BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

Procter and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2014-039

Members
  • Peter Radich (Chair)
  • Leigh Pearson
  • Te Raumawhitu Kupenga
  • Mary Anne Shanahan
Dated
Complainant
  • Brent Procter
Number
2014-039
Programme
Nine to Noon
Broadcaster
Radio New Zealand Ltd
Channel/Station
Radio New Zealand National

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision.]

A media commentator on Nine to Noon made comments about the retirement of the editor of the Southland Times. The Authority declined to determine the complaint that the editor was ‘erroneously described… in glowing terms’. The complainant’s concerns about the way the editor was portrayed are matters of personal preference and editorial discretion, not broadcasting standards. The item clearly comprised personal opinion and did not require the presentation of other views.

Declined to determine: Controversial Issues


Introduction

[1]  During a discussion with a media commentator on Nine to Noon, comments were made about the retirement of the editor of the Southland Times. The programme was broadcast on 17 December 2013 on Radio New Zealand National.

[2]  Brent Procter made a formal complaint to Radio New Zealand Ltd (RNZ), alleging that the Southland Times editor was ‘erroneously described… in glowing terms’, which misled listeners.

[3]  The issue is whether the complaint raises any issues of broadcasting standards which warrant our determination.

[4]  The members of the Authority have listened to a recording of the broadcast complained about and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.

Does the complaint raise any issues of broadcasting standards which warrant our determination?

[5]  Section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 authorises this Authority to decline to determine a complaint if it considers the complaint is frivolous, vexatious, or trivial. The policy behind section 11 is that the time and resources of the Authority, which are, in the end, sustained by the people of New Zealand, should not be wasted in having to deal with matters which objectively have no importance.1

[6]  We have reached the view that it is appropriate to decline to determine the complaint under section 11(a) on the basis it is trivial. Mr Procter has previously made complaints about material he considered ought to have been broadcast, which the Authority has consistently declined to determine.2 This item clearly comprised the commentary and opinions of the participants, and did not require the inclusion of other views. Mr Procter’s concerns about the way the editor was portrayed in this broadcast are matters of personal preference and editorial discretion, not issues of broadcasting standards.3

 

For the above reasons the Authority declines to determine the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

Peter Radich
Chair
17 June 2014

Appendix

The correspondence listed below was received and considered by the Authority when it determined this complaint:

1                  Brent Procter’s formal complaint – 16 January 2014

2                 RNZ’s response to the complaint – 18 March 2014

3                 Mr Procter’s referral to the Authority – 11 April 2014

4                 RNZ’s response to the Authority – 29 April 2014


1Practice Note: Section 11 powers to decline to determine a complaint

(Broadcasting Standards Authority, June 2013)

2Procter and The Radio Network Ltd, Decision no. 2000-097, 2000-098, Procter and The Radio Network Ltd, Decision No. 2000-070, 2000-071 and Procter and The RadioWorks Ltd, Decision No. 2000-068.

3See section 5(c) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, which states that complaints based merely on a complainant’s preferences are not generally capable of being resolved by this complaints procedure.