Seven loses bid to halt ACMA publication. Last year, Channel Seven lost a three-year legal battle with broadcasting authorities over a segment which appeared on the Sunday Night program.

The report on a tribe in the Amazon jungle in Brazil was found by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to have breached the Commercial Television Code of Practice (2010). The story claimed infanticide was a practice in the Suruwaha Tribe, making it, according to ACMA, “likely to provoke intense dislike and serious contempt on the grounds of ethnic origin or race”.

In June 2014, the Federal Court dismissed Seven’s application for judicial review of ACMA’s findings, saying it was open to ACMA to make breach findings. Seven proceeded to appeal the court’s judgements in respect of ACMA’s vilification finding. On December 19, 2014, three judges, sitting as the full Federal Court, found Seven had not established any legal error and ordered it to pay ACMA’s costs.

The full ACMA investigation report has now been released, detailing the initial compliant made about the program’s content and outlining the code clauses that were breached. It looks at what the statements made during the course of the segment would have conveyed to an ordinary reasonable viewer, and asks: was the information conveyed accurately? The report also contains a transcript of the Sunday Night report.

The report outlines the outcome of the case, stating Channel Seven Brisbane Pty Ltd: breached clause 4.3.1 of the Code in relation to the statement “Here, we’re outside the protection of Brazilian law”; breached clause 4.3.1 of the Code in relation to the statements, “These lost tribes encourage the murder of disabled children” and “The Suruwaha believe that children born with birth defects or born to a single mother are evil spirits and should be killed in the most gruesome way possible”; breached clause 1.9.6 of the Code, and in relation to the manner in which the Suruwaha tribe was depicted, ACMA makes no finding in relation to the licensee’s compliance with clause 4.3.1. — Crikey intern Mahalia Dobson

Video of the day. Yesterday was Stephen Hawking’s birthday, and what better way to honour the man than to watch him insult Last Week Tonight host John Oliver.

Front page of the day. Next week’s New Yorker

Peter Fray

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