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Decisions
Nally and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-107 (7 April 2020)
2019-107

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a segment on Newshub regarding the Invercargill Licensing Trust Group (ILT) was inaccurate. The item reported on the ILT’s history, purpose and its funding of community projects and ventures. The Authority found that the segment was unlikely to significantly misinform or mislead viewers regarding the ILT. The Authority also found that none of the issues raised by the complainant amounted to a material inaccuracy for the purposes of the accuracy standard. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Stein and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-096 (9 February 2021)
2020-096

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a reference to ‘the heebies’ in a Newshub item canvassing reactions to Judith Collins’ appointment as leader of the National Party. The reporter asked then National MP Paula Bennett on camera, ‘Will this give Jacinda Ardern the heebies, do you reckon?’ The complainant argued the term could be interpreted as offensive slang for Jew. The Authority considered most viewers would have understood the term as common slang used to express a feeling of nervousness or anxiety, rather than embedding derogatory connotations about Jewish people as a section of the community. Given the ambiguity around the term’s origins, it found its use in the context was unlikely to encourage discrimination or denigration, or threaten community standards of taste and decency. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Discrimination and Denigration...

Decisions
Lewis and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-069 (16 November 2017)
2017-069

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on the shooting of two Israeli police officers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. The segment featured footage of officers being chased and shot at, followed by footage of a man being surrounded and shot at, a blurred shot of a dead body on the ground and a body bag on a stretcher. The Authority upheld a complaint that the item breached the good taste and decency, children’s interests and violence standards. The Authority recognised the public interest in the item and that it reported on important and newsworthy events. However, the Authority considered the item should have been preceded by a warning for the potentially disturbing violent content, to enable viewers to make an informed viewing decision, and allow an opportunity to exercise discretion....

Decisions
Apps and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-055 (18 November 2019)
2019-055

The Authority has not upheld a complaint that a promo for The Titan Games, broadcast during Newshub Live at 6pm and containing the phrase ‘holy crap’ breached the good taste and decency standard. The Authority found that the phrase was unlikely to undermine or violate widely shared community norms and overall any potential for harm did not justify a restriction on the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency...

Decisions
McDonald and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2019-076 (4 February 2020)
2019-076

The Authority declined to determine a complaint about a news item featuring an eleven year old boy who won a trip to go to a Rugby World Cup 2019 game in Japan with Richie McCaw. The Authority was unable to identify any elements in the broadcast that would raise any concerns under the standards raised. The Authority declined to determine the complaint on the basis it was frivolous and trivial.   Decline to determine: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests, Violence, Alcohol, Accuracy...

Decisions
Smith and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2020-016 (14 July 2020)
2020-016

The Authority did not uphold a complaint under the good taste and decency standard about the use of the phrase ‘child pornography’ in a Newshub item reporting on the arrest of Sir Ron Brierley. The complaint was that the item should have instead referred to child sexual exploitation, as ‘pornography’ infers consent and normalises a terrible practice. The Authority acknowledged the complainant’s concerns about the use of appropriate terminology with regard to very serious criminal conduct against children, and noted that what is appropriate terminology is contested internationally among authorities and global agencies. The Authority also consulted the Digital Safety Team at the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), which deals with issues including countering child sexual exploitation. DIA advised that it does not use the phrase ‘child pornography’ and considers the term ‘child sexual abuse material’ most accurately describes the illegal material involving children....

Decisions
WL and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-167 (29 June 2021)
2020-167

The Authority upheld a privacy complaint about a Newshub item showing footage of children being uplifted from their homes by Oranga Tamariki. The Authority considered there was adequate information in the clip to enable identification of the children. While the story carried high public interest, protecting children’s privacy interests, particularly where the children are clearly vulnerable, must be paramount in broadcasters’ editorial decision making. Insufficient steps were taken to protect the children’s identities, and given the highly sensitive and distressing circumstances, the Authority considered the disclosure of footage enabling their identification was highly offensive. Upheld: Privacy Orders: Section 16(4) – $1500 costs to the Crown...

Decisions
McCaughan and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-062 (2 December 2016)
2016-062

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]During three items on Newshub, interviewees used potentially offensive language, including ‘piece of piss’ and ‘shit’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that multiple instances of allegedly ‘foul language’ during a news programme were unacceptable. The Authority emphasised that the expressions reflected the interviewee’s choice of language to convey their response to the issues discussed, and were not abusive or directed at any individual. The Authority recognised that in our diverse New Zealand society, people may communicate using different kinds of language, and this will usually be acceptable so long as standards are maintained. In the context of a news programme aimed at adults, and items which carried relatively high value in terms of public interest and freedom of expression, the Authority was satisfied that the language would be unlikely to cause widespread undue offence among the general audience....

Decisions
Arps and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2019-073B (7 May 2020)
2019-073B

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that a Newshub segment that discussed the potential rise of far-right ideology in New Zealand breached the balance and accuracy standards. The Authority found that the segment was balanced as it contained multiple points of view. The Authority also found that the presenter’s reference to the complainant as a ‘white supremacist’ was a statement of analysis and opinion to which the accuracy standard does not apply. Not Upheld: Balance, Accuracy...

Decisions
Holswich and Discovery NZ Limited - 2020-113 (21 December 2020)
2020-113

The Authority has not upheld a complaint about a segment on Newshub which stated, ‘The White House has reportedly asked about adding President Trump's face to the famous granite carvings at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial’. The complainant submitted the news was fake and Mr Trump had already confirmed this before the broadcast. The Authority noted the statement was qualified by the word ‘reportedly’, and was accurate to the extent such reports had been made. While the segment carried little value in terms of public interest, the Authority found viewers were unlikely to have been misled. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-102 (28 January 2021)
2020-102

The Authority did not uphold a complaint about a Newshub item interviewing two ‘dare-devils’ who engage in ‘roof-topping’, an activity which the New Zealand Police issued a ‘stern’ warning about. The Authority found the item did not actively promote or glamorise illegal behaviour as it was made clear the activity was illegal and ill-advised. The remaining standards either did not apply or were not breached in the context. Not Upheld: Law and Order, Children’s Interests, Good Taste and Decency, Alcohol, Balance...

Decisions
Ministry for Primary Industries and Mediaworks TV Ltd - 2016-092 (15 May 2017)
2016-092

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Newshub broadcast a story about the outcome of a review by Michael Heron QC of Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) fisheries prosecution decisions. The reporter referred to the resignations of two senior MPI officials, implying that the resignations were connected to the outcome of the Heron review. The Authority upheld the complaint that the broadcast was unfair. The item reflected negatively on the two individuals’ professional reputations and had the potential to adversely affect them. In the interests of fairness, the broadcaster should have given the individuals affected a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations, which did not occur. The Authority did not uphold the complaint that the item breached the accuracy standard, as it found the broadcaster had made reasonable efforts to ensure accuracy by relying on sources which it satisfied itself were credible....

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-131 (28 January 2021)
2020-131

The Authority did not uphold an accuracy complaint about a Newshub item describing a new solar paint product as potentially ‘160 times less’ expensive than solar panels. The statement was a technical point unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the item as a whole. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
McCaughan and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2020-165 (25 May 2021)
2020-165

The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the phrase ‘pissed off’ in the opening to a news item breached the good taste and decency and children’s interests standards. The phrase was unlikely to cause widespread undue offence or cause specific harm to a child audience. Not Upheld: Good Taste and Decency, Children’s Interests...

Decisions
Wellington Palestine Group and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-053 (5 September 2018)
2018-053

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]The Authority has not upheld a complaint that the use of the term ‘disputed’ in a Newshub item, to describe the land the United States (US) Embassy sits on in East Jerusalem, breached the accuracy standard. The broadcast covered a recent protest in Gaza over the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem and the US calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel. The Authority noted that the accuracy standard requires only that the broadcaster make ‘reasonable efforts’ to ensure the accuracy of the broadcast. In this case, the reporter used the term ‘disputed’ in the ordinary sense of the word, to identify the US Embassy’s location, which is the subject of dispute between Palestine and Israel....

Decisions
GL and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2018-002 (24 August 2018)
2018-002

Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision. ] An item on Newshub reported on ‘cash for job’ work scams in New Zealand. The reporter described the experiences of one worker, who alleged he had been exploited by his employer and told to pay $30,000 for his job as a technician at an internet café. GL, who was named and whose photo was shown during the item, was said to have ‘demanded’ $15,000 from the worker as part of the scam. GL complained that the item was inaccurate and unfair, because he did not demand or receive any payment from the worker and he was not given a fair opportunity to respond to the allegations made against him....

Decisions
McDonald and Discovery NZ Ltd - 2021-005 (25 May 2021)
2021-005

The Authority did not uphold an accuracy complaint about a Newshub item describing a storm in Australia as a ‘one in 100 year storm’. The statement was a technical point unlikely to significantly affect the audience’s understanding of the item as a whole. Not Upheld: Accuracy...

Decisions
Wellington Palestine Group and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2016-048 (14 October 2016)
2016-048

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]Two items on Newshub reported on incidents of violence which occurred in the city of Hebron, in the West Bank, and in Jerusalem. The Authority did not uphold complaints from the Wellington Palestine Group that the items were inaccurate and misleading. The reporters’ references to Hebron in the West Bank, and to Jerusalem, were correct and there was no implication during either item that these events occurred in Israel, as alleged. The lack of an explicit reference to ‘Occupied Territories’ or to ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ did not result in the items as a whole being inaccurate or misleading. Not Upheld: AccuracyIntroduction[1] An item on Newshub reported on the shooting of a wounded Palestinian man by an Israeli soldier in the city of Hebron in the West Bank....

Decisions
Sheerin and MediaWorks TV Ltd - ID2017-022 (26 April 2017)
ID2017-022

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]A Newshub bulletin featured five separate items which the complainant considered related to the United States. The Authority declined to determine a complaint about the ‘sheer volume’ of news stories from the US, finding it raised matters of editorial discretion and personal preference rather than broadcasting standards. Declined to Determine: Balance, Programme InformationIntroduction[1] Bronwyn Sheerin complained to MediaWorks about the ‘sheer volume’ of news items from the US. She referred to a Newshub bulletin featuring five separate items which she considered related to the United States (US). [2] The issue is whether the complaint raises matters of broadcasting standards which can properly be determined by this Authority. [3] The programme was broadcast at 6pm on 26 February 2017 on Three. The members of the Authority have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix....

Decisions
Cowan and MediaWorks TV Ltd - 2017-058 (21 September 2017)
2017-058

Summary[This summary does not form part of the decision. ]An item on Newshub reported on the Government’s upcoming review of KiwiRail’s operational and funding models. The item featured interviews with Transport Minister, Simon Bridges, NZ First leader, Winston Peters, and Prime Minister Bill English. The reporter commented that KiwiRail had been a ‘black hole’ for tax payers and ‘a giant problem for this Government’. The Authority did not uphold a complaint that the item was unbalanced and unfair to KiwiRail. Given the nature of the item, which was a straightforward news report about the Government’s proposed review, viewers would not have expected to be provided with information about the historic benefits of rail or the history of KiwiRail. The Authority also found that, although the reporter’s use of language could be considered critical, the item did not result in KiwiRail being treated unfairly....

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