Media complaints

Sunday Star Times - Letter | Sunday, 30 May 2010

Sunday Star Times, 30 May 2010 - Media complaints

THE ARTICLE ridiculing those who make complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority (News, May 23) shows just how contemptuous of any sort of standards those responsible for the increasing volume of gratuitous violence, sex and bad language on television really are of the audience they serve.

The statistics, however, tell their own story.  The Press Council upholds 25% of complaints made to it and the BSA 8%.  The wonder is that people still bother to complain to the BSA at all.  That body's main preoccupation is obviously serving the interests not of the audience, but the broadcasters.  Penalties are non-existent on risible and the authority actually threatened to charge frequent complainants with the cost of processing their complaints.

People with the persistence and patience to make a complaint in such circumstance deserve a gold medal, not ridicule.  The bleak experience of this organisation is that the BSA is completely captured by the industry.  They even share offices.  This despite the fact that the report on TV violence commissioned by the government back in 2004, concluded that the BSA needed radical overhaul, since their process, designed 20 years ago, is an obstacle course, designed to deter rather than encourage complaints.

John Terris
National president, Media Matters in NZ
Lower Hutt

News, May 23 - Related article:

Mice cruelty aside, chill wind blows back on media accusers
Sunday Star Times, 23 May 2010
By ESTHER HARWARD

RECENT COMPLAINTS to media watchdogs – including that a runway fashion outfit was described with the wrong animal print, a flounder dish was criticised in a restaurant review, and a newspaper dropped an apostrophe in Hawke’s Bay – have got commentators ... [ Read full article ... ]