Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

RNZ Unfair To Benson-Pope

20 October 2006

"Nine to Noon" and "One News" – allegations about Hon David Benson-Pope – Radio NZ, upheld with orders, TVNZ, Not upheld.

The BSA has today released two decisions about complaints alleging breaches of balance, fairness, and accuracy made by Cabinet Minister

Hon David Benson-Pope. The Authority upheld one aspect of a complaint against Radio NZ and did not uphold a complaint against TVNZ.

In the Radio NZ decision about a "Nine to Noon" interview in May 2005, the Authority upheld Mr Benson-Pope's fairness complaint but did not uphold those alleging breaches of balance and accuracy.

The Authority ruled that the fairness standard was breached because Radio NZ broadcast anonymous allegations without adequately verifying the interviewee's credibility. Several other features of the programme contributed to this, including:

  • the absence of any serious challenge by the interviewer to the anonymous interviewee's story
  • that the interviewee was allowed to make serious and unchecked allegations that Mr Benson-Pope was guilty of criminal conduct in relation to other students
  • that the interviewer's reference to police involvement implied that the conduct alleged by the anonymous student amounted to criminal conduct.
  • The BSA requires Radio NZ to broadcast a statement, pay $5,000 towards Mr Benson-Pope's legal fees, and $2,000 costs to the Crown.

    In the TVNZ case, the BSA declined to uphold Mr Benson-Pope's complaint that a "One News" item in February 2006 breached standards of balance, fairness, and accuracy.

    The item reported allegations that Mr Benson-Pope had treated female students inappropriately when he was a teacher over 20 years ago.

    The Authority found that TVNZ made reasonable efforts to present Mr Benson-Pope's perspective on the allegations within the period of current interest, which included a 15-minute interview on "Close Up". The Authority also said that the item was neither misleading nor inaccurate in dealing with the various allegations.

    Neither was door-stepping the complainant unfair on this occasion. The Authority held that as a Minister of the Crown, Mr Benson-Pope is directly accountable to the public, and the reporter was entitled to approach him directly. Also, Mr Benson-Pope had considerable experience in dealing with the media, and was able to address the reporter's questions clearly and concisely.

    Radio NZ decision: http://www.bsa.govt.nz/decisions/2005/2005-083.htm
    TVNZ decision: http://www.bsa.govt.nz/decisions/2006/2006-023.htm

    ENDS

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
    Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

    Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

    There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

    Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

    Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


    Reaction

    Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

     

    Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

    New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

    ALSO:


    Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

    “We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

    ALSO:

    Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

    The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

    ALSO:

    Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

    Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

    ALSO:

    Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

    An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

    ALSO:

    Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

    The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

    ALSO:

    Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

    New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

     
     
     
     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

    • PARLIAMENT
    • POLITICS
    • REGIONAL
     
     

    Featured InfoPages

    Opening the Election