Nine breaches Code in responding to complaints (again)

ACMA has ruled that GTV9 has breached the Code with inadequate responses to complaints over Celebrity Apprentice and Nine News.

Media watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority has ruled that GTV9 has breached the Code of Practice with inadequate responses to complaints on two separate occasions, in relation to Celebrity Apprentice and Nine News.

It follows ACMA making the same findings in relation to the anti-pokies law broadcast during NRL coverage.

In the most recent rulings, ACMA found Nine did not breach the Code in relation to specific complaints, but in its responses to the complainants.

A complaint about an episode of Celebrity Apprentice being a 90 minute ad for Yellow Brick Road was not upheld because ‘non-program matter’ related to Yellow Brick Road did not breach the allowed limits of 15 minutes per hour.

However ACMA found that the statement that “Channel Nine did not receive any payment from Yellow Brick Road for the broadcast of the material” was incorrect because the company was a sponsor of the programme. As a result of the incorrect information, Nine was found to have breached the Code.

A separate complaint about a Nine News broadcast on September 26th last year was over a report on then Acting Victorian Police Commissioner, Mr Ken Lay and his decision to apply for the position of Victorian Police Commissioner. The complainant argued that the words “Pick Me” on a graphic were “lazy journalism” and misrepresented Lay’s own view that he was one of several candidates, rather than a preferred candidate.

However Nine did not respond to the complainant, and did not intend do, having deemed it met a clause that says “Licensees will make every reasonable effort to resolve code complaints promptly, except where a complaint is clearly frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of the code process.”

But while ACMA did not rule that the misrepresentation claim stood, it did find the complaint to be genuine.

“The ACMA considers that it was not open to the licensee to decide not to respond to the complaint because it was ‘clearly frivolous’ in terms of clause 7.15 of the code.”

No outcome was recommended following ACMA’s two findings…

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