Brian Edwards Media

Beneficiary appeals against Broadcasting Standards Authority decision to High Court. Read the Court’s Finding!

 

Kathryn Gray

 Cast your mind back, if you will, to a post I wrote on August 16 of last year. It was headed A Shameful Ruling by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

The story was about Don McDonald, a Wellington beneficiary who had become a thorn in the flesh of the BSA as a result of his numerous complaints to the broadcasting watchdog about inaccurate reporting on radio and television.

The final straw for the Authority was a complaint by Mr McDonald about an item on One News.

In its bulletin of 6 January the network had reported on the discovery of a supernova by a 10-year-old Canadian girl, Kathryn Gray. The report included the following statement:

‘The Canadian Astronomical Society says Kathryn’s supernova was in a galaxy 240 light years from Earth.’

Mr McDonald complained to TVNZ that the statement was inaccurate because ‘a supernova star at such close distance would barbecue the earth.’ He said the distance from the earth to its neighbouring galaxy Andromeda was at least two million light years.

He was right. What’s more, TVNZ agreed that he was right. Kathryn’s supernova was in a galaxy not 240 but 240 million light years from the earth. In other words, a million times further that TVNZ had reported. 

Mr McDonald thought the broadcaster ought to issue a retraction and apology for its mistake but TVNZ disagreed. It thought the distance of the Supernova from earth wasn’t really all that important to the item  which it considered a human interest story about Kathryn’s amazing discovery. It declined to retract or apologise. So off Mr McDonald  went to the BSA with another complaint.

The BSA sided with TVNZ and rejected Mr McDonald’s complaint, saying that the supernova’s distance from the earth was ‘peripheral to the story’.

But it went further. Tired of Mr McDonald’s endless and vexatious complaining, it ordered him to pay TVNZ $50 for its and their trouble. As a ‘form of deterrent’.

I concluded my post:

If there’s a bottom line to this story, it is that the Broadcasting Standards Authority, whose mandate is surely to look after the interests of the consumers of broadcasting rather than the broadcasters themselves, has ordered a beneficiary on the bones of his financial arse to hand over $50 to a multi-million dollar corporation which had its facts wrong.  That stinks.

It did. But that’s not the end of the story. Don McDonald is a battler and decided he would challenge the BSA’s rejection of his complaint against TVNZ and its $50 ‘fine’ in the High Court of New Zealand. The Court’s finding was released yesterday.

Conclusion  

 [37] The appeal against the decision to dismiss the complaint without determination is dismissed. The appeal against an order to pay $50 costs is allowed, and the order quashed.

I’d call that a reasonable finding and a partial victory for Don McDonald. The BSA, it seems to me, was entitled to turn down his complaint about their finding on the Supernova issue, but when an organisation funded out of the public purse, and charged with upholding broadcasting standards (including standards of accuracy), orders an elderly complainant who was actually right, to hand over 50 bucks to TVNZ,  they really have lost the plot.

 Congratulations Don!  It was a matter of principle and you really stuck it to them. 

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24 Comments:

  1. I assume if he has the mental acuity to spot so many errors in the media then there are ample roles out there in the job market for which he would be well suited.

    BE: Don is unable to work and receives the invalid’s benefit and pension.

  2. Good call Brian

  3. I think I’ll fire something off to the BSA telling them how unacceptable their behaviour is. Well done Brian, absolutely outrageous.

  4. Who in the media these days cares about facts after all? How rude of Don to point out their error. Still, it’s not as if it was reported anywhere that people take seriously if they seek knowledge…

  5. 5

    The BSA’s actions hardly inspires confidence in them. What were they thinking?

  6. I suggest that The Authority(possibly a very loose use of the term)should be renamed The Lack Of Broadcasting Standards Authority,which is what they appear to support.Good on you Brian and Don!

  7. Don McDonald openly admits that he has a lot of spare time on his hands. And TVNZ does not appreciate having to front the BSA over something they believe to be frivolous and time-wasting, and having to address numerous complaints from him.
    The chap is a bit over-the-top and very exasperating to TVNZ (not too unlike a movie patron who sits in front of you giving a running commentary to a friend). I can only guess that it was tit-for-tat payback re the $50. The fact that the complainant is a beneficiary and the other party is a big corporation, shouldn’t have a bearing on any determination as to ruling and/or appeal. Anyway, the judge got it right.

  8. What appalling treatment, the BSA and TVNZ should hang their heads in shame. If Mr McDonald needs some help with the fine I’d be happy to chip in.

    I’d like to see Mr McDonald get to work on some of the inaccuracies blathered about by some of our politicians, rich pickings there.

