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A media website complaints system arrives

By Steven | February 15, 2013

OMSA – the Online Media Standards Authority – is being launched soon. It already has a website, and a code of standards. Looks like it will be operative on, hmmm, April 1.

This is a self-regulation effort by all our major broadcasters, who are looking to fill a gaping chasm in the media regulatory landscape: the content of their websites. At the moment, their programmes are subject to broadcasting standards such as fairness, accuracy, balance and privacy, but their websites aren’t. The Broadcasting Standards Authority could uphold a complaint against a programme, and could make the broadcaster air a corrective statement, but couldn’t require the broadcaster to remove the programme from its website, or even add some balance or pixelate a face.

I see that the NZ Herald’s John Drinnan has given me credit (with Gavin Ellis and Luke Goode) for inventing the system:

OMSA chairwoman Clare Bradley – the company secretary at MediaWorks – said OMSA was developed by former Herald editor-in-chief Gavin Ellis, media lawyer Steve Price and academic Luke Goode and would publish a code of standards and provide a free complaints process.

Clare says she told him nothing of the sort. In fact, OMSA’s code and complaints process was developed by the broadcasters, and we were merely invited to peer review it. We offered comments. The broadcasters took those comments into account in finalising the system.

Topics: Internet issues | 37 Comments »

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