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Complaint re TV3’s Gratuitous Violence in “Scream”

Complaint re TV3’s Gratuitous Violence in “Scream”

The Society has lodged a formal complaint with TV3 with respect to its screening of the R16 horror film “Scream” at 8.30 p.m. Monday 23rd February 2004. This film was a favourite of the Columbine Killers. The Society maintains that TV3 breached Standard 9 of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting that requires broadcasters to consider the interests of child viewers (persons under 14 years of age) during their normally accepted viewing times. The film which contains much extreme and gratuitous violence had previously been screened by the same broadcaster on the 18th of January 2002 at 8.30 p.m. on a week night and was the subject of a complaint by Mr Michael Hooker and dealt with by the Broadcasting Standards Authority (Decision No: 2002-120, Dated the 19th day of September 2002). The BSA ruled on that complaint that TV3 breached Standard 9 of the Code but did not issue an order against the broadcaster, showing leniancy because it was the first time that the Authority had upheld a complaint measured against the new Standard 9 and the applicable Guidelines. The Society will refer the present complaint to the BSA if it is not satisfied by TV3’s response. It has not yet received a response to its complaint which was received by the Society’s lawyer on 19 March 2004 and by its Chief Executive on 22 March 204.

COPY OF FORMAL COMPLAINT

Attention:

Mr Rick Frieson

Chief Executive

TV3 Network Ltd

Private Bag 92624

Auckland

cc.

Ms Claire Bradley

Legal Counsel, Standards Committee

TV3

Formal Complaint to TV3 re Scream

Introduction

“… Scream, whose thesis was that murdering your friends and teachers, is a fun way for high-school kids to get back at anyone who teases them. Scream was the favorite movie of the Columbine killers.”

SPCS maintains that TV3 has breached Standard 9 of the Broadcasting Code for a second time with its screening of Scream.

Prior to broadcasting Scream earlier this year, the TV3 Standards Committee had access to a BSA decision ruling that TVNZ breached Standard 9 of the Broadcasting Code (Decision No: 2003-046, Dated the 5th day of June 2003) as well as other BSA decisions relating to Standard 9 issued since it first screened the film in 2002.

The movie Scream was broadcast on TV3 at 8.30pm on Monday 23rd February 2004. It had previously been screened by the same broadcaster on the 18th of January 2002 and was the subject of a complaint by Mr Michael Hooker dealt with by the Broadcasting Standards Authority (Decision No: 2002-120, Dated the 19th day of September 2002). The BSA ruled on that complaint that TV3 breached Standard 9 of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting that requires broadcasters to consider the interests of child viewers during their normally accepted viewing times.

[56] … For the reasons above, the Authority upholds the complaint that the broadcast of Scream on TV3 on 18 January 2002 at 8.30pm breached Standard 9 of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice. It declines to uphold any other aspect of the complaint.

[59] Having upheld a complaint, the Authority may impose orders under ss. 13 and 16 of the Broadcasting Act 1989. Having considered all the circumstances of the complaint and taking into account the fact that this is the first time that the Authority has upheld a complaint measured against the new Standard 9 and the applicable Guidelines, the Authority does not consider that an order is warranted. [Emphasis added].

The Society maintains that on the 23rd of February 2004 TV3 knowingly and intentionally breached Standard 9 of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Practice. It is our view that TV3’s intention was to yet again push the envelope of objectionable content accessible to children and young persons. In doing this it demonstrated a cavalier attitude to the earlier ruling made against it by the BSA (Decision No: 2002-120). Furthermore, its Standards Committee would have had access to the more recent BSA decision ruling that TVNZ breached Standard 9 of the Broadcasting Code (Decision No: 2003-046, Dated the 5th day of June 2003).

A number of other recent BSA rulings have made findings in relation to alleged breaches of Standard 9 by broadcasters. For example, the BSA ruled (by majority) that Guidelines 9a, 9c and 9e were breached in Decision No: 2003-124 Dated the 20th day of November 2003.

A Society complaint last year against TV4 dealt with Standard 9 and Guidelines 9a and 9c –dealing with children’s normally accepted viewing times. The R18 film The Ugly, the subject of the complaint and a psychological thriller made in New Zealand was screened on TV4 at 9.30pm on Thursday 16 January 2003. The society’s complaint was not upheld by the BSA (Decision No: 2003-072, Dated the 24th day of July 2003).

The Society executive believes that its present complaint against TV3 with respect to Scream will serve as a test case of how the BSA deals with broadcasters who ignore its earlier rulings, through repeat offending. In our view TV3 has demonstrated a socially irresponsible attitude. The film should have been screened at a much later time slot and/or cut to remove material that could potentially traumatise and adversely disturb children (under 14) and younger teens (14-15) who do view TV after 8.30 p.m. in large numbers, unsupervised or with parents (see The Younger Audience: Children and Broadcasting in New Zealand by Reece Walters & Wieba Zwaga, copyright BSA. Forwarded by Peter Cartwright, former Chairperson, BSA. First published 2001).

The broadcaster rated the film Scream "Adults Only", which means "programmes containing adult themes and directed primarily at mature audiences". It was preceded by a verbal and written warning "this film contains scenes of violence and coarse language intended for adult audiences". We would request that the broadcaster confirm this.

Despite the warning, “the Authority point[ed] out [Decision No: 2003-046, Dated the 5th day of June 2003] the inclusion of warnings does not absolve broadcasters from a possible breach of Standard 9. Standard 9.”

[27] The Authority agrees with TVNZ that the warning made clear that some viewers might find the film offensive in view of its content. However, the Authority points out, the inclusion of warnings does not absolve broadcasters from a possible breach of Standard 9. Standard 9, unlike Standard 1, does not require the Authority to assess the range of contextual matters considered in paragraph [23] above. Guideline 9b requires broadcasters to ensure that the content which led to the AO rating is not shown soon after the watershed. The Authority refers to Decision No: 2002-120, dated 19 September 2002, which upheld a complaint that the film Scream breached Standard 9, despite a warning, as a "gruesome and horrific" scene was shown at 8.45pm "soon after the watershed". The Authority believes that the violence portrayed in the first ten minutes of The Assignment, when a grenade was thrown into a crowded restaurant and scenes of dismembered bodies were visible, was "soon after the watershed". [Emphasis added].

Again the BSA failed to issue an order against the broadcaster for a breach of Standard 9, using the same reasoning which allowed it to let TV3 ‘off the hook’ with regard to its finding on Scream dated 19th September 2002.

[30] Having upheld a complaint, the Authority may make orders under ss.13 and 16 of the Broadcasting Act 1989. It invited submissions from the parties. Having considered all the circumstances of the complaint and taking into account the fact that this is the first time that the Authority has upheld a complaint in regard to a broadcast by TVNZ measured against Standard 9 and Guidelines 9a, 9b and 9c, the Authority does not consider that an Order is warranted.

Scream has been classified R16 – restricted to those persons 16 years of age and over – by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. It has a censor’s warning note: “Contains violence and offensive language”. It was classified “restricted” under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 (“the Act”) because of the “degree” and “extent” (s. 3[3] of the Act] of depiction of “violence” (and coarse language) and was considered “injurious to the public good” under the Act, if it is made available to anyone under 16 years of age. It is a serious offence under s. 125 of the Act to “supply” this film to anyone under 16 years of age. Any person convicted of this offence can face a fine of up to $5,000 while a corporate body can face a fine of up to $10,000.

The film Scream commenced screening on 23 February at the beginning of the 8.30 p.m.“watershed” time when the Broadcasting Code allows for AO films – “programmes containing adult themes and directed primarily at mature audiences" - to begin being broadcast. However, the Code requires broadcasters to take into special consideration under guideline 9b “When scheduling AO material to commence at 8.30pm, broadcasters should exercise discretion to ensure that the content which led to the AO rating is not shown soon after the watershed.” (Emphasis added).

It is the Society’s view that TV3 demonstrated a socially irresponsible approach when it allowed a R16 restricted film with a high level of gratuitous violence to be screened so close to the watershed time alluring youngsters into viewing its bloody horror-filled content. It thereby breached Standard 9.

2. The genre of the film

According to TV3 Network Services Ltd (see Decision No: 2002-120), the broadcaster:

Scream is well known as a horror movie, which satirises and subverts the horror genre. Usually the point of the plot and the special effects in a horror movie is to create feelings of fear and horror in the viewer. This fear reaction is the reason that fans of horror movies watch them. Scream is interesting in this context, as it is a more cynical take on the usual horror movie. Scream acknowledges the unwritten rules of horror - for example if you go out of the house you will be killed, and virgins cannot be killed - and the movie subverts or makes fun of them. Because of this Scream is viewed cynically, not as reality but as a satire of the horror genre as a whole.

