The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
A 3 News update, broadcast during the PGR-rated movie Night at the Museum 2, featured security footage of a man who walked into a petrol station with a metal rod lodged in his head. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the update screened graphic and disturbing violent footage, without a warning, which would have upset children. This was a newsworthy story and the footage was relatively inexplicit. It was reasonable to expect that child viewers would have been supervised by adults, given the movie was rated PGR, and children were unlikely to be unduly alarmed or disturbed in this context.
Not Upheld: Children’s Interests
A segment of Mediawatch canvassed TVNZ’s (as well as several other media outlets’) coverage of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, in particular Breakfast’s interview with Bryan Leyland, an engineer who speaks and writes publicly on his scepticism about global warming. The Authority did not uphold a complaint from Mr Leyland that the broadcast discussed his interview in a ‘biased and derogatory’ way and amounted to a personal attack. In the context of a programme comprising robust media commentary and critique, the references to Mr Leyland were not unfair and related to his professional capacity rather than criticising him personally. It was not required in the interests of fairness to inform him of the programme beforehand or invite his comment.
Not Upheld: Fairness
Radio Tarana reported on the Sanil Kumar Medical Fund, which had been set up for the treatment of a young Fijian-Indian man in New Zealand who had subsequently been deported to Fiji and died. There were allegations by the immediate family of Mr Kumar and others that the fund was being misused by its directors. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that the broadcasts were unbalanced, inaccurate, unfair, denigrating and caused panic among the public. The broadcaster made reasonable efforts to provide balance and fairness, no inaccuracies could be identified, the discrimination and denigration standard was not applicable and the broadcasts were not presented irresponsibly.
Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Fairness, Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming
Nine to Noon broadcast an interview with Joan Withers, chair of Mighty River Power, about her career and the energy industry, among other things. The Authority declined to determine a complaint that Ms Withers was not suitable to interview. RNZ's decision to interview Ms Withers is a matter of editorial discretion rather than broadcasting standards. The complainant has previously made similar complaints about Ms Withers and been warned that further similar complaints would be unlikely to be determined in future. Accordingly the Authority declined to determine the present complaint on the basis it was vexatious.
Declined to Determine: Accuracy, Fairness, Responsible Programming
During a voice break on the radio music show Selectah, the presenter said, 'If you are a scooter rider, in the city, in Auckland, let me give you one piece of advice: Don't get your scooter fixed by Scootling, they charge way too much.' MediaWorks upheld a fairness complaint from the owner of Scootling and offered him a number of options for redress including an on-air apology and free advertising. The Authority disagreed with the complainant that this action was insufficient. It also declined to uphold his complaints that the broadcast otherwise breached standards relating to law and order and accuracy.
Not Upheld: Fairness (Action Taken), Law and Order, Accuracy