  9. 9

    The BSA is utterly useless. Scrap it and let consumers vote with their remotes.

  10. 10

    TV1’s Closeup showed an item about Don:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/serial-complainer-goes-high-court-over-50-fine-4837976

    BE: Thanks George. We were away when that was on.

  11. To George,

    After watching that Closeup clip, I’m so glad Don doesn’t drive. Can you imagine being one of the 100 cars banked up behind him on the open road? Or being his car at a lonely intersection at 3am in the morning with the traffic lights stuck on red?

    BE: Yep, he’s eccentric and impatient, no doubt about it.

  12. It’s a pretty poor show when someone makes a complaint to a statutory body funded by our taxes to hear complaints, and gets a fine slapped on them. All these fine liberal luvvies at Television One, who think nothing about using sex, violence and bad language by the shovelful to attract people to their pathetic attempts at programme making, and justify themselves by saying they’re standing up for free speech, while they are simultaneously stamping all over people’s right to complain.
    Media Matters in NZ has opened a ‘Defence Fund’ for Donald MacDonald, and you can contribute by sending your donations to:
    Court Case
    Media Matters
    PO Box 31618
    Lower Hutt 5040

  13. Defence Fund, for what? It was only 50 bucks, and it’s been waived on appeal. Is this some kind of ruse?

    BE: Correct. But imagine the cost of taking a case in the High Court.

  14. Surely the essence of the story is that it was a science feature, as well as human interest because of the subject’s age. but as it unfolded there was once again the usual lack of apreciation for science and it’s importance in all our lives. I for one am tremendously relieved
    the suernova distance was measured in millions of light years.

  15. 15

    Gregor, I agree but years ago abandoned TVNZ news in disgust at its routinely hopeless coverage of anything requiring the slightest numeracy.

  16. Quite; I’m sure ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ and other Faux favourites delivered via uber monopoly Sky are much more palatable to your discerning ‘buds.

  17. There was a complaint to the BSA early last year which was about some commentators on RNZ’s afternoon panel giving inaccurate facts and the BSA said that that was allowed. The BSA went on to say something like the giving out of false facts was a good way to advance/advocate a discussion.
    It was up there as one of the most absurd things I have ever read; no wonder they have done this to this man.

  18. I think Don McDonald sounds like a complete pratt. I bet he’d make a wonderful dining companion – NOT!!

    The BSA need something in their rules similar to the Official Information Act where vexacious requests do not need consideration.

    BE: Sounds like the milk of human kindness runs thinly in your veins. Don is eccentric, yes, and no doubt annoying from time to time. But he’s also brilliant. We should cherish such people, not shut them up with bureaucratic rules and penalties. (‘vexatious’)

  19. Brian your blog is a bit misleading isn’t it? I’ve read the decision and the Judge said that the BSA’s finding that Don’s complaint was trivial was not surprising – he dismissed this aspect. Isn’t it also true that the $50 costs were quashed because TVNZ had expressly said they did not want costs? Not because of any merit in Don’s case?

  20. It’s a bit unfair on the BSA to take this issue in isolation and claim they are being nasty. Don is I believe responsible for a large number of complaints to them and TVNZ, most of which could have been resolved in other ways.

    I know Don has a particular affliction/illness/syndrome that means he gets very focussed on detail and is difficult to communicate with. I’m not sure if he is capable of understanding the costs he imposes from his actions. but it seems the BSA had tried to get him to follow alternative courses and the $50 was its exasperation at not being able to get through to him over many many complaints.

    COurts have the ability to prevent vexatious litigants taking proceedings and to impose costs. BSA in my view was signalling something similar. Unfortunately they probably can’t just ignore him, as they have statutory duties.

  21. http://nz.bing.com/search?q=6844580+serial&src=ie9tr

    stuff on-line my true words.

    http://www.viewers.org.nz

    thks J Terris. wats the progress on legal fund. regards, 0277 845 900.

  22. 22

    Don CloseUp 17-4-12

    tention: Broadcasting Standards Authority Wellington

    I have received the decision 28 May 2012 of TVNZ Close Up on my complaint broadcast on 17 April 2012

    I regret that I am not satisfied with the decision and therefore refer, by Section Broadcasting Act, for investigation and review of decision.

    The programme said ( I complain too often about too little) but neglects and suppresses that fourteen complaints of accuracy were correct. The programme had no evidence about Wellington City Council firework display.

    You should watch TVNZ 7 “Engineered” 7:05pm Tuesdays, which explains “Do your fireworks do as they are supposed to! “ Everyone knows they contain Hearts and Planets and Phallic symbol, as I was shocked to discover when the photos came back, about ten years ago. Do not despise or disparage.

