Tuesday, 07 March 2017 13:21

Channel Nine found guilty of TV code breaches

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Channel Nine has been found guilty of breaching the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice by broadcasting an inaccurate news item in a manner that was neither fair nor impartial.

The news item in question was entitled "Protecting Perks" and was broadcast on 16 July 2016 on Nine News Sunday.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority looked into the item that included claims that former Ku-ring-gai mayor, Cheryl Szatow and the Ku-ring-gai council had wasted money, including on a legal challenge to the NSW Government's plans to amalgamate Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby councils.

The probe was carried out after a complaint that the item was inaccurate, biased and unfair.

"The ACMA found that Channel Nine breached the fairness and impartiality requirements of the news provisions of the code by using non-neutral language, unfair juxtapositions of facts, comical graphics and a tone more commonly found in current affairs programming, to which different standards apply," acting ACMA chairman Richard Bean said.

"The code requires that commercial television news programmes present factual material accurately, and do so in a fair and impartial way."

The news item was found to have inaccurately stated that the mayor had spent $900 a week on having flowers delivered to her office.

ACMA was advised that this figure referred to the cost of 30 separate deliveries over nine months.

Four other allegations of inaccuracy were found to have no basis.

Channel Nine has undertaken to inform relevant staff about the ACMA findings; and use the matter for future training of staff.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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