E.tv fine lowered for Gaddafi images

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IOL news oct 21 gaddafi footage REUTERS Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, covered in blood, is pulled from a truck by NTC fighters in Sirte in this still image taken from video footage.

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) has ordered television channel e.tv to pay a reduced fine of R20 000 for airing footage of the violent death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

E.tv news and the eNews channel were sanctioned for showing the material without first warning viewers about the violence, prompting complaints to the regulator in October.

The BCCSA received three complaints relating to e.tv's eNews subscription channel and its free-to-air channel for broadcasts on October 20, the day Gaddafi was killed, and on October 22 and 23.

Following the BCCSA judgment in February ordering the channel to cough up R35 000, the matter was taken to the appeals tribunal, where the reduced penalty was given.

The images were found to be in contravention of the broadcasting code. Viewers complained the footage was not always preceded by a warning that violent scenes would be shown; and if a warning was given, the footage was too graphic.

Footage was also broadcast outside the watershed time and children could have been watching.

The ruling was that e.tv had shown “unnecessary detail of the attack on Colonel Gaddafi” and “unnecessary scenes of violence”.

E.tv had to pay the reduced fine before the end of May. – Sapa

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