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Court Decision “Bizarre”

11 August

Court Decision “Bizarre”

New Zealand Media Freedom Committee Chairman, Tim Pankhurst has called today’s judgement on the TV3 Dunne/Anderton case a “bizarre decision”.

“The courts should not be meddling in this area. It is a dangerous precedent for the democratic process when judges are allowed to dictate which politicians should be included in specific programmes, ” said Pankhurst in a reaction to the High Court decision by Justice Young.

“It is understandable that Dunne and Anderton seek redress in whatever way they can, and TV3 may well have been misguided not to include them in the first place. But the judiciary should not be the avenue for this”.

Pankhurst, who is also editor of the Dominion Post newspaper said TV3 was a commercial entity driven by ratings. If it thought Peter Dunne and Jim Anderton are not relevant enough or charismatic enough for their programme “that should be their call”.

“It's not as if they are pocketing public money to run tonight's debate. For television, politics is theatre and if they don't want a full cast, the viewers should be the only judges of the merits of that” said Pankhurst

The Media Freedom Committee, represents all print, and broadcasting media in New Zealand.

ENDS

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