The National Communications Commission (NCC) established the Broadcasting Content Complaints website for citizens and interest groups to submit opinions and suggestions on policies for broadcasting supervision and report broadcasting content for any potential regulatory violations. The website provides a means for different voices of society to be heard and encourages participation of citizen interest groups, as well as the general public, in broadcasting supervision. Consequently, NCC publishes quarterly and annual broadcasting oversight reports, increasing the extent to which broadcasting content can be monitored.
Data from the most recent report, 2021 Second Quarter (April – June) NCC Report on Broadcasting Supervision, shows that 598 public complaints were filed against television and radio during the second quarter of 2021, with complaints against television content accounting for 581 cases while the remaining 17 cases being against radio; this is an increase of 108 cases when compared with the same quarter of the previous year.
The report also indicates that during the second quarter of this year, the majority of complaints were pertaining to false or biased content (154 cases/25.75%), followed by contents or wording of certain channels, programs, or commercials (121 cases/20.23%), disrupting public order or adversely affecting good social customs (80 cases/13.38%), lack of distinction between programs and commercials (59 cases/ 9.87%), and contents harmful to the physical or psychological well-being of children and youths (41 cases/6.86%). These five most common categories of complaints account for 76.09% of the total number of complaints received.
Upon closer observation of recent annual reports, the NCC noted that public complaints regarding “false or biased content” have been the most common type of complaint over the previous four consecutive years: 339 (19.9% of all complaints received that year) in 2017, 541 (22.9%) in 2018, 1,078 (34.4%) in 2019, and 439 in 2020 (16.1%). In response to public concern about such content, the NCC amended the Satellite Broadcasting Act in 2016 to include regulations on fact verification and principles of fairness. In addition, since March 2019, NCC has been closely monitoring broadcast content on news channels and has since published periodic oversight reports. It can be noted that since the publication of such reports began, news channels have made significant improvements to their standards of journalism and news reporting, ensuring that a diverse range of opinions are available to the audience at large.
Statistics included in these reports detail the number of public complaints and the amount of feedback submitted by the public in regard to television and radio media. They should not, however, be interpreted as evidence that broadcasting operators were in violation of the law. In the event of actual violations of the law, besides issuing penalties in accordance with applicable regulations, the NCC takes administrative action using a multi-pronged approach to warn operators to take heed of complaints and make improvements accordingly. Through these measures, the NCC safeguards audience’s rights, builds a wholesome media environment, and protects the credibility of radio and television.
For more details, please click on the link to read the report: