|CASE NO - 16-2012 - e.tv - APPEAL JUDGMENT - GADDAFI NEWS ITEMS|
Appeal against a decision by a Tribunal of the BCCSA. The Tribunal found that the broadcaster (the Appellant in this case) contravened clause 3(a) (relating to violence) of the Free-to-Air Broadcasting Code by broadcasting in a news broadcast “unnecessary detail of the attack on Colonel Gaddafi”. The Tribunal also found that the broadcaster contravened clause 12 (relating to the watershed) of the Subscription Broadcasting Code by broadcasting, during various news broadcasts, “unnecessary scenes of violence” and “unnecessary detail of the attack on Colonel Gaddafi”. The Tribunal also found that the broadcaster contravened clause 28.1.7 of the Subscription Broadcasting Code in news bulletins for not adding advisories before showing images in the main report in one case and before the news headlines in five other cases. The Tribunal imposed fines of R10 000 for the contravention with the main report and R25 000 for the contraventions with the headlines in five bulletins. On appeal, the Appeal Tribunal found that clause 3(a) of the Free-to-Air Broadcasting Code, on an interpretation of its wording, is not applicable to news broadcasts and the appeal on this point succeeds. The Appeal Tribunal also found that clause 12 of the Subscription Broadcasting Code is not applicable to news broadcasts, inter alia because clause 28.1.7 of the Code allows extraordinary violence in news broadcasts and clause 12 and clause 28.1.7 are mutually exclusive and the appeal on this point succeeds. The Appeal Tribunal also found that, judged in context, the news broadcasts did not exceed the limits of extraordinary violence. The Appeal Tribunal did not interfere with the fine of R10 000 for failure by the broadcaster to advise viewers of the extraordinary violence in the main report and the appeal against the sanction was not upheld. The Appeal Tribunal considered the gross negligence in the failure to advise viewers before the headlines in five news bulletins as one contravention and reduced the fine of R25 000 to R10 000. The appeal against the sanction succeeded partly. e.tv vs Chirongoma, Townsend and Brand.