More people have complained about the media to the Broadcasting Standards Authority this year than in previous years.
The authority said it received 148 complaints and issued 139 decisions compared to last year's 131 complaints and 125 decisions.
Improved awareness of the complaints process, increased publicity for the BSA and general public concern over the effect of the media could be reasons for the increase, it said in its annual report released today.
The Advertising Standards Authority also saw an increase in complaints this year.
Also, as in previous years, the complaints were complex or challenging and most centred on news, current affairs and talk radio.
The BSA said it was not surprised at the increase in complaints under various standards, including good taste and decency.
In the past few years, tension between the media's desire to pursue a story and the individual's right to keep their lives private has gained increased prominence, the BSA said.
New technologies make filming much easier and a diet of reality-based entertainment had made peering into people's lives a daily affair.
The BSA said it made a significant decision this year on television's Target programme.
Since its launch in 1999 the programme had used "hidden camera trials" to investigate the service provided by hundreds of trades people and service providers.
This year the BSA received and determined the first complaint that broadcasting hidden camera footage on Target, within a private residence, was a breach of privacy and was unfair.
A member of public complained about a Target episode which featured hidden camera footage of four care givers who had been hired to care for an elderly actor for a four-hour period.
The BSA found that broadcasting footage taken with a hidden camera would usually amount to an intentional interference "in the nature of prying".
It said that secretly filming occupants inside the Target house where they had a reasonable expectation of privacy was an intrusion of this nature.
Of the BSA's 139 decisions:
* 82 per cent (114 decisions) concerned television programmes;
* 18 per cent (25) concerned radio broadcasts;
* 29 per cent of complaints (40) were upheld in full or in part;
* 32 of the 40 upheld decisions concerned television broadcasts, eight concerned radio;
* 53 per cent of decisions concerned news, current affairs and talk radio;
* 65 alleged breaches of balance, fairness or accuracy standards, 35 per cent were upheld; and
* 43 alleged breaches of good taste and decency, 16 per cent were upheld.