Press release from ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that the licensees of HSV (Seven) and ATV (Ten) breached the Commercial Television Code of Practice 2010 (the code) requirements that factual material be presented accurately and that news be presented fairly.

The breaches occurred during segments of Channel Seven News and Ten News at Five broadcast on 1 April 2010.

Both segments reported on the release of a man on bail and a subsequent conflict filmed outside a Melbourne courthouse. That conflict developed due to sustained and serious provocations that went entirely unmentioned in the reports.

In both cases, the ACMA found that this omission of contextual material resulted in:

-factual material not being presented accurately

-news not being presented fairly

However, the ACMA found that Seven and Ten did not breach provisions of the code relating to the fair representation of viewpoints, portrayal in a negative light by placing gratuitous emphasis on religion, and provocation of dislike or contempt on the grounds of religion, race or ethnic origin.

In response to the ACMA's findings, both Seven and Ten have written to the complainant and the Australian Human Rights Commission, acknowledging the ACMA's findings. They have also posted online statements on their websites acknowledging the breaches.

Investigation reports 2433 and 2434 are available on the ACMA's website.

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