The Authority has not upheld two complaints about Prime News’ coverage of King Charles’ coronation on 1 and 2 May 2023. The complainant alleged the first broadcast was unbalanced as it only included interviews with people who were opposed to the idea of the public being asked to participate in a pledge of allegiance to the King. They further considered the second broadcast was inaccurate as the reporter did not back up their introductory statement ‘Love him or loathe him, in London right now, you can't escape him’ with evidence that people did loathe King Charles, and described a souvenir of the King ‘as a clown’. The Authority found the balance standard did not apply to the first broadcast as the decision to add a public pledge of allegiance was not a controversial issue of public importance, and the issue of public support for the monarchy was not ‘discussed’ in the broadcast as contemplated under that standard. The Authority found no inaccuracy in the second broadcast.
Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy
The Authority has not upheld a complaint an episode of Story Time, involving a reading of ‘Sight for Sore Eyes’ followed by comments from the announcer, breached the discrimination and denigration standard. The story was about a man in Eritrea suffering from trachoma, which was deteriorating his vision, who had his vision restored by a visiting eye doctor, Dr Fred Hollows. The announcer then recounted her, and a listener’s, experiences with the Fred Hollows Foundation. The complainant considered the broadcast used ableist language, implying blind people ‘require fixing’. The Authority found the language did not have this effect, was in keeping with the context of a fictional story about the treatment of preventable blindness, and did not carry any malice. Therefore the broadcast did not reach the threshold for breaching the discrimination and denigration standard.
Not Upheld: Discrimination and Denigration
The Authority has not upheld a complaint an episode of Sunday breached the complainant’s privacy, and was unfair to the complainant, by broadcasting an image taken on the complainant’s property. The Authority found the complainant was not identifiable for the purposes of the privacy standard, and was not ‘referred to’ in the broadcast for the purposes of the fairness standard.
Not Upheld: Privacy, Fairness
The complainant referred a complaint concerning an item broadcast on 1 News accompanied by submissions in excess of 100 pages, indicating further submissions would be required. The Authority ordered the complainant to resubmit the complaint in a more proportionate form, constituting a single submission not exceeding 2,000 words, within 20 working days of this decision.
Order to resubmit complaint in a form not exceeding 2,000 words within 20 working days
The Authority has not upheld complaints that the action taken by Warner Bros. Discovery in response to a breach of the accuracy and fairness standards – during a Newshub Live at 6pm item on Immigration New Zealand’s decision to allow Posie Parker’s entry to New Zealand – was insufficient. The broadcaster upheld the complaints relating to a clip of Parker, which the reporter stated had been blurred because Parker was ‘using a hand signal linked to white supremacists’. The broadcaster conceded that blurring Parker’s hands was potentially misleading as it prevented audiences from making their own assessment of the footage, and potentially unfair as Parker’s intention was unclear. The broadcaster removed the video in the online version of the story and replaced it with a clip of Parker’s position on neo-Nazis, which the Authority found was sufficient and proportionate action in the circumstances. The Authority did not uphold the remainder of the complaints.
Not Upheld: Action Taken (Accuracy and Fairness), Accuracy, Fairness, Balance and Discrimination and Denigration.
The Authority has not upheld complaints an item on 1 News reporting on events the day of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull’s (also known as Posie Parker) Auckland rally, including her decision to abandon the event, breached the balance standard. The complainants were concerned with: the item’s description of Parker as ‘anti-trans’; the lack of interviewees supporting Parker in the reports; and the ‘attitude and tone of reporters’ covering the story. The Authority found the item was sufficiently balanced by significant perspectives included both within the broadcast and in other coverage within the period of current interest; and it did not breach standards to describe Parker as ‘anti‑trans’ (given her views). Further, the standard is not directed at ‘bias in and of itself’, meaning broadcasters are entitled to present matters from particular perspectives or with a particular focus.
Not Upheld: Balance
The Authority has not upheld complaints an item on 1 News reporting on Immigration New Zealand’s decision to review Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull’s (also known as Posie Parker) entry into New Zealand breached broadcasting standards. The complainants were concerned with: the report’s description of Parker as ‘anti-trans’ and of neo-Nazis ‘supporting’ Parker; the lack of interviewees supporting Parker in the reports; and the unfair treatment of Parker. The Authority found the items were sufficiently balanced by significant perspectives included both within the broadcast and in other coverage within the period of current interest; any criticism of Parker did not exceed the robust scrutiny expected of public figures; and it did not breach standards to describe Parker as ‘anti‑trans’ (given her views) or to state that neo-Nazis ‘supported’ her at a previous rally.
Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness, Discrimination and Denigration
The Authority has not upheld a complaint concerning a Sunday investigation report looking into issues with emergency housing in Rotorua, and a follow-up item on 1 News. The majority of the Sunday broadcast focused on allegations against the largest contracted emergency housing provider in Rotorua, Visions of a Helping Hand (Visions), and its contracted security company Tigers Express Security Ltd – both led by CEO/Director Tiny Deane. Visions complained the broadcast was unbalanced, misleading, and unfair to Visions, Tigers Express Security and Deane. Noting the very high public interest and value in the story overall, the Authority found most of Visions’ concerns with the broadcast could have been addressed had it provided a substantive response to the reporter on the issues raised – who had made numerous attempts over more than a month to obtain comment from Visions and Deane. On that basis the Authority did not uphold the fairness, accuracy or balance complaints. A privacy complaint concerning a woman and her children who were featured walking down the street as part of a fleeting establishing shot was also not upheld.
Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy, Fairness, Privacy
The Authority has not upheld a complaint that an item on AM concerning the imminent arrival to Aotearoa New Zealand of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, also known as Posie Parker, breached broadcasting standards. The complainant alleged the broadcast was unfair, inaccurate and denigrated Parker by describing her as ‘anti-trans’, that such a description ‘could well increase the likelihood of violent antisocial protests’ at her events, and that the item was also unbalanced. The Authority found that, given Parker’s views, the description ‘anti-trans activist’ was not unfair given its literal accuracy, and the brief item did not otherwise breach broadcasting standards.
Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Promotion of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour, Balance, Discrimination and Denigration
The Authority has not upheld complaints concerning a promo for the programme MILF Manor, broadcast during episodes of Ice Vikings and Border Patrol. The complainants considered the use of the term ‘MILF’ offensive, even if the word was not spelled out. The Authority found the promo complied with the PG classification of its host programmes and that use of the term ‘MILF’ was not likely to seriously violate community norms or disproportionately disturb the audience. It also did not consider the promo was likely to adversely affect children. The promotion of illegal or antisocial behaviour standard did not apply.
Not Upheld: Offensive and Disturbing Content, Children’s Interests, Promotion of Illegal or Antisocial Behaviour