Authority reports on functioning of NICAM in 2006

Hilversum, 20 July 2007
 The Media Authority has ascertained that, generally speaking, Kijkwijzer works excellently. The Authority arrived at this conclusion following an analysis of the data from the NICAM Quality Monitoring report 2006.
Since 1 January 2005, the Authority has been charged with the meta-supervision of both quality control over NICAM and the criteria the institute applies in order to determine whether its classifications are reliable, valid, stable, consistent and accurate. The random sample used for the quality audit is drawn up and adopted each year in consultation with the Authority. The parties have also entered into agreements concerning the data in the NICAM report in the form of a covenant.
NICAM’s quality audit revealed that the familiar pictogrammes give a good indication of the potentially harmful elements contained in media productions, and that the time these are programmed was, in virtually all cases, in line with the classification. 
In spite of these good results, critical noises are regularly heard concerning the functioning of Kijkwijzer. Now that it has been demonstrated that the classification system works well, the notion has arisen that this criticism may be caused by confusion concerning the terms ‘harmfulness’ and ‘suitability’.
Kijkwijzer classifies exclusively in relation to harmfulness for minors, and does not make any pronouncements on a programme’s suitability. A film in which coarse language is used may be seen as unsuitable by parents or guardians for their children, but this does not mean that the film will also have a harmful effect on young viewers. NICAM is looking into a method for providing information in the future on the suitability of audiovisual content. 
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