A 2011 episode of 6:30 with George Negus has breached the Industry Code of Practice for inaccurate statements and for failing to respond to a complainant.
The story in October 2011 suggested that possible Sri Lankan war criminals were living in Australia.
Hugh Riminton reported that “The United Nations believes 40,000 civilians were killed and both government troops and the Tamil Tigers committed war crimes.”
The story included an interview with a former Sri Lankan Government soldier and footage from the documentary, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, which was produced by Channel 4 in Britain.
But media watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority ruled that the number was inaccurate and was likely to offend or mislead viewers.
In its submission, TEN acknowledged that it may have been more appropriate to qualify the 40,000 figure with expressions like “as many as” or “up to” and claimed it was peripheral or incidental to the story.
But ACMA disagreed, saying that TEN created the context for calls for an investigation into alleged Sri Lankan war criminals living in Australia.
TEN also was in breach for not responding to the complainant.
TEN apologised, explaining that the complaint was passed on to a program staff member who left TEN News after the Negus show was cancelled.