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Decisions
Grieve and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-019 (25 July 2016)
2016-019

An item on 3 News reported that 2015 was the planet’s hottest year on record. The reporter stated that ‘the impacts of that record high are close to home’ and interviewed two New Zealand climate scientists about the finding. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging that it was inaccurate and unbalanced for the reporter to imply that recent severe weather events in New Zealand were caused by global warming. The scientists who gave their views in the item were respected local experts, and the inclusion of comment from them localised the findings for viewers in terms of what they might mean for New Zealanders. In terms of the balance standard, global warming is an ongoing contentious issue which is widely discussed so viewers could reasonably be expected to be aware of the range of perspectives on global warming.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Controversial Issues

Decisions
Both and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-100 (14 April 2016)
2015-100

A 3 News item reported on allegations of widespread doping amongst Russian athletes and included a reference to the disqualification of a Belarussian shot-putter at the London Olympics. The Authority did not uphold a complaint alleging the item was misleading, unbalanced and denigrated Russians by failing to differentiate between Belarus and Russia. The reporter accurately described the Belarussian athlete and the Russian Olympic team, and in the context of the item viewers would not have been misled into thinking Belarus and Russia were the same country. The item portrayed a range of significant viewpoints on the allegations of doping amongst Russian Olympic athletes and did not contain any material which discriminated against, or denigrated, Russians.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Controversial Issues, Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
Both and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-068 (1 December 2015)
2015-068

An item on 3 News discussed New Zealand’s efforts to remove the veto power held by permanent member states on the United Nations Security Council. Both the presenter and reporter referred to a recent example of Russia exercising its veto in relation to a proposed tribunal to investigate the crash of flight MH17. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that the item was misleading and unbalanced because Russia in fact was supportive of investigating the MH17 tragedy and holding those responsible to account, but was not in favour of setting up a tribunal on the matter. The item was materially accurate and the reference to Russia’s exercise of the veto power did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue of public importance which triggered the need to present alternative views.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Controversial Issues, Law and Order, Fairness

Decisions
Woods and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-062 (1 December 2015)
2015-062

A 3 News item reported on Labour Party leader Andrew Little’s response to questions about his party’s use of data allegedly showing the percentage of offshore Chinese home-buyers in Auckland. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item lacked balance because it was dominated by the political editor’s point of view. The item included balancing comment from both Mr Little and Labour Housing Spokesman Phil Twyford and it would have been clear to viewers that the political editor was giving his own robust commentary and analysis of the issue.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues 

Decisions
AFFCO Holdings Ltd and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-050
2015-050

Two items on 3 News reported on two cases of Talley's Group paying compensation to employees for work accidents at its freezing works. The items featured interviews with both workers and referred to their Employment Relations Authority (ERA) cases. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the items were inaccurate and unfair to AFFCO Holdings Ltd, the subsidiary of Talley's Group which owns the freezing works. The broadcaster was entitled to report key parts of the ERA judgments, and AFFCO was given a fair opportunity to comment.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

Decisions
Cochran and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-054
2015-054

3 News reported on a gun attack on a Tunisian beach resort, and showed amateur video footage of the event. The footage contained images of people shouting and running around in confusion, and gunshots and bomb blasts could be heard. The footage also showed the gunman lying in the street after he had been shot dead by police. The Authority upheld a complaint that this footage was disturbing and should have been preceded by a warning. While recognizing the high public interest in the story and the footage, viewers were not given a reasonable opportunity to exercise discretion because they were not adequately warned of its nature. The Authority did not make any order.

Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Violence

No Order

Decisions
Green and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-051
2015-051

An item on 3 News discussed a leaked internal report which reviewed the Labour Party’s election strategy. Towards the conclusion of the item the reporter briefly referred to the recent installation of security doors between the Labour and National Party offices at a cost of $30,000. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item lacked balance on this point. The brief reference to the installation of the doors did not amount to a discussion of a controversial issue of public importance in the context of this item, which focused on the leaked Labour Party report – so the requirement to present alternative views was not triggered.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues 

Decisions
Rossiter and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-022
2015-022

The 3 News political editor reported on proposed legislative changes to pay rises for Members of Parliament. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item was unbalanced and inaccurate in that the editor ‘presented… opinion as fact’ and used ‘highly emotive language’. The report provided sufficient balance, and the statements complained of were clearly the editor’s opinion and analysis rather than statements of fact to which the accuracy standard applied.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Accuracy

Decisions
Trunk Property Ltd and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-025
2015-025

3 News covered a story about Trunk Property Ltd, which allegedly was entering into unlawful subletting arrangements with tenants in Auckland. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the broadcast contained inaccurate, unfair and unbalanced information and breached the privacy of Trunk Property’s director. The item was materially accurate, was not unfair to Trunk Property or its director and did not breach the director’s privacy. Trunk Property was given a reasonable opportunity to comment on the story and its response was fairly presented in the item.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness, Privacy, Good Taste and Decency, Law and Order, Controversial Issues, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming 

Decisions
Green and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-024
2015-024

A 3 News item reported on National Party candidate Mark Osborne’s failure to name all bridges relevant to his campaign promise during the Northland by-election, to convert 10 bridges to two lanes. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the editing of the item was unfair to Mr Osborne by creating the impression he was unable to name all 10 bridges. The item contained clear statements as to the number of bridges Mr Osborne could name and did not unfairly represent his state of knowledge. Further, the item was broadcast in the context of a robust by-election environment when politicians can expect a high level of scrutiny.

