Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Broadcasting Complaints Commission slams M-Net's Carte Blanche over 'unfair' and unbalanced iSimangaliso Wetland Park story that lacks accuracy and objectivity.

South Africa's Broadcasting Complaints Commission has slammed M-Net's Carte Blanche over an "unfair" iSimangaliso Wetland Park story, saying the investigate magazine show's insert lacked accuracy and objectivity and was not impartial.

The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority laid a complaint at the BCCSA over M-Net's Carte Blanche over an August 2015 insert over the way the wetland, a heritage site situated in the north-eastern section of KwaZulu-Natal, was apparently being managed, and its officials Terri Castis and Andrew Zaloumis.

The insert was about the park authority purportedly mismanaging the wetland and treating residents of Sodwana Bay.

The BCCSA in its judgment found that the insert "reveals a mindset in which the producer appears to want to vent only grievances in the programme" and that "reasonable efforts were not made to fairly present opposing views".

"There are several omissions of pertinent information given to the producer in an interview" says the BCCSA, that "would have served to give the audience a more balanced view".

The BCCSA found that Carte Blanche contravened the broadcasting code in several aspects and that the broadcast unjustifiably portrayed Terri Castis and Andrew Zaloumis and the park authority as failing to properly manage the park, and that in doing so, businesses had closed down, tourism had waned and unemployment and crime had increased.

"This unjustifiable portrayal was attributable to certain comment not being based on reliable facts, reasonable efforts not being made to fairly present opposing points of view, and the failure to afford a right of reply where this is warranted".

Carte Blanche was ordered to broadcast an on-air apology and also place it on the show's website.