Media outlets slapped with €146,600 in fines for insensitive and deceptive content

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The Radiotelevision Authority has slapped media outlets with fines totalling €146,600 in 31 cases concerning various violations with the heaviest penalties relating to reporting on the broken hymen of a five-month old baby.

In total, four television stations were fined for the story in question of a five-month old baby, reported in February 2019.

Omega, Alpha and Capital were each fined €9,000 for the way they reported the story, while Sigma was fined €6,500.

The fines concerned providing information that could help identify a minor involved in a police procedure, airing reports and discussions that did not show respect for the person, reputation and privacy of the baby and its parents, and unjust and undignified reports aimed at the father.

The fines also concerned reports that may cause fear because they were not prepared with sensitivity.  New Extra TV and Plus TV received warnings for reports in connection with the same story.

Other penalties concern a report by Alpha TV in May 2019 on developments concerning the sexual harassment of a pupil by older classmates in his school. The television station was fined €4,000.

Both Alpha TV’s show ‘Me agapi Christiana’ and Sigma TV’s  ‘Ola Kala’ were each slapped with €6,000 and €7,000 respectively for airing discussions that, among other things, did not show the due respect for the personality, reputation and privacy of minors and not adhering to the  principle of objectivity. Both shows were aired the same day, on February 26, 2019. Though no information was given on what was discussed, it is believed it is also linked with the case of the five-month old baby.

Alpha TV was slapped with another €6,000 for product placement in ‘Me agapi Christiana’ aired in July 2019 but also for urging people to buy or lease products or services through advertising references.

Other fines include €1,500 imposed on Sfera radio for its breakfast show which on April 22, 2019 was found to not have ensured respect to personality and/or political activities of persons.

The authority said the fines imposed concerned 236 violations, that in their majority concerned product placement, advertisements, and content. Violations also concerned human rights, the right of reply, dignity of both sexes, racial, ethnic, religious groups or people with disabilities, wrong content rating but also inappropriate audiovisual material such as sexual or violent content.