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BAI upholds another three complaints against TV3 'psychics' show

The latest batch of broadcasting complaints includes five against Psychic Readings Live, with three upheld in full or in part.

THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY of Ireland has upheld a further three complaints against TV3′s now-abandoned Psychic Readings Live broadcast – bringing the total number of complaints against the broadcasts to 13.

The latest round of complaints dealt with by the BAI includes five complaints against the programme – which was dropped from the TV3 schedule last month – with one upheld fully, and another two upheld in part.

Two of the upheld complaints related to the actions of the on-air ‘psychics’ in responding to queries of a health nature, which is expressly forbidden under the broadcasting code.

A third complaint related to a presenter being asked to give a Yes or No answer to a query, and failing to make it clear in his response that this was only an opinion and not a psychic prediction.

The broadcasting code requires any psychic or fortune telling service to make it clear that their broadcast is for entertainment purposes only, and explicitly forbids any claim that future events can be predicted “other than as a matter of opinion”.

Trouble for ‘Tipp Today’

A complaint against Tipp FM’s ‘Tipp Today’ radio show was the other complaint upheld in the most recent round of complaints; a show from August 16 was found to have acted insensitively in dealing with a complaint from a listener with a disability.

The show had been running a text message competition to win tickets to the county’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final with Kilkenny, and had received a text from a blind listener who complained that an SMS-format competition excluded blind listeners who could not send a text.

The presenter had remarked, “But if she’s visually impaired, how would she be able to see the match? You know, I mean would it be worth her while entering the competition?”

The same show also broadcast a text message where it was claimed that an African immigrant had had their hair braided in a cultural style for €300, a fee paid for by a HSE welfare officer.

Though the station claimed it had broadcast responses from a welfare officer and a staff member from an African newspaper, who said the story was untrue, it was found not to met the fairness, objectivity and impartiality requirements of the Broadcasting Act.

It was also found to have failed to ensure that content did not prejudice respect for human dignity, as the complaints committee took the view that the item could encourage prejudice towards some members of Tipperary’s African community.

Read: TV3 axes Psychics Readings Live show

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