Saturday, April 17, 2010

TV Code of Practice - how to write a complaint

For Commercial television

Complaints from the public must be made in writing, address the complaint to the licensee, ie the responsible person at the station, and you must provide your name and address. You may use the electronic form on the Free Tv Australia website. You need not refer to the code (although I suggest you do). The complaint must be made within 30 days of the broadcast. The licensee must respond within 30 days.

You can also send a complaint to the ACMA. Licenses report complaints to Free TV Australia, who reports to ACMA.

G classification zones are
weekdays: 6am - 8.30, 4pm - 7pm
weekends: 6am - 10am.

Only programs rated G (general), C (childrens) or P (preschool) to be screened in these zones.

Restriction in G viewing times include:

3.8.8 visual depiction of nudity or partial nudity;
3.8.9 visual depiction of, or verbal reference to, sexual behaviour, except of the most
innocuous kind;
3.8.10 socially offensive or discriminatory language.

Restriction in PG times include:

3.9.6 sexual behaviour other than of a very restrained kind;
3.9.7 visual depiction of nudity, other than of a very restrained or incidental nature;
3.9.8 coarse language, other than of a very mild nature;

6.23 Advertisements directed to children for food and/or beverages:
6.23.1 should not encourage or promote an inactive lifestyle;
6.23.2 should not encourage or promote unhealthy eating or drinking habits;
6.23.3 must not contain any misleading or incorrect information about the nutritional
value of the product.
6.23.4 For the purposes of this Clause 6.23:
“children” means people younger than 14 years of age2;
“inactive lifestyle” means not engaging in any or much physical activity as a
way of life;
“unhealthy eating or drinking habits” means excessive or compulsive
consumption of food and/or beverages;
“promote” means expressly endorse

ABC TV Code of Practice

some quotes form the code:

3.1 Children's Programs. While the real world should not be concealed from children, special care is to be taken to ensure programs children are likely to access, unsupervised, will not cause alarm or distress.

G - General (suitable for all ages)

G programs may be shown at any time.
This category is considered suitable for all viewers, and includes programs designed for pre-school and school age children. The G classification symbol does not necessarily indicate that the program is one that children will enjoy. Some G programs contain themes or story-lines that are not of interest to children.

Parents should feel confident that children can watch material in this classification without supervision. Whether or not the program is intended for children, the treatment of themes and other classifiable elements will be careful and discreet.

Themes: The treatment of themes should have a very low sense of threat or menace, and be justified by context.

Violence: Violence may be very discreetly implied, but should:
  • have a light tone, or
  • have a very low sense of threat or menace, and
  • be infrequent, and
  • not be gratuitous.
Sex: Sexual activity should:
  • only be suggested in very discreet visual or verbal references, and
  • be infrequent, and
  • not be gratuitous.
  • Nudity in a sexual context is not permitted in G.
Language: Coarse language should:
  • be very mild and infrequent, and
  • not be gratuitous.
Drug Use: Drug use should be implied only very discreetly, and be justified by context.

Nudity: Nudity outside of a sexual context should be:
  • infrequent, and
  • not detailed, and
  • not gratuitous.

PG - Parental Guidance (parental guidance recommended for audiences under 15 years)

PG programs may be shown between 8.30 am and 4.00 pm on weekdays and 7.30 pm and 6.00 am on any day of the week.

PG programs may contain themes and concepts which, when viewed by those under 15 years, may require the guidance of an adult. The PG classification signals to parents that material in this category contains depictions or references which could be confusing or upsetting to children without adult guidance. Material classified PG will not be harmful or disturbing to children.

Parents may choose to preview the material for their children. Some may choose to watch the material with their children. Others might find it sufficient to be accessible during or after the viewing to discuss the content.

Themes: Supernatural or mild horror themes may be included. The treatment of themes should be discreet and mild in impact. More disturbing themes are not generally dealt with at PG level.

Violence: Violence may be discreetly implied or stylised, and should also be:
  • mild in impact, and
  • not shown in detail.
Sex: Sexual activity and nudity in a sexual context may be suggested, but should:
  • be discreet, and
  • be infrequent, and
  • not be gratuitous.
  • Verbal references to sexual activity should be discreet.
Language: Coarse language should be mild and infrequent.

Drug Use: Discreet verbal references and mild, incidental visuals of drug use may be included, but these should not promote or encourage drug use.

Nudity: Nudity outside of a sexual context should not be detailed or gratuitous.


9.2 ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs. Complaints that the ABC has acted contrary to this Code of Practice should be directed to the ABC in the first instance. Phone complainants seeking a written response from the ABC will be asked to put their complaint in writing. All such written complaints are to be directed to ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs, GPO Box 9994, in the capital city of your State or Territory. The complainant will receive a response from the ABC within 60 days of receipt of their complaint.

The ABC will make a reasonable effort to provide an adequate response to complaints about Code of Practice matters, except where a complaint is frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith or the complainant is vexatious or not acting in good faith.

Contact Addresses

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Audience and Consumer Affairs

GPO Box 9994, in the capital city of your State or Territory

Rage publish their playlists

Video Hits on Channel 10 Saturdays 10 am - 12, and Video Hits Presents on Channel 10 Sunday 8.30 - 10 am, you might be able to watch online - watching to check the content might be tricky if you don' t want your kids to see the show.

More on writing to ministers soon...

1 comment:

chellecahill said...

Motherhugger, I've been meaning to get back to you on this - and that is the crux of my problem. Let me explain: what I love about Get-up is that it allows you to be an Armchair Activist. Get-up does the work for you. They compose the letter of complaint [to the ABC and Channel 10, for example], and give you the email address to send it to - all you have to do is copy, paste and press Send! (or you can modify said letter, tailor it to your own needs, and then press send). I have been meaning to compose this letter to the ABC and channel 9 complaining about the semi-pornigraphic music videos shown at child-friendly times for more than 2 weeks now ... and I still haven't got there. So, I'm wondering whether YOU would be willing to compose such a letter (you're so eloquent in these matters!) and post it here so that I can plagiarise large sections of it and send too. Plus I will post it on my Facebook page and urge all my friends to modify and send it. Further, I suggest you post your letter on Melinda Tankard Reist's website and on Essential Baby which will reach still more people, and that way we could mobilise a significant number of people to complain within the same time period which would surely result in some response or action.