… Parliament urged to pass broadcast code
Fixin’ TT, a civic watch group, has again pleaded with the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago to take action due to the failure of TV6 to filter out the perceived irresponsible and insensitive broadcasts of its Crime Watch programme, which is hosted by Ian Alleyne on weekdays.
The fresh complaint centers on the Crime Watch broadcast of the battered corpse of two-old Aliyah Johnson on Thursday 12 April 2012.
Fixin’ TT, which is chaired by Kirk Waithe, claimed to have received several complaints from members of the public about Crime Watch’s “reckless sensationalism” and insisted that TV6 has not shown itself capable of adequately monitoring its programme.
“This time, the battered and bruised upper body of two year old Aliyah Johnson was the object of this reckless sensationalism,” stated Fixin’ TT, via a press release. “Whilst we have been told repeatedly that systems have been put in place to monitor the content of this show prior to its live broadcast, it would appear that the editing process employed by TV6 is either painfully inefficient or simply ignored.”
As a result of TV6‘s perceived editorial failure, Fixin’ TT urged TATT to complete consultation on the broadcast code by no later than 31 May 2012 so that legislation might be passed through Parliament during this session.
And TATT, which previously condemned Crime Watch for airing footage of dying ex-West Indies cricketer Runano Morton, was asked to again publicly denounce the TV6 programme for its failure to “basic tenets of good taste, responsibility and respect for privacy.”
Thus far, TV6‘s only response to the public criticisms came from Head of News, Dominic Kalipersad, who told the Trinidad Express that: “Although Crime Watch may not conform with certain tastes, viewing the show is a choice, not a requirement.”
Fixin’ TT also wants the Deputy of Public Prosecution (DPP) to investigate whether the broadcast has the potential to compromise the integrity of the case against Johnson’s alleged assailant—although the show is believed to have aired before anyone was charged for the crime.
The release from Fixin’ TT was sent to TATT CEO Cris Seecheran and copied to TATT Chairman Selby Wilson, DPP Roger Gaspard SC and Minister of Public Administration Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan.