Tonga – Media Council Broadcasting Code

Broadcasting Code of Practice of the Tonga Media Council.

1.   Taste and Decency

Recognise currently accepted general standards of decency in language with consideration of the context in which the language and behaviour occur  (including humour, satire and drama), and the timing of transmission and likely audience of the program.

2.   Impartiality and Balance

Show fairness, impartiality and balance in any programme, series of programmes, or in broadly released programmes when dealing with political matters, current affairs and public controversy.

3. Deceptive Practices.

Abstain for using any deceptive programme, practice or technique (including transmission of “reconstruction” or library film or recordings) which are not clearly identified as such.

4.  Interviews

Interviews for radio and television must be arranged, conducted and edited fairly and honestly.  Potential participants are entitled to know in advance the format, subject and purpose of their interview and whether it will be live or recorded.

The presentation and editing of an interview must not distort or misrepresent the views of the person interviewed or give a false impression of  dialogue.
Pre-recorded interviews must not be presented as live interviews.

5.  Violent or Distressing Content

Violence shown graphically or realistically indicated by sound must be justifiable in its context and intensity as being necessary to the programme.

Violence combined with sexuality should not be transmitted in a manner designed to titillate its audience.  Explicit detail and prolonged focus on sexuality violent contact must be avoided.

Editors, producers and broadcasters of news, current affairs and documentaries should take care in deciding whether the inclusion of graphic detail and intense violent or distressing material is warranted by its relevance and aid to public understanding of the subject.

Special consideration must be given to possible transmission of particularly disturbing images including:
1. Torture or ill-treatment of people or animals
2. Close ups of deal or mutilated bodies
3. Images of people in extreme pain or on the point of death
4. Violent or ill treatment of children.

6.  Warning of Disturbing or Offensive Content

Warnings should be broadcast before or at the beginning of any programme containing language or pictures which are likely to be disturbing or offensive to normal viewers or listeners considering the time of transmission and the likely audience.

7. Dangerous or Anti-Social Detail and Hypnotism

Detailed pictures or information about methods of suicide and hanging, the making of explosive or incendiary devices, or illicit use of drugs or solvents should not be transmitted in a way that might instruct or encourage such action.
Refrain from broadcasting any program that: simulates news or events in sound or pictures in such a way as to mislead or alarm its audience.

Do not depict the actual process of putting a subject into a hypnotic state or  any process designed to induce a hypnotic state in its audience.

8.  Crime and Disorder

a) Programmes likely to promote civil; insurrection or encourage crime or public disorder , must not be broadcast.

9.  Cartoons

a) Cartoons depicting human characters should not include excessive violence or scenes of gore or torture.

b) Fantasy cartoons featuring fantasy characters or comic story lines should not depict torture or excessive suffering.

10.  Supplied Material

When a strong editorial reason warrants the inclusion in any programme of recorded or prepared material supplied by, on behalf of, official bodies, companies or campaigning organizations, its source should be revealed.

11. Product Reference and Placement

Undue prominence should not be given in news, factual or entertainment programs, to commercial products or services.  Their appearance or reference to them should be given no more prominence than editorial consideration warrants.

12.  Competition Fail Dealing

Ensure that in programmes and promotions providing prizes or rewards there is no collusion between broadcasters and contestants which result in unfair advantage for one contestant over another.

Recent Related Posts