Author Topic: Good morals and censure  (Read 1237 times)

Offline balduran

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Good morals and censure
« on: November 25, 2005, 05:59:33 AM »
This is probably an unusual topic for a gaming community, but is something rather pressing for me right now. I am writing an essay about the board that regulates TV and radio broadcasting in Bulgaria. Here's their site, it should be in English:

http://www.cem.bg/r.php?sitemap_id=140

On Nov 7th they released a statement that is supoposed to give clarity to the term Good Morals, or however it translates ino English. The term is refered to in the Constitution of Bulgaria in the section about right of speech. The sentence is something like "Right of speech cannot be limited, unless if it is of public interest or it contravenes with the good morals." So the bunch of guys'n'girls in the board decided that it is their job to interpret the Constitution and gave a definition of the so called good morals. to make sure they don't mess it up, they also checked the Radio&TV Law and Human rights convention and some other documents.

Their conclusion was that good morals, meant that no news about acts of violence was supposed to be broadcasted from 6 AM to 11 PM. This, they say, is because a lot of children are watching TV and it's going to have a bad infuence on them.

Naturally, the media made huge racket over it, despite the fact that the statement has no judicial power and whatsoever. The Prime Minister and peoples representatives defended the right of speech of the electronic media and so on. I think we even made it to CNN and other major news newtworks.

So, my profesor in Media law decided that it is a good idea for us students - to be burdened with the writing of a rather long assay on the statement. And I, being a very serious student, decided to check what the censure practices are in diferent countries. So I am turning to you all with a few questions. Please restrain from giving false statements:

1) Does you country have any sort of organ that regulates electronic media(Radio and TV)?
2) If yes, what powers does it have?
3) Are television networks allowed to show images of war, slaughter or anything related to them?
4) Do they show such images if they are allowed, or they prefer not to? (Like when TV networks didn't show dead bodies on Sept 11 or in last year's Tsunami)
5) Is there any sort of censure on the news and movies shown during the day time or in the evening?(like cutting scenes of sexual intercourse or heavy bloodshed)
6) Have there been any public discussions on the need of partial censure of news or on the media impact on the behavior of grown people or adolescents?
7) Have there been any scandals about movies or news buletins showing inapropriate visual or audio content?

If you decide to give an answer to any of the questiones above, please say what your country is and try to provide a few details. I thank you in advance for your colaboration.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2005, 06:02:29 AM by balduran »
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Offline Borsook

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Re: Good morals and censure
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2005, 08:00:25 AM »
Ok, so talking about Poland:
1) Does you country have any sort of organ that regulates electronic media(Radio and TV)?
Yes
2) If yes, what powers does it have?
I don't know all, it gives out broadcasting licences without which no Radio/Tv station can operate, they have to be renewed periodically
3) Are television networks allowed to show images of war, slaughter or anything related to them?
Yes. For idiots in our country showing naked human body or anything against the church is improper, slaughter is fine. Just fine.
4) Do they show such images if they are allowed, or they prefer not to? (Like when TV networks didn't show dead bodies on Sept 11 or in last year's Tsunami)
It's not in the rules but on "church ocasions" you can see only e.g. movies about pope, also e.g. during christmas the offer is much "lighter"
5) Is there any sort of censure on the news and movies shown during the day time or in the evening?(like cutting scenes of sexual intercourse or heavy bloodshed)
Yes, especially when it comes to things connected with sex, only after certain hour and with a special sign in the corner of the screen.
6) Have there been any public discussions on the need of partial censure of news or on the media impact on the behavior of grown people or adolescents?
Well, not proper public disscussions, but the some talk in the parliament, yes.
7) Have there been any scandals about movies or news buletins showing inapropriate visual or audio content?
Nothing big or note worthy.


Sorry if it's not detailed enough I'm not very much interested in the subject and for some time now don't have tv set at home (though I'm more or less up to date)
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Bluenose

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Re: Good morals and censure
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2005, 12:27:29 PM »

This is for the UK.

1) Does you country have any sort of organ that regulates electronic media(Radio and TV)?
Yes, Ofcom. Their web site is at www.ofcom.org.uk. Their broadcasting code is available at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/ifi/codes/bcode/

2) If yes, what powers does it have?
In theory, they can withdraw a station's licence to broadcast in the UK. More often they'll fine or censure stations, demand apologies, or insist that they show a programme at a different time of day or with more agressive editing. They are only supposed to act in response to complaints, and they don't always (or even often) find in favour of the complaining party(ies).

3) Are television networks allowed to show images of war, slaughter or anything related to them?
Yes, but generally they will censor ones that show dead bodies as several complaints have been upheld in the past.

4) Do they show such images if they are allowed, or they prefer not to? (Like when TV networks didn't show dead bodies on Sept 11 or in last year's Tsunami)
As above, most stations don't show bodies due to complaints.

5) Is there any sort of censure on the news and movies shown during the day time or in the evening?(like cutting scenes of sexual intercourse or heavy bloodshed).
Daytime and early evening shows are restricted on the basis that children are likely/able to watch such programmes. No station would show a programme that had scenes which the BBFC (British Board of Film Censorship - www.bbfc.co.uk) would be likely to rate at PG during the day, though they might in the evening between 6-9pm. After the 9pm "watershed" much more is acceptable.

6) Have there been any public discussions on the need of partial censure of news or on the media impact on the behavior of grown people or adolescents?
They never end. There are several organisations whose sole purpose is to complain about inappropriate material being shown on television or on the internet. Mediawatch (www.mediawatchuk.org) is one of the larger ones. Try Wikipedia for Mary Whitehouse to see one of the people who started the fuss. There are regular articles in several of tabloid and broadsheet newspapers about the need for more restraint in broadcasting. Other organisations exist that spend most of their time looking for evidence that a broadcaster is showing bias against their particular cause.

7) Have there been any scandals about movies or news buletins showing inapropriate visual or audio content?
There have been cases. During the Gulf War on  of the TV stations showed pictures of Iraqi casualties which they were fined for. There are regular complaints about the content of films, but generally they are rejected provided the film is shown at a time of day when children won't be watching. The general attitude of the regulators is that adults can make up their own mind what they want to watch.


If you decide to give an answer to any of the questiones above, please say what your country is and try to provide a few details. I thank you in advance for your colaboration.

Offline balduran

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Re: Good morals and censure
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2005, 04:44:12 AM »
Borsook and Bluenose, thank you very mauch. You've been very helpful. The Ofcom site looks great and it has some very useful documents posted.
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"In the end, my girlfirend became my arch-enemy, my arch-enemy became my best friend, and my best friend became my girlfriend. But hey - that's high school!"