Guidance for broadcasters Hei Ārahi i Ngā Kaipāho

Guidance on reporting on crisis events and using third-party content, including social media content

Guidance for broadcasters

In addition to the Codebook, the BSA may provide guidance to help broadcasters meet their obligations. BSA guidance can be found below.


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Mātauranga Māori in the Media

Independent research has resulted in new guidance we can share to help broadcasters better understand mātauranga Māori, or Māori knowledge, and its appropriate use in the media.

The research, by an AUT team led by Prof Ella Henry, looked into the treatment of mātauranga Māori by media practitioners and opportunities for improvement. Key outtakes which can help inform media operations have been summarised by the BSA, with the support of Prof Henry.

The summary outlines findings about what is meant by mātauranga Māori and why it’s important, as well as the media’s potential role in negative stereotyping, and practical constraints and possibilities in delivering content grounded in tikanga Māori. It also outlines perspectives of Māori media experts interviewed by the researchers and summarises innovative case studies and useful resources.

The key outtakes summary can be seen here.

Guidance: Reporting on gender identity issues

The Broadcasting Standards Authority has issued new guidance for complainants and broadcasters in response to proliferating complaints about TV and radio coverage of gender identity issues.

Based on previous BSA decisions, the guidance acknowledges the right to freedom of speech as well as the need to balance this against the right of vulnerable communities such as gender minorities to be free from discrimination.

Subjects covered include:

  • Discrimination and denigration as it relates to trans people
  • Misgendering and deadnaming
  • Inclusive language
  • Complaints relying on transphobic stereotypes

The full guidance can be seen here:

Training Resource: Revised Codebook 2022

Video of a training webinar for broadcasters on the new Code of Broadcasting Standards, which came into effect on 1 July 2022.

This is provided here as a guide and training resource for broadcasters on application of the revised Code for free-to-air TV, pay TV and radio.

Watch the webinar here.

Guidance: Reporting on terrorism, violent extremism and crisis events

In consultation with a working group of broadcasters, the BSA has prepared a guidance note to assist broadcasters when reporting on terrorism, violent extremism and crisis events.

The note follows the issue of decisions by the BSA in 2019 on broadcast coverage of the March 15 Mosque attacks. It recognises the important role that media play in reporting during such events and the balance to be achieved to avoid causing harm. The guidance highlights key considerations when reporting on terrorism and other extreme events. The guidance note and a short summary are available here:

2019 Resource for broadcasters following 15 March mosque attacks

Immediately following the March 2019 Mosque attacks, the BSA undertook research of publicly available local and international resources that provide guidance and principles for media reporting on terrorism and crisis events.

The research resource was provided to broadcasters to assist them in reporting on the Mosque attacks, pending trial and associated matters. This research report is available here:

Guidance Note: Use of social media content in broadcasting

Broadcaster representatives have prepared a guidance note for broadcasters on using third-party content, including content sourced from social media platforms. This will assist broadcasters to think about the key questions to consider before using third party content in broadcasting, including:

  • whether the content is true
  • whether it is newsworthy
  • will it cause harm
  • whether any harm can be mitigated.

The guidance follows research commissioned by the BSA in 2017 into how New Zealanders feel about broadcasters using social media content in broadcasting.