Ten breaches rules on privacy and sensitivity

The Ten network breached the privacy rules in commercial TV’s code of practice , the media watchdog has ruled.  

The Australian Communications and Media Authority looked into complaints over its coverage of a fatal boat explosion in May 2008.

It found that “Ten failed to exercise the requisite sensitivity in its reporting of the boat explosion in Port Melbourne where two people died and others were seriously injured, by broadcasting prolonged footage of a man who had lost his parents in the explosion.”

ACMA also looked into Ten’s reporting of a house fire in June last year.

According to ACMA: “Ten failed to comply with clause 4.3.8 of the code and take ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure that an accident victim’s family had been notified prior to broadcasting the victim’s identity.”

The watchdog also found that when a complaint was made to the station, Ten failed to tell the caller about the complaints procedure.

ACMA’s powers do not allow it to impose fines. It reported that Ten had given staff additional training.

As a result of the boat incident, ACMA is looking at issuing more comprehensive guidelines on privacy.


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