Two TV stations that campaigned for their own survival have been censured by Australian regulator the ACMA.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has decided WIN Television Queensland and Prime Television (Southern) broke impartiality rules because it aired news reports advocating reform of “outdated” media laws considered a threat to their future.
The finding relates to reports by WIN News Townsville and Prime7 News Wagga, and included a “call to action” to support the Save Our Voices’ campaign.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said both broadcasters failed to meet required standards of impartiality under the 2015 industry Code of Practice. “The issue is not the topic reported on but the fact that a news broadcast encouraged viewers to take action and visit an online petition in which the licensee had a direct interest.
Both broadcasters told of the threats to their business during a recent parliamentary inquiry.