Scream however also manages to contain the crucial elements of a traditional horror movie, which are the gruesome special effects/murders and the anticipation of "horrific" violence that leads to the required and anticipated feelings of fear for the viewer.

The Society acknowledges that a mature person may be able to recognise that the film satirises the horror genre. However, the intention of the Broadcasting Code in defining constraints upon broadcasters with respect to the “watershed” time, is to protect the interests and rights of children (defined under the Code as those under 14 years of age, in line with the Children’s, Young Persons and Families Act). The issue that broadcasters must consider is the effect of the “degree” and “extent” of depiction of matters such as “violence” and criminal activity, etc. on those under 14 years of age (if screened close to the “watershed” time) and on those under the age of 16 years (as the Classification Office has ruled that the film is injurious to the public good if viewed by those under 16 years of age) whose viewing time extends beyond 8.30 p.m.

A well known High Court ruling (Waverley v. SPCS) emphasises the need for censorship bodies to consider the “effect” of the material upon the mind of the average viewer for whom the publication is intended, when considering appropriate ratings. When R16 films are being lined up for broadcast on TV close to the “watershed” time, the broadcaster must ensure that children and young persons rights – ie, rights to be safeguarded from injury via exposure to objectionable and offensive content - are indeed safe-guarded, either by cutting violent material or moving the broadcast to a later time-slot.

Another aspect apparently overlooked by TV3 is that many viewers commence watching a film at various times while it is being screened. It would be unreasonable to assume that most who do this would pick up the fact that it is a satire, if they have missed aspects of “context”.

Scream like the Quenton Tarantino’s films Pulp fiction, Kill Bill (Volume 1), Resevoir Dogs and others, revels in violence to a preposterous degree. Like Kill Bill it wallows in sordid and putrid violence under the flimsy ‘justification’ of paying homage to a particular genre of film by way of satire. The New Republic (10.13.03) states:

Kill Bill is distributed by Miramax, a Disney studio. Disney seeks profit by wallowing in gore--Kill Bill opens with an entire family being graphically slaughtered for the personal amusement of the killers--and by depicting violence and murder as pleasurable sport. Disney's Miramax has been behind a significant share of Hollywood's recent violence-glorifying junk, including Scream, whose thesis was that murdering your friends and teachers is a fun way for high-school kids to get back at anyone who teases them. Scream was the favorite movie of the Columbine killers. [http://www.tnr.com/easterbrook.mhtml?pid=844]

The Columbine connection has been noted by a number of reviewers, even in a recent review of the sequel Scream 3 (S3)

To be fair, Craven's work here feels watered down itself. In an apparent reaction to the Columbine murders, the violence and gore is significantly toned down; there's nothing in _S3_ that comes close to the bloodbath that closed the first film. While the amount of blood is not necessarily proportional to the amount of excitement generated, in putting a damper on the violence, Craven seems to have also put a damper on his reckless, anything-for-a-scare abandon. [http://www.all-reviews.com/videos/scream3.htm]

Our country has experienced an on-going bloodbath of brutal slayings, aggravated robberies, sexual violence, and revenge murders etc. in recent years and one wonders how TV3 executives and its so-called Standards Committee, think they are contributing to society’s well-being by screening programmes such as Scream, filled with gratuitous violence and criminal activity, so close to the TV programming “watershed” time.

3. The Society’s Complaint

TV3 breached Standards 1 (Guideline 1a), 2 (Guideline 2e), 7 (Guideline 7a), 9 (Guidelines 9a, 9b and 9c) and 10 (Guidelines 10a, 10b and 10f) of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice.

With regard to the breach of good taste and decency standard, two scenes (among many) can be highlighted:

the scene that depicts a woman who had clearly suffered horrific injuries, including a stab to the heart and apparent throat cut, being dragged along, is outside the currently accepted norms of decency and taste, particularly when shown less that fifteen minutes after the watershed. Video retailers the Society has contacted in Wellington about this film have expressed serious concerns about the high impact level of gratuitous violence in the opening 20 minutes.

the bloodbath that occurs towards the end of the film depicts high levels of gratuitous brutal and prolonged violence - gratuitous in that it is designed to titillate the viewer, treating cruelty and mutilation as something to be laughed at. These scenes breach standard 1, of the Guidelines. The close-panning of youngsters writhing on the floor gurgling and belching up copious lungfulls of blood following the infliction of serious throat cuttings, stabbings etc. are breaches of standards 1. The youngsters might appear to some as delirious with their bloodletting orgy.

TV 3 in its submissions in 2002 to the BSA argued that these scenes were "farcical and completely unrealistic" and "intended as parody". However, it has overlooked the detrimental effect on youngsters who might have missed such subtle distinctions, of exposure to such perverse garbage. Gratuitous violence which serves no other purpose but to titillate and excite, while at the same time dulling the senses to any suffering or reality of violence, is offensive and injurious to the public good. It is born of a nihilistic mindset devoid of rational or even normative moral codes. Scream has a tendency to promote or support violence by normalising the activity, treating it with callous disdain and parading it as something that can excite and gratify the senses.

Standard 2, Guideline 2e was breached by the depiction of a scene showing two people taking turns stabbing each other and laughing about it. This glamorised the realistic portrayal of anti-social behaviour - specifically violent, serious crime. It was gratuitous violence.

4. The classification of the movie.

TV3 did not observe the appropriate classification codes and therefore breached standard 7, Guideline 7a. The Special Note to Standard 7, Guideline 7a contained in Appendix 1 to the Television Code, provides:

There will be programmes containing stronger material or special elements, which fall outside the AO guidelines. These programmes may contain a greater degree of sexual activity, potentially offensive language, realistic violence, sexual violence, or horrific encounters. In such circumstances, time designations such as "AO 9.30pm or later" may be appropriate.

TV3 programming management failed to be mindful of the effect of the high level violence in this R16 film on younger teenagers 14-15 who are recognised under the Broadcasting Code as generally up at this time still viewing TV. (It is only those under 14 – “children” - for whom the “watershed” time of 8.30 p.m. applies as ‘protection’). The Society argues that:

8.45 p.m. on a week night is still a 14-15 year olds normally accepted TV viewing time and yet the murder depicted in the movies opening sequence should not have been broadcast as it was “injurious to the public good” based on its R16 rating. It constituted material which would have disturbed or alarmed any normal child – those under 14 years (Guideline 9a) as well as those under 16 years. The broadcaster was socially irresponsible screening this film at 8.30 p.m. and appears to have made no effort to make any excisions.

TV3 did not exercise discretion when it allowed the content which led to the movie’s AO rating (and R16 OFLC rating) to be shown soon after the watershed, specifically disallowed under Guideline 9b;

TV3 did not handle with care and sensitivity sequences in which people were badly treated. The excessively violent material was gratuitous and did not pass the test of relevancy within the context of the programme. (Guideline 9e); and

TV3 did not take care to ensure that realistically menacing or horrifying imagery was not included in the movie watched by many youngsters under 16 years of age.

5. The Standards

Gratuitous violence Standard 10

Guideline 10a was breached because TV3 did not ensure that the violence which was made available for youngsters (13-15) to see, was not gratuitous and justified by context;

Standard 10, Guideline 10b was breached because the cumulative effect of violent incidents gave the impression that violence dominated the programme; and

Standard 10, Guideline 10f was breached because, the fictitious killings which were depicted were explicit and prolonged.

Standard 9 Children’s Interests


During children’s normally accepted viewing times (see Appendix 1), broadcasters are required, in the preparation and presentation of programmes, to consider the interests of child viewers.

Guidelines


9a Broadcasters should be mindful of the effect any programme or promo may have on children during their normally accepted viewing times – usually up to 8.30pm – and avoid screening material which would disturb or alarm them.

9c Broadcasters should have regard to the fact that children tend to stay up later than usual on Friday and Saturday nights and during school and public holidays and, accordingly, special attention should be given to providing appropriate warnings during these periods.

Standard 1 Good Taste and Decency

In the preparation and presentation of programmes, broadcasters are responsible for maintaining standards, which are consistent with the observance of good taste and decency.

6. TV3 Defends Scream Screening Time

TV 3 has written (see Decision No: 2002-120):

When considering "good taste and decency" in relation to Scream several factors must be taken into account, including audience expectation, genre, use of warnings, censor edits, and programme rating. Scream was rated for Adults Only and preceded by a written and verbal warning for coarse language and violence.

