Carte Blanche complaint dismissed

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Johannesburg - A complaint against M-Net relating to an episode of Carte Blanche has been dismissed by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA).

The IMM Graduate School of Marketing complained it had been wrongly implicated in an episode broadcast on September 9 relating to unregistered higher education courses, the BCCSA said in a statement on Wednesday.

During an insert, 12 such courses were mentioned. Three of these were IMM courses, which were in fact registered with the higher education department.

IMM was unhappy that neither Carte Blanche nor M-Net had approached it for comment, or to verify the claims. It demanded an apology and retraction, but this was not forthcoming.

The educational institution felt M-Net failed to be truthful, accurate or fair.

“M-Net and the producers of Carte Blanche were notified that the insert which was broadcast was incorrect,” IMM's complaint read.

“Notwithstanding this, M-Net failed to immediately rectify the incorrect broadcast without reservation.”

M-Net responded that the rules applicable to news content did not have a bearing on a discussion and investigative programme such as Carte Blanche. It said that the main focus of the investigation had been Damelin courses and that there was only a casual reference to IMM.

The BCCSA found M-Net was correct that the rules governing news coverage were not applicable to Carte Blanche. It found IMM's name did appear in the broadcast, but was merely “an oblique, indirect inclusion”.

“The subject is Damelin’s courses and the reasonable viewer is unlikely to have given the matter of IMM a thought,” the BCCSA found.

As such, there was no duty for the broadcaster to have approached IMM for comment.

The complaint was therefore not upheld. - Sapa

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