The list below contains our recently published decisions, with the latest at the top.
A Fair Go item reported on the New Zealand Industrial Fuel Duty Agency (NZIFDA), a business set up to obtain refunds, on behalf of eligible customers, for excise duty placed on off-road fuel usage in some instances. A former employee of NZIFDA criticised the business and the person who ran it. The Authority did not uphold the complaint from the person who ran the business, that the item was inaccurate and misleading and used ‘loaded’ language to suggest wrongdoing. The item was clearly framed from the perspective of the former employee, her comments were clearly her personal opinion, the complainant was given a reasonable opportunity to give a response, and his response was fairly included in the programme.
Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness
A presenter on Radio New Zealand Concert introduced a piece of music, saying the composer was ‘considered to be a degenerate in Germany because of his Jewish origins’. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the announcer’s comment was in bad taste and denigrated Jewish people. The comment was simply a factual statement giving context to the composer’s work, and was a reference to how he was viewed by the Nazis, not an expression of the presenter’s personal opinion.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration
A song titled ‘I’m Not Real’ was broadcast on Base Breakfast at about 9.25am, and contained the lyrics ‘bitches’, ‘ass’, ‘hoes’ and variants of ‘fuck’. The Authority upheld the complaint that the broadcast of these expletives in this timeslot breached standards of good taste and decency. The Authority did not make any order, noting that the broadcaster had acknowledged the broadcast was unacceptable, and that the decision would provide sufficient guidance going forward.
Upheld: Good Taste and Decency
A One News item reported on a new prenatal test for Down Syndrome. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item discriminated against people with Down Syndrome and was unbalanced because it did not show a situation where identifying a baby with Down Syndrome was viewed positively. Comments suggesting that a low probability of having a baby with Down Syndrome was ‘good news’ were clearly the personal opinions of the interviewees and were not endorsed by the programme. The item itself made no judgement about the test or the outcome of testing in terms of whether a foetus diagnosed as having Down Syndrome was a good or a bad thing. The item was squarely focused on the benefits of the new test in that it was more accurate, and less invasive than other procedures. The item would not have distressed child viewers and did not discuss a controversial issue requiring the presentation of other views.
Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration, Children’s Interests, Controversial Issues
A One News item reported highlights of the ‘2013 MTV Video Music Awards’ and included footage of a female artist, Miley Cyrus, performing a provocative dance called ‘twerking’ while wearing a nude-coloured PVC bikini. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the footage was inappropriate for broadcast during the news. The footage, while not to everyone’s taste, was relatively brief in the context of the item, which featured a number of highlights, and gave a flavour of what had occurred without being gratuitous. The inclusion of the footage was relevant in illustrating why the performance had generated worldwide media attention. Overall, the item was acceptable in the context of an unclassified news programme targeted at adults.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Responsible Programming