot at, a man being surrounded and shot at, a shot of a pixelated body lying in the street, and a covered body on a stretcher being loaded in a van. Some of the footage was also accompanied by audio of gun shots.
The Authority accepted that “[t]here was public interest in the item, and in reporting on important and newsworthy events in East Jerusalem”. However, the BSA found that an audience advisory was required to alert viewers to the item’s violent content. Warnings are used to enable parents and caregivers to make informed choices about whether they should view, or allow children to view, broadcasts.
“Cumulatively this violent content had the potential to upset or disturb viewers. While the introduction to the item signposted to an extent the subject matter of the item, it did not adequately prepare viewers for the material that followed and we think an explicit warning was needed to alert viewers to the nature of the footage that would be shown.”
The Authority upheld the complaint under good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards.
Complaint about use of w-bomb not upheld
The BSA has dismissed a complaint about a derogatory being used on a radio show.
During The Edge’s afternoon show Jono, Ben & Sharyn, host Jono Pryor referred to a particular television channel as ‘the wanker channel’. A complaint was made that Mr Pryor’s use of the term ‘wanker’ was inappropriate and offensive.
However, the Authority found that, taking into account relevant contextual factors including The Edge’s target audience, audience expectations of Jono, Ben & Sharyn and the nature of the explicit language used, the comment did not reach the threshold required to justify limiting the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression.