14 June 2019
The ACMA has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Channel Seven Sydney Pty Ltd (Channel Seven) following breaches of the Commercial TV Code of Practice in a Sunrise ‘Hot Topics’ segment broadcast in March 2018.
The segment dealt with the adoption of indigenous children and child abuse in indigenous communities. The ACMA found that the segment was inaccurate and provoked serious contempt on the basis of race in breach of the industry’s code.
Channel Seven sought judicial review of the ACMA’s findings that the segment provoked serious contempt on the basis of race, but discontinued court proceedings in April 2019.
Under the court-enforceable undertaking, Channel Seven must conduct an independent review of how and the extent to which relevant production processes on Sunrise ensure code compliance in relation to sensitive and complex matters. A report of the review must be provided to Channel Seven’s Board and Audit and Risk Committee within six months.
The ACMA will verify the independence of, and terms of reference for, the review.
Channel Seven has also undertaken that Sunrise editorial staff will be trained to identify and deal with sensitive matters within six months and notify the ACMA within five business days that the training is complete.
If Channel Seven breaches the court-enforceable undertaking, the ACMA can apply to the Federal Court for a number of orders, including directing Channel Seven to comply with the undertaking, and any other order the court considers appropriate.