Exhibiting something a little faster than its usual glacial pace, the Australian Communications and Media Authority yesterday issued findings against SBS in relation to two broadchasts of the Tamil Language Program on 26 October 2008 and 18 January 2009 respectively. SBS was found to have breached its code of practice in relation to balance and accuracy. The subject matter was criticisms of and allegations against the Sri Lankan Government. The presenters concerned have apparently been “counselled”.

The investigation reports are written in ACMA’s usual impenetrable prose. Who do they get to write these things? Surely it would be better, given that ACMA is meant to be regulating broadcasters on behalf of the public, to get into the habit of writing report findings with a bit of punch, or at least clarity.

If you like punishment, try reading a few of the ACMA reports. They are largely cut and paste jobs reguritating standards and methodology, with just a few case specific paragraphs thrown in.

But at least this time they have picked up the pace. It has not been unusual for ACMA to take years to issue reports on complaints. This time it has taken them only most of a year. Let’s hope they continue to speed up.

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