BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present

BC and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2014-128

  • Peter Radich (Chair)
  • Te Raumawhitu Kupenga
  • Mary Anne Shanahan
  • Leigh Pearson
MediaWorks Radio Ltd
The Edge

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

During the Jay-Jay, Mike & Dom show one of the hosts commented that 'Louise Nicholas is the woman who was raped by a pack of cops in Rotorua'. The Authority declined to uphold a complaint that this statement was inaccurate, because it did not form part of a news, current affairs or factual programme to which the accuracy standard applied.

Not Upheld: Accuracy


[1]  During the Jay-Jay, Mike & Dom show one of the hosts commented on TVNZ's apology for the placement of a condom commercial, saying:

TVNZ has apologised for an awkwardly placed condom ad... that features a woman talking about her sexual enjoyment. It was played during the Louise Nicholas movie Consent on Sunday night. Now, Louise Nicholas is the woman who was raped by a pack of cops in Rotorua... [Our emphasis]

[2]  BC complained that it was inaccurate to state as fact that Louise Nicholas 'was raped by a pack of cops' because the officers charged with the alleged offences were acquitted. He said the definitive remark could 'cause the "ordinary member of the public" to believe that the statement was correct and that police officers had been convicted of raping [Ms] Nicholas'.

[3]  The issue is whether the broadcast breached the accuracy standard, as set out in the Radio Code of Broadcasting Practice.

[4]  The comment was broadcast on The Edge on 19 August 2014. The members of the Authority have listened to a recording of the broadcast and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.

Did the broadcast breach the accuracy standard?

[5]  The accuracy standard (Standard 5) applies only to news, current affairs and factual programmes. As the Jay-Jay, Mike & Dom show is clearly not a news or current affairs programme, the question is whether it falls within the definition of a 'factual programme'. If it is not a factual programme, the accuracy standard is not triggered and we must decline to determine the complaint on that basis.

[6]  A 'factual programme' has been defined by the Authority as one which presents itself, and is reasonably understood by the audience, to be an authoritative source of factual information.1 This category typically includes, for example, documentaries, consumer affairs programmes and reality television series, which make factual statements.2

[7]  The Authority has previously held that the Jay-Jay, Mike & Dom show is not a factual programme.3 It is a typical breakfast radio show, described on The Edge's website as comprising 'the latest entertainment news, celebrity gossip, scandal, competitions and all the funniest gags to spark up your morning'.4 Listeners do not expect breakfast radio hosts to offer hard facts or deep analysis. Rather, the hosts participate in light, informal conversation and banter, and reflect public dialogue about the topics of the day, to entertain and engage listeners and generate rapport.

[8]  As the broadcast was not subject to standards of accuracy, we decline to uphold the complaint.

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

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority



Peter Radich
5 February 2015



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

1      BC's formal complaint – 20 August 2014
2      MediaWorks' response to the complaint – 24 September 2014
3      BC's referral to the Authority – 29 September 2014
4      MediaWorks' response to the Authority – 29 October 2014



1 Accident Compensation Corporation and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2006-126 

2 See, for example, Williams and Wilkinson and TVWorks Ltd, Decision No. 2009-113; Evison and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2009-033; and New Zealand Dietetic Association and TVWorks Ltd, Decision No. 2008-140.

3 Baird and RadioWorks Ltd, Decision No. 2013-041