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BSA finds Newshub item required warning

17 November 2017

BSA finds Newshub item required warning

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has found that a Newshub item, which reported on the shooting of two Israeli police officers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, should have carried an audience advisory alerting viewers to potentially disturbing content.

The item featured footage of police officers being chased and shot at, a man being surrounded and shot at, a shot of a pixelated dead body lying in the street, and a covered body on a stretcher being loaded in a van. Some of the footage was also accompanied by audio of gun shots.

The Authority accepted that “[t]here was public interest in the item, and in reporting on important and newsworthy events in East Jerusalem…”

However, the Authority found that an audience advisory was required to alert viewers to the item’s violent content. Warnings are used to enable parents and caregivers to make informed choices about whether they should view, or allow children to view, broadcasts.

“Cumulatively this violent content had the potential to upset or disturb viewers. While the introduction to the item signposted to an extent the subject matter of the item, it did not adequately prepare viewers for the material that followed and we think an explicit warning was needed to alert viewers to the nature of the footage that would be shown.”

On this basis the Authority upheld the complaint under the good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards. The Authority did not uphold the complaint under the law and order standard.


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