Repeat broadcast detailing serial killer Ted Bundy’s crimes breaches children’s standard
The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has found a repeat broadcast on a Sunday morning of a 20/20 episode detailing serial killer Ted Bundy’s crimes, breached the children’s interests and programme information standards.
The episode presented potentially distressing and disturbing content without an audience advisory or warning, and should have been broadcast during the M rather than PG timeband, the Authority found.
TVNZ estimated around 200 children were exposed to the 9am repeat, which screened between episodes of Topp Country and Marae on TVNZ 1.
The BSA ordered TVNZ to pay costs to the Crown of $750. This was to recognise the potential harm to children and send a signal to broadcasters about the importance of ensuring children were protected from content that may adversely affect them, especially during their typical viewing times.
The Authority said the decision was also a timely reminder about providing sufficient information and signposting to help viewers make informed choices, and to parents as the holiday season arrived and with it an increase in children’s viewing.
Caregivers could make use of the classification and timebands system and parental locks to keep children safe, it said.
More information on these is available at safeviewing.co.nz.
The item was broadcast on 3 May 2020 on 20/20. The full decision is available at https://www.bsa.govt.nz/decisions/all-decisions/hessell-and-tvnz. The decision was made under the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice which is available to view on our website: https://bsa.govt.nz/broadcasting-standards/broadcasting-code-book/.
ABOUT THE BROADCASTING STANDARDS AUTHORITY
The BSA is an independent Crown entity that oversees the broadcasting standards regime in New Zealand. The BSA determines complaints that broadcasts have breached standards, undertakes research and oversees the development of broadcasting standards in consultation with broadcasters.
The Authority members are Judge Bill Hastings (Chair), Paula Rose QSO, Susie Staley MNZM and Leigh Pearson. The Chief Executive of the BSA is Glen Scanlon.
For more information see our website: www.bsa.govt.nz