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Warning: This research contains language that some readers may find offensive

Today we released the results of our research, Language That May Offend in Broadcasting, which surveyed more than 1,500 members of the NZ public about the words or expressions that may be used on television or radio that they find most offensive.

The results indicate that traditional strong swear words continue to be the most unacceptable regardless of the context, but New Zealanders also have heightened sensitivity to language that may be considered offensive from a cultural, or gender and/or sexual orientation point of view.

You can read our media release on this research here and the full research report here.

Today the Authority issued decisions on five complaints. Four complaints were about television broadcasts and one complaint was about a radio broadcast. Four of the decisions address issues of accuracy in news, current affairs and factual programming about a range of issues including firearms, climate change and international leaders. The Authority did not uphold these complaints. 

To read the full decisions, click on the Latest Decisions button below.

Today we released the results of our 2018 Litmus Testing research, which reports on what the public thinks about some of the BSA’s recent decisions on the Fairness Standard. The decisions considered complaints about The Block NZ: Villa Wars, Newshub, Story and Seven Sharp.

The majority of research participants agreed with the BSA’s decisions for all four programmes, with an average of 90% of participants rating the BSA’s decisions as very good, good or acceptable.  The research also highlights aspects of the fairness standard which the public consider are important, including the importance of informed consent and informed participation in a programme.

You can read our media release on this research here and a summary of the key findings here. The full report can be found here.

A guidance note for broadcasters on using third party content, including content sourced from social media platforms, has been released by the BSA today. The guidance was prepared by broadcasters for use by broadcasters and all media, with the support of the BSA and Netsafe, and outlines some key questions broadcasters ought to consider when deciding whether to use content sourced from third parties. The initiative follows the BSA’s research into how New Zealanders feel about social media content being used in broadcast items and aims to provide the industry with a practical resource to assist in making decisions about broadcast content.

You can view the guidance on our website here and our media release here.

If you would like to read the BSA’s research report Use of Social Media Content in Broadcasting: Public and Broadcaster Perspectives, please click here.

The Authority has today released a decision considering a scene on the 7pm broadcast of Shortland Street, where the word ‘f***ing’ was allegedly used. The broadcaster maintained the character said ‘freaking’. In circumstances where it was uncertain what was actually said, the Authority did not uphold the complaint under the good taste and decency standard. However, the Authority urged broadcasters to take care in future to make it clear when a sanitised version of an unacceptable word is being used, that it is distinctly aurally different, in order to maintain standards.

You can read the full decision here.