Channel Seven has breached the Commercial Television Code of Practice after mobile phone footage of alleged schoolyard bullying invaded the privacy of several children.
Seven News and Sunday Night episodes broadcast in July and 5 August last year did blur faces and did not name children, but the media watchdog deemed it as highly sensitive as it identified children engaged in anti-social and violent behaviour.
“Public interest issues, including school bullying, can, and indeed should, be explored on news and current affairs programs. In this case it was inappropriate to disclose children’s personal information,” said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.
“Broadcasters must exercise special care when dealing with children. It is not good enough for broadcasters to assume that footage is in the public domain and can be broadcast just because it is on social media,” said Ms O’Loughlin.
ACMA has requested Seven remove footage from its website and social media pages. Seven will also bring the breach to the attention of its staff and include it in future code training.
ACMA stated this will be appropriate responses by Seven.
Last week Seven was found in breach over inaccuracy for a report on ‘African Gangs.’