Posts Tagged ‘Mediawatch-UK’

Read more Ofcom Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

love island Love Island
30 June 2016, ITV2, 21:00

Love Island is an ITV2 reality programme in which a group of young single people look for romance while staying in a luxury villa.

Ofcom received seven complaints about the episode broadcast on 30 June 2016 at 21:00. Viewers objected to a scene in which housemates Emma and Terry had sex. This was broadcast shortly after the watershed.

The individual housemates got into bed with their partners. The lights in the communal bedroom were turned off and the following images were shown in the form of footage taken using night vision cameras:

  • Emma and Terry in bed together and kissing, with their upper bodies visible above the duvet (with Emma wearing a slip);
  • Emma and Terry looking at each other in medium close up;
  • a wide shot from behind of Emma as the duvet slipped from her shoulders down to her lower back, which indicated that under the duvet she was straddling Terry;
  • a series of three brief close-ups of Emma’s back and shoulders as the couple had sex; and
  • a shot from behind of Emma pulling the duvet back up over her shoulders afterwards.

These shots were interspersed with images of the shocked reactions of the other housemates in the villa’s bedroom while Emma and Terry had sex, as well as interview footage of them afterwards recounting their view of what had happened.

Ofcom considered rules:

  • Rule 1.6: The transmission to more adult material must not be unduly abrupt at the watershed…For television, the strongest material should appear later in the schedule.
  • Rule 2.3 In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…Such material may include, but is not limited to…sex…Appropriate information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.

Ofcom Decision: Not in Breach of Rules 1.6 and 2.3

Rule 1.6

We noted that Love Island is a relatively well-established reality show format and that this episode formed part of the programme’s second series (which began on 30 May 2016). The series focuses on the romantic entanglements of a group of young single people, and we recognised that sexual activity between housemates had occurred in this and the previous series, and is often a key element of the programme’s ongoing narratives.

We took account of other specific contextual factors that we considered reduced the explicitness and overall sexual tone of the material. In particular, we observed that the images of the sexual activity were recorded using night vision cameras so that they were in monochrome and relatively indistinct, and the shots of Emma straddling Terry while they were having sex were very brief (approximately six seconds in total duration). We also noted that none of this sexual activity was shown in any explicit way: the couple were covered by a duvet below the waist and Emma was wearing a slip throughout, and there were no images of full nudity during these scenes. We considered that the use of music, and the intercutting of the shots of Emma and Terry with the housemates’ reactions, lightened the tone and further reduced the potential impact on viewers of the sequence. We also took account of the clear warning before the programme that alerted viewers to “scenes of a sexual nature”.

Ofcom had regard to the fact that the programme was broadcast on ITV2, a channel that is aimed at a young adult audience. In light of this, much of this channel’s postwatershed schedule includes reality programmes as well as films and comedies targeted at adults. We therefore considered it likely the audience would have a greater expectation for content potentially unsuitable for children to be shown shortly after the watershed on this channel, compared to the audience for the main ITV public service channel.

We also noted that this episode of Love Island was immediately preceded by a double-bill of the sitcom Two and a Half Men. This programme typically includes some limited discussion of adult and sexual themes and does not aim to attract child viewers. We considered these factors helped, in this case, to ensure that the transition to stronger material after the watershed was not unduly abrupt. In addition, given the brevity and relative inexplicitness of the content, we did not consider it amounted to the strongest material . For all these reasons, our Decision was that Rule 1.6 was not breached.

Rule 2.3

We considered that the Licensee had ensured that this potentially offensive material was justified by the context. Therefore, our Decision was that it did not breach Rule 2.3. In the particular circumstances of this case, Ofcom has found this material did not breach of the Code.

However, as noted above, we consider that content including real sex may carry a greater potential to raise issues under the Code than depictions of sex in a drama or film. Broadcasters should take particular care and exercise caution when scheduling material of this type soon after the watershed.

Moralists fall out of love with the TV censors

Of course a few moralist campaigners were non pleased by Ofcom’s decision and were happy to provide the Daily Mail with a few sound bites.

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, whinged:

campaign for real eductaion logo Schools work hard to encourage children not to experiment with sex and these kinds of programmes present sex as some kind of Victorian freak show, offered up for entertainment.

Sam Burnett, acting director of Mediawatch-UK, whinged:

mediawatch banner logo Apparently it’s now OK to show two people having sex nine minutes after the watershed as long as you play some jaunty music over the top of it.

Ofcom’s lip-service regulation is leading to a freefall in television standards, and it’s the viewers who are losing out.

Conservative MP Sir William Cash whinged:

The bottom line is that this was inappropriate. I would agree with those who have said it’s deplorable.

Read more Mediawatch-UK Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

mediawatch banner logo A moralist campaign set up by Catholic campaigner Mary Whitehouse has claims that the public believes TV producers have crossed the line by allowing increasingly inappropriate content to be aired.

Of the 2,009 people questioned in the survey by Atomik Research on behalf of Mediawatch-UK, 100% said they had viewed offensive content before the watershed.

The research received the highest percentage of complaints about sexual activity (47%) followed by bad language (38%), violence (36%) and inappropriate adult issues such as drug use and gambling (34%). However, despite each person confessing they had concerns about unsuitable content, only 26% had complained to the TV censor Ofcom.

Actually 26% of people complaining to Ofcom is a massive proportion of people. Ofcom only get handfuls of complaints, so the 26% of people rather suggests that the Mediawatch-UK survey was hardly a random sample.

Vivienne Pattison, Director of Mediawatch-UK, claimed:

OFCOM’s failure to regulate adequately in the past has led to what the regulator itself described as being ‘at the very margin of acceptability’ to become mainstream.

Is it then any wonder that people are not making their views known about inappropriate broadcasts because they don’t think anything will come of complaining.

The survey was commissioned to mark the 50th anniversary of Mediawatch-UK.

Read more Mediawatch-UK Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article from mediawatch-uk.blogspot.com

mediawatch uk 50 years logoVivienne Pattison of Mediawatch-UK writes on the group’s blog:

2014 will be landmark year for Mediawatch-UK.  It will be 50 years since Mary Whitehouse issued her call to arms at Birmingham Town hall in 1964 and we will be marking the occasion with a series of initiatives.  As you can see we are adopting a new logo for our anniversary year which we hope will remind people of our longevity and the continued support for our campaign.

Beginning on 1 st January we will be tweeting a quote from Mary Whitehouse’s writing every other day.  It is ironic that much of what we know about her views has come to us filtered by the media itself. This will be an opportunity to hear Mary Whitehouse in her own words taken from the books she wrote during her lifetime.  I think many people will find it quite surprising.

You can follow the initiative on Twitter – @MrsMWhitehouse and Facebook – www.facebook.com/MrsMaryWhitehouse and we will also be updating our dedicated website — www.marywhitehouse.com — with the quotes.  If you are not a Twitter or Facebook user you can subscribe on the website and you’ll receive an email every time a new quote is added.

Read more Mediawatch-UK Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Thanks to Dan of mediasnoops2.wordpress.com

Hunger Games Catching Fire DVD The Daily Mail is thankfully providing a little hype for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Surely the film makers are appreciative as otherwise the film seems to have proven very uncontroversial compared with the previous film. the Daily Mail writes:With a public execution, a violent beating and frenzied animals, it hardly sounds like ideal entertainment for children. But film censors appear to think otherwise — granting The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a 12A rating, which means it can be seen by under-12s if they are with an adult.

In one scene viewers witness a man being flogged and whipped by soldiers and are shown his wounded and bloodied back. Later, an elderly man is clubbed by two soldiers and publicly executed by a gunshot to the head.

The BBFC passed the film 12A for moderate violence and threat and infrequent strong language .

Vivienne Pattison, of the morality campaign group Mediawatch-UK spouted:

The problem with this particular film is that it originates from a book designed for children. Success: The blockbuster has made Miss Lawrence a household name. But critics blast the appeal to children

And there is a very big difference between reading a gory image on the page than burning it into the retinas of young children watching it on the big screen in the cinema.

Although the rating suggests there may be some adult scenes there is still little guidance, and there is nothing in place to stop parents or guardians from taking children as young as six or seven to the cinema to see the film.

The story environment at times is quite realistic and therefore the horrific violence is glamorised.

In a society in which children are exposed to so much violence and adult imagery we should be working to protect youngsters from further exposure in films and games. We don’t need to terrify children to entertain them.

Pippa Smith of the religious morality campaign group, Safer Media said:

The film industry puts too much responsibility on parents. It isn’t fair they should have to make the decision whether they take their child or not when the guidelines are so vague. Classification on films needs to be much stricter.

Read more BBC and BBC Trust Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See Editorial appeals findings June 2013 [pdf] from downloads.bbc.co.uk
See article from dailymail.co.uk

holby city logoThe BBC Trust has reported on a complaint about Holby City:

Holby City,
BBC One, 18 September 2012, 8pm

The complainant objected to the use of the word shagging and the phrase cut his balls off during an episode of Holby City, broadcast before the 9pm watershed.

The complainant said that this language was sexually explicit and inappropriate when children might be watching. The Committee concluded:

  • that some viewers might find the use of this particular language offensive, but Holby City is a well-established drama dealing with contemporary life and covering challenging themes of hospital life, both on the ward and in the staff’s personal lives.
  • that regular viewers of this drama serial would not have found the use of the word shagging or the phrase cut his balls off unacceptable in this particular context.
  • that Holby City starts an hour before the watershed, when viewers are aware that not all programming is suitable for younger children.
  • that parents and carers share responsibility with the broadcaster to decide what is suitable for their children to view.

The complaint was not upheld.

The Daily Mail and its board of sound bite censors have picked up that “not all [pre-watershed] programming is suitable for younger children”:

But the corporation’s governing body has now confessed, for what appears to be the first time, that not all programming shown an hour before the watershed is suitable for younger children – prompting experts to warn that this could signal the end of the 9pm threshold.

With predictable Daily Mail bollox, the ‘experts’ turn out to be the perennial nutters, Vivienne Pattison of MediaWatch-UK and Miranda Suit of the christian moralisers, Safermedia.

Pattison spouted that the BBC Trust’s decision not to uphold the complaint meant parents could no longer trust that their children are safe from explicit material:

I’m really shocked that they have done this. According to their own broadcasting code the 9pm watershed signals the beginning of the transition towards more adult material so by this reckoning, what is it?

Eight o’clock? Half past seven? Is that the beginning of the transition?

Suit added:

There are so many tens of thousands of parents who actually consider that the watershed is really helping them protect their children. But if we’re going to see broadcasters themselves undermining that protection then I think we’ll have a real outcry.

Read more Mediawatch-UK Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article from mediawatch-uk.blogspot.co.uk

Mediawatch-UK bannerMediawatch-UK wrote on their blog:

The UK [website blocking] proposal involves an independent regulator which would be tasked with setting clear parameters of what would, and what would not be, acceptable on a clean feed . Websites which felt they were being unfairly blocked would have a right to appeal any decision.

Earlier this year we found that our website and blog were being blocked by filters designed to offer a safe browsing experience for children on mobile devices. These filters are applied as a default on all mobile devices which access the internet unless adult users choose to remove them. Although neither our blog nor our website include pornography such material is alluded to in the context of our campaign and our sites were being filtered out.

We contacted the Mobile Broadband Group and pointed out the misclassification and it was a simple matter to get the restrictions lifted.

Read more Mediawatch-UK Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Perhaps notable that this is the first sound bite from Pattison for some time.

See article from express.co.uk

Today programmeThe nutters of Mediawatch-UK have urged the BBC to introduced a TV style watershed for radio.

This was in response to Radio 4’s Today programme repeatedly used the words bullshit and bastards during a recorded item. The words were spoken to illustrate a report about the abuse aimed at academics researching chronic fatigue syndrome or ME.

The item, introduced with no warning by regular presenter Sarah Montague, said researchers who suggested ME might be a mental illness had been subjected to a hate campaign. Actors used to read the e-mails from sufferers quoted: Those of you responsible for preventing us sick ME sufferers getting the help we need, wasting £5million on flawed bullshit, you will all pay.  Another said: How are you evil bastards going to explain away another piece of evidence? Sister station Five Live aired the same report but warned listeners beforehand.

As the BBC launched an investigation following complaints, Radio 4 insisted the words were essential and Today listeners could cope without a warning. The written version on BBC online did not mention the swearwords and neither did TV bulletins later in the day.

Mediawatch-UK said that was because television is banned from using swearwords before 9pm, while radio is freer to broadcast abuse at any time. Director Vivienne Pattison said that made no sense and the loophole should be closed. She said she frequently had to leap across the room to switch off her radio to prevent her children hearing words of adult content aired during the day.

Pattison said: The BBC is somewhat of a repeat offender on this issue. There isn’t a watershed on radio and it’s time we had one. Ofcom’s research finds too much swearing is being broadcast. People don’t like it.

Two Tory MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport select committee have backed the call for a radio watershed Therese Coffey was not even aware there was no watershed. She said: It strikes me as being inconsistent. There’s no expectation of hearing that kind of language at that time and I’m sure people would have been shocked. Her colleague Philip Davies added: The lack of a watershed is an anomaly that needs to be addressed.

A spokesman for the Today programme said: E-mails including abusive language were included in the report to demonstrate the level of intimidation involved in the campaign. We felt this was editorially justified.