The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that General Television Corporation Pty Ltd, the licensee of Melbourne’s GTV 9, breached the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice 2004 in a segment broadcast during A Current Affair on 23 July 2007 by failing to present factual material accurately, and by failing to correct significant error of fact at the earliest opportunity.
The segment was titled ‘Foreign Doctors’ and reported on the quality of care provided by medical practitioners in Australia who had received training in other countries. The complainant was referred to in the segment in a discussion about the care provided to one of his patients.
ACMA found that the licensee failed to present material relating to the complainant accurately by omitting material regarding the complainant’s Australian qualifications. This was a finding of a significant error of fact which the licensee also failed to make reasonable efforts to correct at the earliest opportunity.
In response to the breach findings, the Nine Network has advised ACMA that it has undertaken to:
- include the findings as part of its regular training program for news and current affairs; and
- conduct immediate training in relation to the findings with all relevant A Current Affair production staff
ACMA is currently in discussions with industry generally around current affairs programs and compliance with the code. In light of these, ACMA does not propose, at this stage, to take any action in isolation in relation to this matter.