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Sunrise breaches accuracy rules for motorbike collision story

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Channel Seven has breached broadcast accuracy rules for a report aired on Sunrise that claimed a motorbike rider ‘deliberately rode off a footpath and into a 13-year-old girl’.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found that the 2020 Sunrise report on a collision between a motorbike and a schoolgirl was inaccurate as it presented as fact that the collision was intentional without sufficient evidence.

Under the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice broadcasters are required to present factual material accurately in news and current affairs programs, ensuring that viewpoints are not misrepresented.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said these rules are in place so that Australians can be confident about what is being reported on commercial news.

“Audiences should be able to trust that information presented in news reports is factually accurate and has been properly verified. It is disappointing that Seven reported the collision as deliberate without sufficient supporting evidence,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

Following the ACMA’s finding, Seven agreed that the investigation report would be provided to Sunrise staff and they would be reminded of their obligations under the Code regarding accuracy. Seven will also include the decision in future Code training sessions with staff.

MR 17/2021

For more information, please contact ACMA Media on 0438 375 776 or media@acma.gov.au.

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