Complaint under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
APNA 990 – Pakistan Flood Appeal Talkathon – caller allegedly referred to the complainant and his wife – allegedly in breach of privacy, accuracy and fairness
Standard 3 (privacy), Standard 5 (accuracy) and Standard 6 (fairness) – recording of broadcast in Hindi and translation incomplete – decline to determine under section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989
This headnote does not form part of the decision.
 At approximately 7.30pm on APNA 990 on 26 August 2010, the radio host spoke to a caller during a Pakistan Flood Appeal Talkathon. The caller commented to the effect that his neighbours had “run away”.
 Moh Lateef made a formal complaint to APNA Networks Ltd, the broadcaster, alleging that the caller was referring to him and his wife, as they lived on the same street as the caller. The complainant argued that this breached his and his wife’s privacy.
 APNA maintained that the radio host and caller had not made comments about the complainant and his wife, but that they were referring to another neighbour from the same street who was a “staunch listener” of APNA 990 and had helped during two Pakistan flood appeals. It noted that no names had been mentioned on air. Further, APNA argued that the host’s question was, “Is your neighbour there or gone?”, not, “Is your neighbour there or ran away?” as alleged by the complainant.
 APNA apologised to the complainant and his wife if they believed the discussion was about them.
 Dissatisfied with the broadcaster’s response, Mr Lateef referred his complaint to the Authority under section 8(1B)(b)(i) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.
 Mr Lateef said that he had listened to the broadcast, and maintained that the words used were stronger and meant “ran away” rather than “gone”. He disagreed that another person living in the same street, and not next door, was a “neighbour”. Mr Lateef argued that APNA’s response was a “cover-up”.
 Given that the tape provided by the broadcaster was in Hindi and the parties disagreed about what was said in the broadcast, the Authority obtained an independent translation of the broadcast.
 The members of the Authority have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix. The Authority considered the complaint without a formal hearing.
 We have read the transcript supplied by the broadcaster and also the transcript obtained from the independent translation service. The transcripts we have received are incomplete due to the poor quality of the recording provided by APNA.
 Without a full translation of the broadcast, we unfortunately do not have a sufficient understanding of the broadcast, or of the comments complained about, to make any determination on the standards raised by Mr Lateef. We therefore find that in the circumstances we must decline to determine the complaint in accordance with section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989.
 We remind the broadcaster of its obligations to retain clear recordings of broadcasts for the purposes of the formal complaints process, and will be following up this matter with APNA to ensure it complies.
For the above reasons the Authority declines to determine the complaint.
Signed for and on behalf of the Authority
23 November 2010
The following correspondence was received and considered by the Authority when it determined this complaint:
1. Moh Lateef’s formal complaint – 26 August 2010
2. APNA Network Ltd’s response to the complaint – 28 August 2010
3. Mr Lateef’s referral to the Authority – 28 September 2010
4. APNA’s responses to the Authority – 1 and 19 October 2010