Not Upheld: Fairness

Decisions
Green and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-013
2015-013

A 3 News item about Andrew Little’s ‘state of the nation’ address, in which he promised that under the Labour Party, New Zealand would have the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD, featured an exchange between the reporter and Mr Little about unemployment rates. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item was misleading and unfair to Mr Little in giving the impression he did not know New Zealand’s current unemployment rate when in fact he did. It was clear that the figure Mr Little was unable to quote was the current lowest OECD unemployment rate and the item did not unfairly distort his views.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

Decisions
Dodds and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-006
2015-006

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

Decisions
Davies and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2015-004
2015-004

A 3 News item covered a high-profile New Zealand equestrian’s reportedly controversial exclusion from Equestrian Sports New Zealand’s high performance squad. It included an interview with the head of ESNZ, and briefly showed a copy of the equestrian magazine Show Circuit on his desk. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that the broadcast breached standards because it wrongly associated Show Circuit with ESNZ. The inclusion of the shot of the magazine was incidental to the story and did not suggest that Show Circuit supported ESNZ, as alleged.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness, Responsible Programming

Decisions
Green and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-147
2014-147

An item on 3 News covered the state of the Labour Party leadership after the 2014 general election. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item contained multiple errors of fact and the political editor misrepresented David Cunliffe’s stated position. While errors were made in the broadcast (which were acknowledged by the broadcaster), they were technical in nature and not material to the focus of the item, which was the confusion surrounding the Labour Party leadership. The explanations given in the broadcast would not have misled viewers as to the general Labour Party process for leadership elections, and any misunderstanding around Mr Cunliffe’s position was due to his own contradictory statements.

Not Upheld: Accuracy

Decisions
Sampurno and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-148
2014-148

An item on 3 News reported details of John Key’s meeting with the Indonesian president. The newsreader discussed terrorism in Indonesia and referred to Indonesia as ‘the biggest Muslim country in the world’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that this statement was inaccurate, finding that viewers would have understood the intended meaning that the majority of Indonesians are followers of Muslim faith. The Authority also declined to uphold the complaint that the discussion of terrorism in Indonesia denigrated Muslims and/or Indonesians, as it was factual and did not carry any invective.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration

Decisions
Boreham & others and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-133
2014-133

3 News reported on three men who were convicted or accused of sexual offence charges, and showed images of two lists of names, in which the complainants’ names featured. The Authority declined to uphold complaints that by showing their names during a discussion about the accused sex offenders, the item breached the complainants’ privacy. Their position as Parliamentary Service employees was not private, the inclusion of the complainants’ names was peripheral to the item, and there was no suggestion that the complainants were the accused sex offenders, as the three men who were convicted or accused of sexual offence charges were explicitly identified by both their names and their images.

Not Upheld: Privacy, Fairness 

Decisions
Family First New Zealand and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-122
2014-122

3 News reported on an incident in which Pam Corkery of the Internet-Mana Party swore at journalists. The Authority declined to uphold the complaint that the inclusion of the word ‘shit’ breached standards. Ms Corkery’s choice of language was largely what made her behaviour newsworthy, and it was in the public interest to show viewers the footage uncensored. The inclusion of one swearword during an unclassified news programme targeted at adults did not threaten broadcasting standards.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests 

Decisions
Boyce and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-135
2014-135

During 3 News coverage of the results of the 2014 general election, a reporter was shown persistently attempting to interview the Internet-Mana Party leader Laila Harré. The Authority declined to uphold the complaint that the reporter’s treatment of Ms Harré was unfair. The reporter’s behaviour did not cross the high threshold for finding unfairness to politicians and public figures, particularly in the context of an important political broadcast.

Not Upheld: Fairness 

Decisions
Grieve and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-145
2014-145

A 3 News report looked at ACT Party leader Jamie Whyte’s policies in the lead up to the general election. The presenter made comments about ACT’s law and order policies and Mr Whyte’s views on incest and polygamy. The Authority declined to uphold the complaint that the broadcast inaccurately described ACT’s policies and Mr Whyte’s views, and as such was unfair to ACT and Mr Whyte. The broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure that the item was accurate, and the comments were not unfair in the context of a robust election environment.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Fairness

Decisions
Goffin and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2014-123
2014-123

An item on 3 News: Firstline reported on the latest development in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item was inaccurate and unbalanced, and anti-Israel. The reporter outlined the response from Israeli government officials to the incident, and also referred to both Israeli shelling and Hamas rocket firing, indicating that both sides bore some responsibility for the latest escalation of violence. It was not materially inaccurate to refer to Sderot as being ‘on the border of Israel and Gaza’ because a caption onscreen clarified it was in Israel.

Not Upheld: Controversial Issues, Accuracy

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