Sunday, June 8, 2014

NEWS ARTICLE: TVB fined over programme that misled public over HKTV

Here's another article that came out at the end of May but I didn't get a chance to post until now.  

For the past few months, I've actually heard various rumors about the possibility of the Communications Authority issuing a penalty against TVB for that biased Scoop episode they aired at the end of last year (I call it the 'government shoe-shine' episode because of the way TVB kept 'praising' the government for making the right decision not to issue HKTV a license and also the way they kept regurgitating, practically verbatim, excerpts from the government's official statement denying HKTV's license, complete with analysis and definitely came across as TVB trying to 'justify' the government's decision). 

Well, it looks like the CA has finally moved forward with penalizing TVB (via a $50,000 fine).  While I'm glad that the CA actually did the right thing this time (though I question whether they were 'forced' to do it because of the record number of complaints that the particular Scoop episode had received), I was a bit disappointed in the relatively small amount of the fine (with the millions of dollars that TVB makes every year, $50,000 means nothing to them).  Besides, TVB has already stated that they will appeal the CA's decision (they are going to launch an appeal with the Chief Executive, whom we already know is on TVB's side), which means that this issue will likely get 'swept under the rug' and nothing will change.

Ah least the CA did issue the fine.  I guess a small victory is better than no victory at all...


TVB fined over programme that misled public over HKTV

Source:  SCMP

Article originally published May 28th, 2014

TVB has been fined HK$50,000 over a programme that was "partial" and "misleading" about the free-to-air licence applicant Hong Kong Television Network.

The programme Scoop prompted more than 27,000 complaints from the public, according to the Communications Authority, which warned TVB to "observe more closely" the TV Programme Code.

The television station said it would lodge an appeal to the Chief Executive in Council.

The programme, which discussed the granting of free-to-air television licences, aired on the TVB Jade and HD Jade channels on November 5 last year and on the Encore Channel of TVB Network Vision the next day.

Complainants said that Scoop was partial, misleading, inaccurate, and that it distorted and concealed facts.

They complained it was unfair to HKTV, which was not given an opportunity to respond.

HKTV was denied a free-to-air television licence in October, while applicants PCCW and i-Cable were granted licences.

The authority found that the programme had contravened the TV Programme Code.

"The programme did not present the topic of the granting of free TV licences with due impartiality by seeking balance," said the authority.

"It was slanted by the concealment of facts or by misleading emphasis" in comparing the three applicants and "its overall presentation had a cumulative effect of projecting a biased impression against HKTV".

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