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Action on content complaints and investigations: July to September 2019

Design icon - assess

We assessed 50 broadcasting matters

Design icon - investigate

We commenced 26 investigations

Design icon - finalise

We finalised 23 investigations

Design icon - breach

There were 5 investigations with breach findings

 

Quarterly highlights

In August, we published our political and election matter guidelines. The release followed consultation with stakeholders. The guidelines help licensees comply with the rules for broadcasting political and election matter, including election ads.

The guidelines explained changes to the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) made in March 2018. These shifted the rules governing authorisation tags from the BSA to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. These tags, known as ‘required particulars’, must be announced after the broadcast of political matter.

The tags detail whether the authorising party is a ‘disclosure entity’. The guidelines define what a disclosure identity is.

Another aim of the guidelines was to:

  • bring together information already on the ACMA website
  • give broadcasters access to investigation findings to help them understand how we define political matter

Decisions to investigate

We consider every complaint we receive and assess whether to investigate.

Number of broadcasting matters/investigations

Bar chart showing number of broadcasting investigations and status

Investigations commenced or declined (by sector)

Bar chart of number of investigations commenced and declined by sector

 

Investigations finalised

Bar chart showing investigations finalised - breach or no breach

 

Investigations finalised by sector

Bar chart of investigations finalised by sector

Broadcasting: Average time taken to finalise investigations (as at 30 September 2019)

Dot graph showing average time taken to complete investigations

Provisions investigated

The ACMA receives and investigates complaints about a variety of licence conditions, program standards and codes of practice. Broadcasting codes of practice investigations usually assess a broadcast against more than one provision of the relevant code.

The following table shows finalised investigations and the relevant provisions. Breaches found during this period are shown in bold.

Broadcasting Investigations finalised (breaches in bold)

Investigation number

Broadcaster

Description

Provisions investigated

Provisions of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice 2015 (revised 2018)

BI-467

Channel Seven Perth Pty Ltd

Alleged lack of accuracy, distress and breach of privacy in a Seven News report about a fatal car accident

  • 3.2.1(d): distress
  • 3.3.1: accuracy and fairness
  • 3.5.1 privacy

BI-468

Swan Television & Radio Broadcasters Pty Ltd (Nine)

Alleged lack of accuracy, distress and breach of privacy in a Nine News report about a fatal car accident

  • 3.2.1(d): distress
  • 3.3.1: accuracy and fairness
  • 3.5.1 privacy

BI-486

Network Investments Pty Ltd (Ten)

Allegations that a Studio Ten segment included racist comments that ridiculed and offended Indigenous Australians

  • 2.6.2: material not suitable for broadcast

BI-491

Queensland Television Ltd (Nine)

Allegation that two episodes of Married at First Sight were incorrectly classified M

  • 2.1.1: classification
  • 2.2.2: classification zone

BI-492

Swan Television & Radio Broadcasters Pty Ltd (Nine)

Allegation that an episode of Married at First Sight was incorrectly classified PG

  • 2.1.1: classification
  • 2.2.1: classification zone

BI-494

Channel Seven Perth Pty Ltd (Seven)

Allegation that a cinema commercial for Hellboy was incorrectly classified PG

  • 2.1.1: classification
  • 2.2.1: classification zone
  • 2.4.1: special care requirements for non-program material
  • 2.5.4: classification viewer information

BI-495

Queensland Television Ltd (Nine)

Allegation that a news report about Cardinal Pell referenced graphic details of sexual abuse without providing a warning

  • 2.3.3: exercise care in selecting material for broadcast
  • 3.2.1(a): distress

BI-505

TCN Channel 9 Pty Ltd (Nine)

Allegation of gambling advertisements broadcast during State of Origin games 1 and 2

  • Appendix 3: Commercials relating to betting and gambling broadcast during a live sporting event

Provisions of the Commercial Radio Code of Practice March 2017 (revised 2018)

BI-498

Goulburn and Border Broadcasters Pty Ltd

(Triple M)

Allegation that the Kennedy Molloy program incited severe ridicule of people of short stature due to use of the term ‘midget’

  • 2.1.4: incite severe ridicule because of disability

BI-513

Canberra FM Radio Pty Ltd (Hit 104.7)

Allegation that the Hughesy and Kate program incited severe ridicule towards a man with a ‘micro-penis’ on the basis of disability

  • 2.1.4: incite severe ridicule because of disability

Provisions of the Community Radio Broadcasting Codes of Practice 2008

BI-496

QBN FM Incorporated

Allegation of complaints handling

  • 7.3(a)(b)(c)(d): complaint handling

Provisions of Schedule 2 to the BSA

BI-465

Prime Television (Northern) Pty Limited (Prime7)

Allegation the captioning of the Sunrise program was of poor quality

  • 7(1)(o): comply with rules and standards related to captioning
  • ss130ZZA(4): captioning standards

BI-471

Peak Hill FM 89.5

Allegation that community broadcaster was not encouraging community participation in the operations or selection and provision of programs

  • 9(2)(c)(i): encouraging participation in operations
  • 9(2)(c)(ii): encouraging participation in selection and provision of programs

BI-487

Yarra Valley FM Inc

Complaint about a community licensee broadcasting advertisement

  • 9(1)(b): will not broadcast advertisements

BI-488

Albany Community Radio Inc

Complaint about a community broadcaster not encouraging participation in the operations of the service

  • 9(2)(c)(a): encouraging participation in operations

BI-500

Prime Television (Northern) Pty Limited

Allegation that an election advertisement was broadcast without the required particulars

  • 4(2): licensee must announce required particulars

 

BI-501

Channel Seven Brisbane Pty Ltd (Seven)

Alleged broadcast of a political advertisement during blackout period

  • 3A(2): licensee must not broadcast election advertisements during the blackout period

BI-502

Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation Pty Ltd (KIIS FM)

Alleged broadcast of a political advertisement during blackout period

  • 3A(2): licensee must not broadcast election advertisements during the blackout period

BI-503

Moreton Media Group Inc (4RED)

Complaint about a community licensee broadcasting advertisements and exceeding the sponsorship limit

  • 9(1)(b): will not broadcast advertisements
  • 9(3)(b): will not exceed 5 minutes per hour of sponsorship announcements

BI-504

Peninsula Community Broadcasting Inc (Gulf FM)

Complaint about a community licensee broadcasting advertisements and not providing the service for community purposes

  • 9(1)(b): will not broadcast advertisements
  • 9(3)(b): will not exceed 5 minutes per hour of sponsorship announcements

BI-515

Foxtel Cable Television Pty Ltd (Foxtel)

Allegation that broadcasts of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix contained tobacco advertisements

  • 7(1)(a) must not broadcast a tobacco advertisement

BI-516

Network Ten Melbourne Pty Ltd (Ten)

Allegation that broadcasts of the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix contained tobacco advertisements

  • 7(1)(a) must not broadcast a tobacco advertisement

Online content investigations finalised during quarter (breaches in bold)

Investigation number Online content provider Short description Provisions investigated

BI-469

SEN+

Allegation that gambling advertising was streamed in conjunction with live sporting event content

  • Section 12 of the Broadcasting Services (Online Content Service Provider Rules) 2018
  • Section 21 of the Broadcasting Services (Online Content Service Provider Rules) 2018

 

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