BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present
BSA Decisions
Abdul-Rahman and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-026 (21 June 2022)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on RNZ National’s Morning Report on 14 January 2022 breached the discrimination and denigration standard by voicing-over comments made by international students. The complainant alleged this implied that foreign students and immigrants are not easily understood due to their accents, thereby reinforcing xenophobia. The Authority found ‘international students’ and ‘immigrants’ did not constitute relevant sections of the community for the purposes of the standard. In any event, the broadcast would not have reached the threshold required for finding a breach.

Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration

Brown and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-041 (21 June 2022)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging an item on RNZ National’s 1pm News bulletin lacked balance. The item reported on economist Dr Eric Crampton’s support for the National Party’s policy to retract Labour’s extension to the bright-line test for people selling investment properties. The complainant alleged the item lacked balance as RNZ had interviewed Dr Crampton and another expert earlier in the day on the matter, but only Dr Crampton’s views were re-broadcast as part of the 1pm news update. The Authority did not uphold the complaint, finding the item clearly signalled it was focussed on Dr Crampton’s views and did not purport to be an in-depth examination of Labour’s decision to extend the bright-line test. Further, given other wide-ranging coverage on the issue, listeners could reasonably be expected to be aware of other views.

Not Upheld: Balance

Dennehy and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2022-054 (21 June 2022)

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint under the accuracy standard regarding a broadcaster’s statement that Maria Sharapova won her first ‘grand slam’ at 17 years old. The complaint was that the term ‘grand slam’ consists of winning all four major tennis competitions in a calendar year, a feat which Sharapova has not achieved. The Authority declined to determine the complaint on the basis it was trivial and did not warrant consideration.

Declined to Determine: Accuracy (section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 – trivial)

Hamilton and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2022-034 (21 June 2022)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a Morning Report item stating ‘Protesters occupying Parliament grounds have been calling for reinforcements…’ breached the law and order standard. The Authority found in the context the item did not actively encourage or promote illegal behaviour. In any event, the public interest in the item meant the right to freedom of expression outweighed any potential harm.

Not Upheld: Law and Order

Miller and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2022-036 (21 June 2022)

As part of a news item on ‘main developments overnight’ in the war between Russia and Ukraine, a clip was shown where the presenter stated ‘This is footage we’re seeing from Ukraine, a Russian tank in the capital of Kyiv swerving to drive over the top of a car with someone inside.’ The complainant alleged this was inaccurate, submitting it was actually a Ukrainian anti-aircraft vehicle which lost control and swerved into the vehicle. The Authority found that the exact type of military vehicle involved in the incident was not material to the broadcast and the accuracy standard did not apply to this point. In terms of whether the vehicle was attributable to Russian or Ukrainian forces, and whether the collision was deliberate, given conflicting reports it was unclear whether the broadcast was misleading on these points. However, as the broadcaster made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of the item by relying on a reputable source, the accuracy standard was not breached.

Not upheld: Accuracy

Mitchell and NZME Radio Ltd - 2022-028 (21 June 2022)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that comments made by the hosts of The Big Show about touching their testicles when they were nervous and a school speech titled ‘The Dilworth Way’ breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. The Authority found the comments were within audience expectations for the programme and the radio station, Radio Hauraki. In the context the hosts’ conversation was unlikely to cause widespread offence or adversely affect any children who happened to be listening (although they were not the target audience).

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

Redshaw and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-045 (21 June 2022)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a broadcast of The Project breached the accuracy standard. It stated Joe Rogan had taken ‘horse wormer ivermectin as a COVID treatment’. The Authority found the accuracy standard was not breached as the statements were materially accurate and not misleading.

Not Upheld: Accuracy

West and Discovery New Zealand Ltd - 2022-038 (21 June 2022)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint regarding an item on Newshub Live at 6pm about the current war in Ukraine. The complaint was in relation to the map used in the segment, which showed Ukraine, Russia and other nearby countries, and depicted Crimea as a part of Russia. The Authority acknowledged that the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing war in Ukraine is a highly sensitive topic and found the map did contain inaccuracies. However, the Authority found the segment was materially accurate, as the map would not have significantly affected the audience’s understanding of the programme as a whole. In the circumstances the Authority determined that regulatory intervention was not required. The programme information, law and order, and fairness standards did not apply.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Programme Information, Law and Order, Fairness

Serfontein and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2022-039 (21 June 2022)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint alleging footage during a Newshub Live at 6pm item showing a rugby league player throwing up on the side of the field during a match breached the good taste and decency standard. Taking into account the context of the broadcast, the Authority found the footage was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Stone & Maynard and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2022-048 (21 June 2022)

The Authority has not upheld two complaints relating to a news item on Nicola Willis MP being appointed the National Party’s Finance Spokesperson. The complaints alleged the broadcast breached the accuracy and balance standards as it omitted the Speaker’s intervention of Willis’s questions to the Finance Minister during Question Time, allegedly leading viewers to believe the questions were delivered seamlessly and without fault. The Authority found the accuracy standard was not breached as the broadcast was materially accurate, and the balance standard did not apply, as the questions did not reflect a controversial issue of public importance.

Not Upheld: Accuracy, Balance

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