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Psychic Readings Live top broadcasting complaints list

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland upheld four complaints and resolved one complaint.

THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY of Ireland has released details of its broadcasting complaint decisions – and Psychic Readings Live has topped the list.

The show was axed by broadcaster TV3 earlier this month after a number of complaints made against the show, including seven upheld by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, although TV3 insisted the BAI complaints had “nothing” to do with its cancellation.

The programme invited viewers to telephone in at a cost of €2.44 per minute to speak to one of the psychic presenters, who would give the caller a reading live on air.

One of the seven BAI complaints was made against a presenter’s comments who stated as fact that a woman’s home would burn down – but that it would all work out because her insurance would cover it. A number of other complaints related to presenters giving out advice on health matters.

Upheld by BAI Compliance Committee

  • TV3 – Psychic Readings Live: 8 July 2012

The complaint concerned comments during a broadcast of Psychic Readings Live about a named individual.

  • TV3 – Psychic Readings Live: 27 August 2012

The complaint concerned comments pertaining to health. The complainant stated that a caller to the show asked when she would have her next grandchild. The complainant states that the host responded “there is a grandchild coming; it will be a girl in my opinion, but I think your daughter is pregnant already”. He then went on to say “I’m not a doctor, get more information from your doctor, but there is a grandchild coming”.

  • TV3 – Psychic Readings Live: 5 September 2012

The complaint concerned comments about claims of an ability to predict future events, which were presented as fact.

Section 8.10.2 of the BAI General Commercial Communications Code requires communications for psychic services to avoid claims in such commercial communications that suggests that future events may in fact be predicted.

  • TV3 – Psychic Readings Live: 7 September 2012

The complaint concerned a section of the Broadcasting Act pertaining to the protection of the individual and society. The complainant stated that a caller stated his name and town where he lived and claimed that his ‘ex’ had run away with his daughter and he was looking for them, and complained this was inappropriate to discuss on air.

Resolved by the BAI Compliance Committee

  • TV3 – Psychic Readings Live: 6 September 2012

The complainant believed the Code had been breached due to omission of verbal information regarding the costs of calls.

The Committee, which does not consider matters relating to call costs, forwarded the complaint to the communications regulator, ComReg.

Resolved at Executive Complaints Forum

  • Newstalk – The Right Hook: 27 July 2012
The complainant claimed an interview with former Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan demonstrated a bias in favour of wind energy in Ireland, due to the line of questioning, and that the section of the programme was “de-facto, an advertisement for the wind farm industry”.
The Forum found that the discussion was wide  ranging and focused, predominantly,  on the future of power supply in Britain and not on wind
farming in Ireland per se, and that the presenter conducted the interview in a fair and balance manner. However, it noted a “less than adequate response” by the broadcaster to the complainant.
  • RTÉ 2 Television – Taken 2 (Advert): 23 September 2012

The complaint related to an avert for the film Taken 2, shown at half-time during the All-Ireland Football Final at Croke Park, which he said depicted violence and kidnapping. He said his seven-year-old son was “visibly upset” by the imagery.

The Forum ruled the advert was “a bit grim” and that the broadcaster should have noted its potential to frighten some children and when scheduling the trailer at 4.15pm on a Sunday afternoon.  However, on balance, it did not decide that it warranted further investigation.

  • RTÉ 1 Television – What’s Ireland Eating: 27 July 2012

The complaint refers to factual programming, specifically to recommendations about infant feeding – with the complainant claiming the programme was not impartial as the presenter had used the word “formula”.

The Forum acknowledged the use of the word “formula” by the presenter, for which RTÉ apologised, but believed there was no deliberate attempt to mislead the viewer.  The Forum found that the greater emphasis in this segment of the programme was on the dangers of feeding sweet snack to babies in addition to their normal diet, and there was no discussion on the merits or otherwise of breastfeeding versus formula.

Read in full: Broadcasting Complaint Decisions

Read: RTÉ head: ‘Impossible to say’ whether Frontline debate changed election

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