News insert unfair, but...

2011-05-04 10:58

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) has ruled that an e.tv news broadcast about an IFP rally was unfair.

But the BCCSA said the broadcaster need not apologise because the context would be lost on the viewer, the regulator said in a statement today.

The IFP complained to the BCCSA that e.tv reported in a news bulletin: “The IFP has pulled out all the stops for the launch of its national election manifesto, but it failed to pull the crowd of 20 000 it had planned for.”

The IFP said it never publicly stated how many people it had expected to attend.

The journalist said the information was provided by an unnamed senior IFP official.

The BCCSA ruled that e.tv should have granted an IFP media spokesperson or organiser the opportunity to react to the statement.

“It was unfair to have based this critical item solely on the information of the source. The e.News journalist should also have stated the information within the correct context, namely, that a senior official had informed her that expectations were that 20 000 people would attend,” read the BCCSA judgment.

However, no sanction was imposed against e.tv.

“It would be counter-productive to order e.tv to broadcast a correction. The context would be lost on the viewer, and the repetition of the matter might even be detrimental to the IFP. The IFP would, of course, be free to publish the outcome of this judgment,” said the BCCSA.

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