According to figures from Free TV Australia, the commercial TV industry lobby group and trade association, Today Tonight was the most complained about program for the second year in a row.

In the year to June 30, TT was the subject of 83 complaints, down from 95 in 2005-06, which is in line with a 17% drop in the overall level of complaints during the year (914 vs 1109 in 05-06).

The reasons for the complaints were “perceived bias and or inaccuracy in reporting, material considered to be inappropriate for the time zone and perceived discrimination in reporting.”

60 Minutes and A Current Affair were both missing from this year’s list after featuring in previous years. It could be argued that this reflects falling viewing levels, especially for ACA, or that both programs are shying away from controversial stories.

Certainly 60 Minutes has gone the soft story and personality interview route this year, shying away from the confrontational stories that the late Richard Carleton specialised in.

ACA has also tended to back off a bit, though its story line-up is still similar to TT‘s most nights: diet, star interviews, anti ageing creams, consumer reports, hard done by battlers, etc etc. ACA never “chained” an old woman to a bed in a nursing home for a story like TT did.

Ten is bringing back a naughty version of Big Brother: will that top the chart next year?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey