On April 20, 2012 – Friday the talk show „100 C” was broadcasted on TV company Imedi. The main topic of the show was problems of teenagers, according to the interpretation of the authors – the discussion of the problems of "Hardly upbringing generation”. The program caused non-homogenous reaction because of its’ content and the quality of professionalism.
In Media Development Foundation, MDF opinion in addition to professional problems (superficiality, lack of information and knowledge on the discussion subject, non-balance, misleading of the audience by spreading unconfirmed and unchecked information, etc.) the program according to its’ content and the form of issue coverage violated the Georgian Code of Conduct for Broadcasting – execution of which is obligatory for TV companies having a license for broadcasting.
As the content and the form of the program makes us think that the creators (and probably – the large part of society) have little information about the code, we decided to stop and discuss in details on that articles of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasting, that according to the opinion of Media Development Foundation, MDF, were violated by the authors of the program and TV company Imedi. Namely:
Chapter III, Requirements to ensure accurate reporting that requires "Broadcasters shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that facts are accurate and sources of information reliable; Broadcasters shall provide reliable and accurate information, shall not report any untrue or misleading information”. – The coverage of youth subcultures was based on unreliable information, without any references on the source of origin of shown photo or video materials; The authors of the program connected the whole number of facts – assassination of pigeons or other animals to EMOs, Goths and other sub-cultural groups without any basis and evidences. They’ve generalized the issue that is specially prohibited by one more article of the code (see below);
TV company Imedi ignored the requirement of source diversity and the principle of impartiality (Chapter IV. Article 15), that requires the debates not to be covered on the basis of personal attitude or opinion. Broadcasters should ensure a balanced coverage of matters of political or other controversy cross the series of programs. (the representatives of youth sub-culture have been referred to "Satanists”, people of "Black background” and etc. for several times by the anchor himself and the guests of the program; the comment of the psychologists that could clarify the content of similar social groups and giving an explanation to youth joining to such groups was less than 5% of airtime of the program; the history of sub-cultural groups, social and psychological preconditions of their origin, and what’s most important – real content was not given by the program; the balance finally was disordered by the invitation of 3 ecclesiastics (representatives of the Orthodox Church) as opponents of the youth (underage) representatives of sub-cultural group. In accordance, we consider that the requirement of fair treatment was violated (Chapter V; Article 19). It’s also interesting if the following requirement was protected: If a program participant is under eighteen, consent should be obtained from a parent, guardian or other person with primary responsibility for their care. We consider that the following requirement had been violated (Chapter V; Article 21): Where the views of a person or organization, not participating in the program, are represented in a program, this must be done in a fair manner. This requirement should especially be honored in a program discussing opposing views. (During the program the representatives of various sub-cultures were the issue for the discussion without bringing the position of their majority);
The underage right had been violated as well by the program while secret recording by factual identification of secretly recorded teenager – the voice of the teenager was not changed, the correspondent named the characteristic appearance of the girl and published the photos of the girl and her underage friends are identified as well; The other issues regarding the protection of minor have been violated (Chapter XI; Article 44). Namely, This article states that: "While respecting a child’s right to freedom of information and expression, broadcasters shall ensure physical, psychological and emotional welfare of minors involved in programmes irrespective of any consent given by a parent, guardian or carer while respecting their rights to freedom of expression and freedom to receive information”; - We remind you that TV broadcaster actually identified the teenagers canonized by itself as "Cat Killers” and "Satanists”. They’ve spoken about the teenagers that are joined such groups have "Black backgrounds” and etc. In accordance there even wasn’t any attempt to "ensure physical, psychological and emotional welfare of minors”.
A separate issue and totally violated is the Chapter IX, Diversity, equality and tolerance, Namely:
Article 31. Principle of diversity, equality and tolerance: "Broadcasters shall refrain from publishing any material likely to incite hatred or intolerance on the grounds of race, language, gender, religious convictions, political opinions, ethnic origin, geographic location, or social background.” – The program totally represented hater, example of inciting intolerance towards youth subcultures. The almost unjustified considerations that the representatives of similar groups in the west "kill children at the cemeteries” were stated and the anchor instead of dissociating an establishment of such stereotypes appeared as the instigator role.
In accordance the Article 42 of the same chapter is as well violated: "Broadcasters shall respect the fundamental rights of freedom of opinion, conscience, belief and religion and avoid offending any ethnic, religious, cultural, or social groups.”
It should be especially underlined that the program directly violates Article 33 of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasting that states, that:
"2. Broadcasters should avoid inaccurate and misleading statements regarding minorities and their social problems, should not promote stereotypes or identify an individual’s ethnic origin or religious faith unless necessary; 3. . Broadcasters should avoid causing offence to any religious, ethnic or other groups by using, among others, certain terminology and images. This does not prevent broadcasters from promoting informed and balanced discussions on intolerance or discrimination, or from reporting factual material or opinions prevalent in society.”
Basing on the above mentioned, we consider, that this program should not be left without response of organizations working on media ethics and human rights defenders. In addition, the Code of Conduct for Broadcasting gives an opportunity of appeal against an issue by "an interested person”. According to this motive non-governmental organizations are considered as "inappropriate applicants” by the GEC. We call for the directly affected side of the program – the juveniles, their parents and/or the representatives of concrete sub-cultural groups appeal against the violation of their rights and the Code of Conduct for Broadcasting by the program. Media Development Foundation, MDF is offering assistance in the processes of preparation of the appeal and appeal proceedings.
For more details see the Code of Conduct for broadcasting.
Media Development Foundation, MDF