Scream is a well-known horror movie and TV3 promoted it as such in promos and press listings on both occasions it has screened. The horror genre carries with it an in-built expectation of the suspension of reality, and for over-the-top depictions of violence. These depictions are unrealistic because they are "heightened". Only in a horror movie is the killer unstoppable/unkillable, and the victims survive seemingly unsurvivable situations if they are "pure of heart". From this the audience would have an accurate expectation of the content of the movie, even if they had not seen the explicit warning at the beginning.

The viewer would begin watching (seeing Drew Barrymore’s character answer the phone) with an expectation that they would be "horrified". This opening segment was edited for screening on-air, and contrary to your recollection of the scene, she did not have her throat cut - she was stabbed once in the heart. The movie continues to 50 minutes (excluding advertising time) before another murder occurs. While the action could be described as gruesome, it is not explicit and the content does not reach a threshold which would be unacceptable in an AO horror movie before 9pm.

Dealing with the complaint that it had not been mindful of children in screening Scream, TV3 wrote in 2002:

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has previously ruled that 8.30pm onwards is not deemed to be the normally accepted viewing time of children. However, the Authority has signalled its concern that this Adults Only watershed does not become a "waterfall" so, in reviewing this complaint, [TV3] considered whether the action in the first half-hour was in fact acceptable for an AO rated programme, with a warning for violence, broadcast directly after 8.30pm.

In TV3’s assessment, Scream was a well-known horror movie and had been promoted as such by TV3 in promos and press listings. Accordingly, TV3 considered that the audience would have had an accurate expectation of the content of the movie, even if they had not seen the warning. As to the opening half-hour of the movie, TV3 explained that the movie began with the murder of two students, but in its view it was

not explicit and the audience only sees the female victim being stabbed once on screen during this time period.

Taking into account the context of the movie, TV3 concluded that this content was acceptable for broadcast in an AO movie before 9.00pm. It reiterated that the movie then continued for 50 minutes (excluding advertising breaks) before another murder occurred. It also reiterated that a warning for violent content had preceded the movie in line with Standard 9, Guideline 9c.

In addition to the contextual matters already referred to, it noted that the violence in Scream was "unrealistic and over-engineered", and that part of the reason horror film buffs watch horror movies is to see the special effects.

Concerning Standard 2, the Society reiterates that the scenes it has complained glamorised the actions of the killers because:

the killers were "clearly deriving pleasure from being stabbed";

the perpetrators were young, healthy and attractive;

the violence was not justified;

the violence was rewarded; and

the violence was presented in a humorous fashion and the painful results were not shown.

disturbing rather than farcical and very realistic due to the copious quantities of blood.

In relation to Standard 7, by starting the movie in children’s viewing time, TV3 had enticed children to view the movie. BSA Decision No: 2001-220/222 dated 17 December 2001 supports this argument. The Society considers that:

The movie showed multiple scenes of extremely realistic violence and numerous horrific encounters. Towards the end of the movie it was unrelenting carnage. TV3 breached Guideline 7a by screening this programme at 8.30pm thereby failing to ensure that the appropriate classification codes were observed as specified in Appendix 1.

Guideline 9b had been breached by screening the opening scene soon after the watershed.

.

Guideline 9f was breached.

The portrayal of being stabbed to death was realistically menacing and horrifying imagery for which the perpetrators showed no remorse.

Decision No: 1990-025, dated 21 November 1990, supports the argument that:

Children are more frightened by violence because they do not fully understand that it is not real.

.

In relation to his complaint about Standard 10. Decision No: 1993-077, dated 28 June 1993, supports the argument that the broadcast of Scream breached the standard.

Decision No: 2002-120.

Viewers, unless forewarned, may not have been aware initially that the film was a parody of the horror genre or aware of TV3 promos and press listings.

7. Official Information Request relevant to complaint

The society requests that TV3 provide the most basic evidence concerning the following:

(1) the number of scenes (and durations) cut from the original movie prior to broadcast.

(2) the number of such scenes in the uncut film

(3) a simple time line to prove that a genuine attempt was made to exercise the disturbing violence "at the beginning of the movie".

(4) evidence that such material at the "beginning" was "edited more closely" than material later in the film.

