BSA Decisions Ngā Whakatau a te Mana Whanonga Kaipāho

All BSA's decisions on complaints 1990-present
BSA Decisions
Ministry of Education & I.D.C. New Zealand Ltd and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-101 (29 June 2020)

The Authority has found that a segment on Newshub regarding the sale of a report summarising data received from schools in a survey run by the Ministry of Education and I.D.C. New Zealand Limited breached the accuracy standard. The item reported on concerns of the New Zealand Educational Institute and survey participants regarding the sale of the report to Microsoft and Google. The Authority found that the statement ‘sensitive, private data about schools and their students pawned off to private companies by Chinese data giant’, which was included in the item, was materially inaccurate and likely to mislead viewers given the data contained in the report was anonymised and aggregated. The Authority also found the broadcaster did not make reasonable efforts to ensure that the relevant statement was accurate and did not mislead.

Upheld: Accuracy

No orders

Mould and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2020-017 (29 June 2020)

The Authority did not uphold a complaint under the good taste and decency standard about a brief segment on The Project displaying an image of a scented candle developed by celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow. The complaint was that the name of the candle was disgusting and vile and unnecessary to report on. The Authority acknowledged that this content could have been better signposted for viewers, and some may have been surprised by it and found it distasteful. However reporting the name of the candle in itself did not threaten standards of good taste and decency at a level which warranted limiting freedom of expression, taking into account the wider context of the broadcast. The segment reported on a real product available for sale and the item viewed in its entirety was consistent with audience expectations of The Project and its typical style of presentation and humour.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency

Brereton & Riches and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-097 (16 June 2020)

The Authority has upheld two complaints that a segment on The Project, about an incident where charges against a man who allegedly shot at a drone were dropped, was in breach of the fairness and accuracy standards. The Authority found the segment was unfair to the man and would have misled audiences as it provided an inaccurate account of events through an interview with the drone’s pilot and additional comments from presenters. The drone pilot interviewee was allowed to put forward unchallenged his views on the man, and the broadcaster did not do enough to provide the man with an opportunity to respond to the comments. As the broadcast did not disclose any private information about the man, nor discuss a controversial issue of public importance, the privacy and balance standards were not upheld.

Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy

Not Upheld: Privacy, Balance

No orders

Conn and Television New Zealand - 2020-011 (16 June 2020)

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the usage of the word ‘root’ in a Seven Sharp item breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. The Authority took into account the relevant contextual factors including the nature of the discussion, the nature of the programme and the audience expectations of the programme. The Authority did not consider that the use of the word threatened community norms of good taste and decency, or that any potential harm justified restricting the right to freedom of expression.

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

Cooper and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2019-116 (16 June 2020)

The Authority did not uphold a complaint under the discrimination and denigration standard about a personal anecdote told by Seven Sharp presenter Jeremy Wells, describing the moment ‘Angela D’Audney sat on my desk as a 20-year-old in a leopard-print mini-skirt’. Stumbling over his words, Mr Wells then said, ‘see, it’s got me excited even thinking about it’. The complaint was that Mr Wells: outlined sexually inappropriate conduct against a female coworker; undermined and demeaned his female coworkers; and by saying it on national television, normalised and condoned sexual discrimination in the workplace. The Authority acknowledged Mr Wells’ choice of anecdote was ill-advised and inappropriate and that it may have offended some people. However it emphasised that in itself is not sufficient to find a broadcast encouraged discrimination or denigration. There is a high threshold for finding a breach, in light of the important right to freedom of expression. In this case, the comments were clearly not intended to be malicious or nasty, but rather as a light-hearted personal anecdote following ‘The Friday Countdown’ segment which celebrated 50 years of the network news. In the context, the broadcast did not encourage the denigration of, or discrimination against, women as a section of the community.

Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration

Golden and Radio New Zealand - 2019-095 (16 June 2020)

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint regarding a broadcast discussing Fonterra’s write-down of assets and the Reserve Bank’s announcement of an official cash rate cut. The Authority considered that the complaint was trivial, frivolous and vexatious and raised matters which were not covered in the broadcast and amounted to the complainant’s personal preference rather than issues of broadcasting standards.

Declined to Determine: Accuracy

Hearn and Radio New Zealand Ltd - 2020-001 (16 June 2020)

The Authority upheld a complaint that a broadcast of First Up was misleading and breached the accuracy standard. The Authority found the quiz question ‘what charges did Sweden drop last week against WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange?’ was misleading, as charges were never formally laid against Mr Assange. The Authority also found that RNZ did not make reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of the broadcast noting that the error was careless. The Authority did not make any orders on this occasion.

Upheld: Accuracy

No Orders

Lowes and MediaWorks Radio Ltd - 2020-004 (16 June 2020)

The Authority has declined to determine a complaint that a reference to ‘the future King of England’ during a news segment was inaccurate. The complainant has previously referred a number of complaints about similar issues to the Authority, which were either not upheld, with comprehensive reasons given for the Authority’s decision, or which the Authority declined to determine. The complainant’s appeal of a previous decision to the High Court on a similar issue was also dismissed. The Authority therefore declined to determine the complaint under section 11(a) of the Broadcasting Act 1989, on the grounds that it was trivial and vexatious.

Declined to Determine: Accuracy

O'Leary and New Zealand Media Entertainment Ltd - 2020-009 (16 June 2020)

A complaint regarding a comment made by radio host Chris Lynch in relation to a news report that Whakaari was going to receive a blessing in the wake of the fatal volcanic eruption has not been upheld. The Authority found that considering the relevant contextual factors, Mr Lynch’s comment ‘because that’s going to change everything isn’t it?’ was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or distress. The Authority also noted that, while the comment had the potential to offend some listeners, comments will not breach the discrimination and denigration standard simply because they are critical of a particular group, because they offend people, or because they are rude.

Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration

Eastman and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2019-111 (9 June 2020)

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an episode of Yo-Kai Watch was in breach of the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. It found that, while the episode contained negative stereotypes that may not be appropriate for children, and which some parents or caregivers may not approve of, the adult themes and sexual innuendos within the episode were not likely to be understood by child viewers, and the potential harm did not reach the level justifying regulatory intervention.

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

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