OMSA Broadcast Members join Press Council

Memorandum of Understanding

The six broadcasting members of the Online Media Standards Authority (OMSA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Zealand Press Council for complaints against broadcasters’ digital content to come under Press Council jurisdiction.

The broadcasters are TVNZ, MediaWorks, Sky Network Television, Maori Television, NZME Radio and Radio New Zealand.

OMSA was set up by the broadcasters in 2013 as a self-regulatory standards body to hear complaints about news and current affairs published on their websites.

Changes since then to the Press Council’s constitution expanded the council’s jurisdiction from digital content published by its newspaper and magazine members to all news and commentary websites and blogs.

OMSA general manager Rob Hoar said this meant a level of duplication had been created and OMSA’s broadcasting members felt it would be more efficient and logical for complaints about digital content to be handled by the one standards body. The change would take effect from January 1 2017.

Press Council chairman Sir John Hansen welcomed OMSA’s decision and said it reflected progressive changes to the Press Council’s jurisdiction brought about by rapid changes in the media industry.

The Press Council was established as a self-regulatory standards body by the newspaper industry and the journalists’ union in 1972. Membership is voluntary.

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