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Television complaint upheld

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    Television complaint upheld - 26-Nov-1995
    On the 7th May 1995, Bays Television of Nelson broadcast a programme called "Craving for Love" in which Dr. Neil and Briar Whitehead purported to examine sexual development with particular reference to homosexuality. The argument put forward was the one so diligently put forward by Christian fundamentalists. Through its secretary, Henry James, Spectrum Nelson's group for gay and bisexual men lodged a complaint through the Broadcasting Act 1989 that the programme breached standards G4, G6 and G13 of the Television Code of Practice.

    The Authority has ruled that the programme did breach Standard G6, in that "....the commentators were not impartial in dealing with a controversial issue..." and that the broadcast did not meet the requirement in Standard G6 for balance and impartiality.

    This programme had been shown in Christchurch in 1993, and in December of that year, the Broadcasting Authority upheld a complaint that the programme breached standard G6. It is a strange quirk of the law when despite a programme having been the subject of a successful complaint, that same programme can go to air again without any additional penalty. Presumably this programme could go all round the country generating a string of complaints behind it as it went?

    One lesson is the need for us to be constantly watchful of TV programming as it was only the vigilance of a Spectrum member that alerted the group to this instance.
    Filed by Henry James
    Ref: - QNA - Broadcasting Standards Authority Decision

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