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

 

BSA Finds The University Of Otago Treated Unfairly In Broadcasts About Sexual Assault Allegations

The Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) has found that items on TVNZ’s Breakfast and 1 News were unfair to the University of Otago, in breach of the fairness broadcasting standard. The Breakfast programme was also found to be in breach of the balance broadcasting standard.

The findings relate to a complaint by the University regarding items on Sunday, 1 News and Breakfast about sexual assault allegations by former and current students of the University.

The complaint about Sunday was not upheld, as overall the Sunday programme was balanced. The programme was clearly signaled as coming from the perspective of the women interviewed and included comment from the University. No material inaccuracies were identified, and the University was given a reasonable opportunity to respond.

The complaint raised important issues about fairness, accuracy and balance in journalism. The Sunday broadcast focused on the sensitive subject of sexual assault complaints, and the question of how universities, and in this case how Otago University, should respond. These are challenging issues of public importance with high public value. In its decision, the Authority acknowledged the role of the media to challenge, and noted that asking, “how should sexual complaints be handled?” is important.

However, the subsequent Breakfast and 1 News items chose to focus on the University’s decision not to be interviewed, resulting in unfairness to the University. The Authority commented that the “broadcasts on Breakfast and 1 News changed the focus of the story. In our view the University was not treated fairly and, in the case of Breakfast, balance was also lacking. These two programmes fell short of the standards we expect of broadcasters in New Zealand.”

Breakfast advanced the allegations that the University mishandled allegations of sexual assault to avoid reputational damage. This was asserted by one of the women interviewed in the Sunday programme and was clearly opinion. However, on Breakfast this opinion was presented as fact. The Authority found that the University was not adequately informed or given a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment.

While Sunday did not portray the University adversely, for not appearing on camera, when this became the focus of the Breakfast item the result was that the University’s position was not fairly represented.

‘The inclusion of statements from the University that were read on air, for example ”Otago University says it has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct by students or staff”, were not sufficient to balance the specific allegations made on Breakfast.’

The Authority did not make any orders, and said that the publication of its decision would be sufficient to censure the broadcasters’ conduct.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Todd Muller Needs To Own The Privacy Leak Scandal


Whenever a political scandal breaks, party leaders have two basic options. They can confess to being in boots and all, and try to brazen it out : nothing to see here, move on. This tended to be the John Key approach. Very hard to pull that off in this case, given that it involved violating the privacy of sick New Zealanders for party political gain.
The other option is to claim innocence of this terrible, no good, highly regrettable “error of judgement” and apologise profusely for the sins of others, while absolving your own good self of any responsibility. This has been Todd Muller’s chosen path.... More>>
 

Govt: Statement From Rt Hon Winston Peters

Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters has announced he is taking a short stint of medical leave this week. More>>


Isolation: Government And Air NZ Agree To Manage Incoming Bookings

Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: David Clark Resigns As Health Minister

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accepted David Clark’s resignation as Health Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Green Party Unveils Income Policy

The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity. The scheme resets income support payments to ensure everyone not in full-time paid work gets at least ... More>>

ALSO:


Conservation: New Protection For Dolphins

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announced Minister of Fisheries Stuart Nash and Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: Water Consent Referred To Board Of Inquiry

Environment Minister David Parker has today “called in” Auckland’s application to the Waikato Regional Council to take an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the lower reaches of the Waikato River for Auckland drinking water and other municipal uses... More>>

ALSO:




Covid-19 Patient Info Leak: Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology

I have spoken to National Party Leader Todd Muller and informed him that I passed to members of the media, by email, information containing Covid-19 patient details that was given to me by a source. I did this to expose the Government’s shortcomings ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Labour Will Extend Loan Scheme 'lifeline' For Small Business

Labour has announced its plans to extend the Small Business Loan Cashflow Scheme and spend $162 million on a waterway clean-up package. More>>

ALSO:


Biosecurity: Winston Peters On EU Travel: 'We're Not Going To Compromise Our Country's Health'

Foreign Minister Winston Peters says New Zealanders who head to Europe on holiday should pay for their two weeks' hotel quarantine when they return. More>>

Economy: Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-Start COVID Rebuild

A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister ... More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Isolation System To Be Beefed Up After Stress

A range of improvements are already underway to address issues identified in the rapid review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine system released today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. The review was commissioned just over a week ago to identify ... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into Gear

ACT has today announced its list for the 2020 General Election. “The calibre and experience of our candidates will impress voters of every persuasion. We have candidates from all walks of life. People who have built their homes, families and businesses ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels