When you can say fuck on air

October 5th, 2009 at 1:10 pm by David Farrar

Brian Edwards blogs on the F word, and how often it is used on TV now. I’m not that interested in that (I hardly even realise when the word is said), but on his quoting rules from various radio and TV networks.

Radio New Zealand’s programme rules state: ‘In general, senior managers will never approve the word “motherfucker”, and the word “fuck” will only be approved in rare circumstances where context justifies its use.’

But what if one is talking about a Tasmanian?

The Radio Network has an even stricter policy.  ’Fuck’ may not be used by its programme hosts or talk-back callers. Like all talk-back stations, the ZB network operates a 7-second delay, allowing hosts to delete unacceptable material before it is broadcast.

So Radio NZ is slightly more liberal. I’m on the Panel this afternoon so maybe I’ll see if I can slip it in – just kidding Noelle :-)

TV3 will allow limited use of obscene language after 8pm but takes a much more relaxed approach after 9.30. (Outrageous Fortune and Seven Days are both TV3 programmes broadcast after 9.30.)

Wasn’t the Ralston Group on after 9.30?

TVNZ takes a similar position. Though it will on occasion broadcast the f-word after 8.30pm, it prefers to restrict its use of the word until after 9.30. If the word is used more than twice, the programme will be preceded by a viewer warning.

I love how they have a quota. More than two fucks and you get a warning!

Most New Zealand newspapers will not print the word ‘fuck’ in full, preferring to use asterisks as in ‘f**k’. This always struck me as rather silly, since there are very few New Zealanders who would not be able to fill in the missing letters.

It is silly, but I sometimes do it myself. It is a way of conveying what was said, without perhaps repeating any offence.

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