Talk about justice delayed.

Just the other day I wrote that the broadcasting regulator rarely takes action against commercial television news and current affairs. Today they have proved me wrong, with a finding from the Australian Communications and Media Authority that Channel Seven’s Today Tonight program failed to present material accurately ina segment about an aged care facility. You can read the media release here, and the investigation report here. The guts of the matter is that the program made a significant error of fact in statements about the profit of an aged care home, and failed standards of accuracy in other aspects of its report.

But, my oh my, do we still care? This program was broadcast almost three years ago – on 7 July 2006! Why has it taken so long?

Partly because the complaint was made late – not until 17 April 2007. But it still isn’t clear why it takes ACMA almost two years to complete its investigation and report.

There have been repeated promises from ACMA that it will try to speed up its handling of complaints. I have put a call through to the media manager today to ask why this one took so long, and will update here as appropriate.

UPDATE: I have received a response from ACMA. Read it here.

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