CASE NO: 36/2014 – WHITTAKER AND VREY VS 702 – PROFANITY IN NEWS REPORT

In a news item reporting on a road rage incident, a profanity was uttered. The issue was whether the radioexclusion of other words which were probably indecent amounted to a distortion of the news.

 Held

That the profanity, within the context, amounted to meaningless abuse in a report on road rage, and that it did not amount to a distortion of the news to exclude other words that probably also amounted to meaningless abuse, but the inclusion of which was likely to have aggravated the shock to listeners.

That there was also no evidence that the broadcaster intended to denigrate religious feelings. Instead, it simply quoted an expletive used by the person during a road rage incident; as such, the expletive amounted to meaningless abuse – as indeed the other excised words probably did too. There was, in any case, no sign in the broadcast that the words used were supported by the broadcaster. In fact, the words were included in the news item clearly to illustrate how shocking road rage is.

By | 2017-01-27T11:46:35+00:00 December 18th, 2015|702|Comments Off on CASE NO: 36/2014 – WHITTAKER AND VREY VS 702 – PROFANITY IN NEWS REPORT

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