That will be the case when the Australian Communication and Media Authority begins operating under a new code 1/1/10. Said to have been inspired by a particularly raunchy eight-year run of a reality television program, broadcasters will have to explain why certain objectionable program elements were critical to the program.
It goes beyond indecent programming – it also demands apologies for erroneous reporting.
According to Australian publication Adelaide Now, broadcasters will have to:
“Stop exploiting and demeaning reality television contestants.
“Prove sex scenes and nudity are relevant to plots if they receive complaints.
“Explain how dirty jokes and references were necessary to the show.
“Make apologies for errors in current affairs and news reports on air in a timely fashion.”
Complainants will also be allowed to file online for the first time.
Local media watchdogs say the move by the nation’s version of the FCC is welcome, if belated, but point out that it is exceedingly short in terms of consequences.
They point out that if a broadcaster is doing a show about strippers, it will simply argue that graphic depictions of strippers are a necessary part of it.
RBR-TVBR observation: Wow – Australian television would make the local anti-indecency community’s hair stand on end.
Had it happened Down Under, America’s infamous 9/16ths-of-a-second costume mishap, whether planned or accidental, perhaps could have been dealt with via a heartfelt apology rather than a $550K fine, and avoided literally becoming a federal case.