Be Offensive, But Just Say Sorry – BSA

Family First NZ is calling for the Broadcasting Standards Authority to be sacked after accepting an apology as a remedy for an on-air tirade of highly offensive language.

“A radio presenter read out the list of the 30 most offensive words as determined by the BSA. When a listener quite rightly complained, the BSA said that because the employer RadioWorks had apologized to the listener offended, that was sufficient. The Authority even noted that there was a clear intention to offend. The clear message to broadcasters is ‘go for your life – be offensive – but just say sorry’,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“This brings into disrepute both the BSA and the supposed objective of publishing the words that are deemed unacceptable on air for listeners and families to be subjected to. Families are sick and tired of bring confronted with this material.”

A recent poll showed 65% of 1,000 NZ’ers polled were concerned about broadcasting standards on television.

“Once again it proves the complete ineffectiveness of the Broadcasting Standards Authority which has allowed our broadcasting standards to reach an all-time low, with a proliferation of foul language, violence, and sexual content on our airwaves and tv – especially during so-called family viewing times.”

Family First is calling for the development and enforcing of higher standards for TV, film, radio and advertising content including levels of violence, sexual content and objectionable language, and a complete overhaul of the BSA, ASA and Censorship Board with greater community representation and regular changing of board members after limited terms of office to avoid desensitisation or lack of accountability.

“The term ‘broadcasting standards’ is an oxymoron for this authority,” says Mr McCoskrie.

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