The Authority has upheld complaints from two complainants about a segment of Punjabi talkback programme Panthak Vichar, broadcast on Access Community Radio Inc (Planet FM). During the programme, the hosts made a number of allegations against the complainants, regarding their fundraising activities and whether they were trustworthy, and played a recorded phone conversation with Jaspreet Singh on-air. The Authority found that the comments reflected negatively on the complainants, and that Jaspreet Singh would not have known that the phone call would be played on-air. The Authority upheld the complaint under the fairness standard but did not uphold the remaining aspects of the complaint.
Upheld: Fairness. Not Upheld: Accuracy, Privacy, Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Discrimination and Denigration
The Authority has upheld one aspect of a complaint from three complainants about a segment of Punjabi talkback programme Panthic Vichar, broadcast on community radio station, Planet FM. During the programme, host Kuldip Singh made a number of allegations against the complainants, regarding use of grant money and cheating or ‘unjust’ behaviour at a kabaddi tournament. The Authority found that the host’s comments reflected negatively on the complainants and as such, they should have been given an opportunity to respond to the allegations. The Authority did not uphold the remaining aspects of the complaint. The Authority acknowledged the limited resources available to the broadcaster, but reminded it of its obligations under the Broadcasting Act 1989 to receive and consider formal complaints through a proper process, including where the broadcast subject to complaint is in a language other than English. The Authority did not make any orders.
Upheld: Fairness. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Programme Information, Children’s Interests, Violence, Law and Order, Discrimination and Denigration, Balance, Accuracy, Privacy. No Order.
During the heavy metal radio programme, House of Noizz on Planet FM, the host made derogatory comments about “an ex-member of the family”, the mother of his named nephew. The Authority upheld complaints that this was unfair, as the host abused his position by making comments that were insulting and abusive to the complainant, and the complainant had made repeated attempts to stop the content being broadcast. The Authority determined that the privacy and good taste and decency standards were not breached, however. The host’s comments were opinion, not private facts, and would not have offended or distressed most listeners. The Authority made no order.
Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Privacy, Accuracy, Discrimination and Denigration, Responsible Programming
Radio Punjab talkback programme. Discussed controversy surrounding charges of electoral fraud against a prominent member of the Indian community. Not upheld (accuracy and fairness).
New Zealand Tamil Society broadcast. Text read out concerning the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple of Sri Lanka. Complaint that the text contained four factual errors. Not upheld (accuracy, balance).
Auckland Access Radio: Tamil Thendral. Programme prepared by the NZ Tamil Society announced that a nomination to the Executive Committee of the NZ Tamil Society had been rejected until some receipt books returned. Not upheld (discrimination and denigration): subsequent action taken by the broadcaster was sufficient.
The G and T Show, Access Radio. During a mock interview, dealing with the Auckland City Council's decision not to fund the 1998 Hero Parade, it was suggested that Auckland's Deputy Mayor had made a self-sacrifice in appointing himself a "moral monitor" and risking a spontaneous erection by going to the Hero Parade. Not upheld (good taste and decency, discrimination and denigration).
"Voice of Mesopotamia". Assyrian language programme included a selection of poems written and read in the Assyrian language. Complainant alleged that one particular poem was a personal attack on him and on his character, and that he was clearly identified within the Assyrian community as being the subject of the reading. Broadcaster upheld the complaint and broadcast an apology, but the apology considered inadequate. Upheld (fairness): action taken insufficient. Order (broadcast of apology).
G & T Show. Allegation by interviewee that someone from the Christian Coalition had said to him: "... that hanging is too good for gays." Declined to determine (accuracy, fairness): the Authority unable to ascertain the truth or otherwise of the statement.
Ireland Calling. Radio programme included an interview with the producer of a television documentary about Irish immigrant families living in New Zealand. One of the immigrants featured in the documentary complained about comments made about him during the talkback programme. Not upheld (fairness): action taken sufficient.
The G & T Show. Item about secondary school students in America and homosexuality. Not upheld (balance).
Radio Gala. Comment about Jesus and comments critical of the Catholic Church. Upheld (good taste and decency): reference to bigots. Not upheld (discrimination and denigration). No order.
Radio Gala programme. Guest's comments about the attitude of the leader of the Call to Australia party towards gays and AIDS sufferers. Not upheld (accuracy): action taken sufficient.
Information on Ireland. Short programme on Ireland dealt with British troops in Northern Ireland. Upheld (balance). No order.