While the co-regulatory standards regime effectively minimizes harm in traditional broadcasting spaces, the rise of unregulated online platforms poses new challenges, according to Wood. She also stressed the need for legislative updates to protect against harmful content and maintain a robust media sector.
“Audiences consume media differently now than in 1989 – if we are to protect New Zealanders from harmful content and maintain a strong and sustainable media sector, our laws must also change,” Wood said.
Over the past year, the BSA offered its expertise to support the progress of proposed law changes that would see the Authority administering a new fair bargaining framework for news media and digital platforms and bringing long-awaited wider reform to the regulatory environment.
BSA received 169 complaints and issued 121 decisions over the past year. The annual report revealed various complaints, with accuracy, balance, and fairness topping the list. TV attracted more complaints than radio, with news and current affairs being the most complained-about genre. The report also highlighted significant topics, including concerns about the privacy interests of vulnerable individuals, accuracy and balance concerns in reporting about particular organizations or events, and allegations of unfair treatment towards those featured in broadcasts.
BSA also dealt with a range of complaints concerning gender identity issues, which escalated with media coverage of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull’s visit in March. In this context, the BSA issued guidance for broadcasters highlighting key matters recognized and determined in recent decisions on such issues.