TV3 cannot dispute the fact that many hundreds (if not thousands) of 10-15 year olds are up well after 8.30pm on most nights of the week. Therefore it has been socially irresponsible for screening restricted R16 content – containing scenes of graphic violence (and obscene language) – to those under 16 years of age.

With reference to the Bill of Rights, the SPCS argues that it would have been both reasonable and justifiable in terms of s.5 of the Act – i.e. justifiable limitation - not to have screened Scream at 8.30pm. Likewise it might not be unreasonable for a screening to have commenced at 10.30pm, as that was a time when there was the least likelihood of children viewing the film, and being disturbed and alarmed by it:

The vast majority of reasonable-minded adults would recognise that a broadcaster has every right under the law to choose to screen a disturbing film.

In making such decisions the essential considerations of the SPCS are;

:

the protection of children from programmes containing adult themes which lacked good taste and decency;

the responsibility on broadcasters to demonstrate that they have made every effort to comply with the Codes; and

The SPCS notes:

It is wrong to conclude that The Office of Film and Literature Classification ratings have little relevance to the screening of movies on FTA television as movies are modified from their original form to be able to screen. This is a circular argument as it assumes that a broadcaster’s appraiser did in fact cut the film to an appropriate format to make it comply with the Broadcast Standards Code. However, this is the very point under contention. If no cuts were made to Scream or insufficient cuts to meet the BSC, then a complainant has every right in law to appeal to the OFLC decision with respect to age suitability. In such a case the OFLC ratings are relevant. The Society is arguing that the if cuts were made to The Scream, they were so insignificant that they would not have altered the OFLC classification on the publication, if the screened version was submitted to that "expert body" for appraisal.

APPENDIX

Guideline


1a Broadcasters must take into consideration current norms of decency and taste in language and behaviour bearing in mind the context in which any language or behaviour occurs. Examples of context are the time of the broadcast, the type of programme, the target audience, the use of warnings and the programme’s classification (see Appendix 1). The examples are not exhaustive.

Standard 2 Law and Order


In the preparation and presentation of programmes, broadcasters are responsible for maintaining standards which are consistent with the maintenance of law and order.

Guideline
2e The realistic portrayal of anti-social behaviour, including violent and serious crime and the abuse of liquor and drugs, should not be shown in a way that glamorises these activities.

Standard 7 Programme Classification


Broadcasters are responsible for ensuring that programmes are appropriately classified and adequately display programme classification information, and that time-bands are adhered to.

Guideline


7a Broadcasters should ensure that appropriate classification codes are established and observed (Appendix 1). Classification symbols should be displayed at the beginning of each programme and after each advertising break

Standard 9 Children’s Interests


During children’s normally accepted viewing times (see Appendix 1), broadcasters are required, in the preparation and presentation of programmes, to consider the interests of child viewers.

Guidelines


9a Broadcasters should be mindful of the effect any programme or promo may have on children during their normally accepted viewing times – usually up to 8.30pm – and avoid screening material which would disturb or alarm them.

9b When scheduling AO material to commence at 8.30pm, broadcasters should exercise discretion to ensure that the content which led to the AO rating is not shown soon after the watershed.

9c Broadcasters should have regard to the fact that children tend to stay up later than usual on Friday and Saturday nights and during school and public holidays and, accordingly, special attention should be given to providing appropriate warnings during these periods.

9e Scenes and themes dealing with disturbing social and domestic friction or sequences in which people – especially children – or animals may be humiliated or badly treated, should be handled with care and sensitivity. All gratuitous material of this nature must be avoided and any scenes which are shown must pass the test of relevancy within the context of the programme. If thought likely to disturb children, the programme should be scheduled later in the evening.

9f "Scary" themes are not necessarily unsuitable for older children, but care should be taken to ensure that realistically menacing or horrifying imagery is not included.

Standard 10 Violence


In the preparation and presentation of programmes, broadcasters are required to exercise care and discretion when dealing with the issue of violence.

Guidelines


10a Broadcasters should ensure that any violence shown is not gratuitous and is justified by the context.

10b Broadcasters should be mindful of the cumulative effect of violent incidents and themes and should avoid any impression that violence is dominating a single programme, a programme series, or a line-up of programmes screened back-to-back.

10f When real or fictitious killings, including executions and assassinations, are shown, the coverage should not be explicit, prolonged, or repeated gratuitously.

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