    This has not been a major BSA complaint or accurate result.

    TV also changed the statement of Mike Scott, Wellington City Council Issue Resolutions Office 27 June 2005, which maintained that Close Up “95 % of my hundreds of complaints are genuine and should be addressed. He is absolutely brilliant and people like him should be embraced for the work I do”

    Page 2

    Close Up promised to report result of High Court Case, which I am not aware that they did do.

    The Shrek isobar complaint includes TV presenter joking “fronts busting out of brassier isobar etc” but, at that time, I did not own a VCR recorder until September 2011. I readily accepted the decision of TVNZ over Shrek and did not refer to BSA or High Court. But Close Up showed Shrek on the weather (17 April 2012 ,so it proves). Even if I don’t know who Shrek looks like.

    Media are ignorant and think a ten year old Canadian is more interesting than a supernova 2011 A, which soaks the solar system in Neutrinos and X-rays. TV say “ truck drove through a place named Parapara Road at a speed 50 million kph, accuracy.The focus of the story was nappy runaway from Grandma’s driveway or a man 2,000 km tall and 900 km around girth and knocked down by government super-bus-two trillion dollars on footpath, Tasman Sea wide equals 1,00 kilometres”.

    Page 3

    As High Court Broadcasting does not know any facts of life-science, I must beat you until NZ knows things like formula 7×9= 63.

    Thank you Backbenches Wednesday 30 May TVNZ 7. So NZ is going to be the worst country: with no Public Broadcasting-information-education-Science programmes-channel.

    I cannot afford Flat-bedroom-computer house, print out modem, pay TV Rupert James Murdoch, $140/ Month, SKY. I do better work than those silly BSA lawyers TVNZ.

    Your continued unfairness is digging your grave. At last TVNZ should release to News this decision so community Voters can know what they have been up to. Namely viz bad behavior.

    Page 4

    Balance.

    Was the true Shrek Ogre isobar video used on that date, or a switch? DECEPTIVE CODE X.

    “Don makes up 5% of TVNZ ONE’s complaints” should be a certain number of months period specified and what about TV 2 and TVNZ 7 complaints?

    “Too often about too little” diminishes my serious contributions to require broadcast standards, eg Supernova Distance ( 1 million times too little distance) doomed planet and million million intensity of radiation and a thousand million times volume of iceberg, cubic kms, titanic.

    Back announce to be fair would have properly admitted, Don is 95 % always right in fourteen accuracy complaints. But whatever I complain TVNZ complaints Committee shift the focus, moved the goal posts and dismiss-create another detail.

    The opening synopsis introduction turned off my target society with unrepresentative phallic and entertain. The matters of research on my complaints preparation was not referred to.

    This is the only complaint where Complaints Committee has largely included the bulk of substance of my complaints. Previously TVNZ has influenced BSA by disguised mi^3, with little three in words (cubic miles).

    Page 5

    …….. and choosing to omit and ignore my points. So I have to say “percent is times: difference is minus” to show how the maths is really should be done.

    We are not on the same page because TV always say my complaints are not material. I, Don actually prove how educated people know my complaints are fundamental.

    To imply even 5% wacky-u wriggle “we didn’t say” but you implied for Gods Sake in the voice please admit it ! When George Jones initial CRSNZ, companion Royal society NZ comments that the vast majority are genuine and should be addressed (going into Court- honour for Science communication !! What did he say would be very relevant. TV One ( scrounging for scandal) but, even if you have a proper look, the scandal is actually you. Is it still true?…….then the 17 April backgrounder lacked Balance, FORMAL COMPLAINT X…..stickler fairness and truth.

    Close Up is unfair because the impression was given to experienced telly reviewer Jane Clifton 19 April 2012 Dominion Post, family and friends. “This amateur vexatious litigant “ and I have never been listened to-my genuine opinions-avoid such connotations

    Page 6

    TVNZ has never publicly issued a correction that SN 2011 A should be 240 million light years. So astronomical community have been ( shitting themselves) that dreaded ETA CARINAE nearby Nebula must have gone off and we are already ( already dead). What other scientific importance could the News have conveyed- heralded.

    Complaint gender pay equals 1.58 times ( or 31% was appallingly wrong maths,) has never been resolved , which remains outstanding a Social Justice error. Are men or women higher paid and by how much pay packet!

    This is Not complaining “too much about too little” and toll calls 8c/18c/minute $4.58 circular call equals call waiting. = $864, 000 001 (heart beats ten thousand days times population, divides billion ^ raised to the power billion plus 1.)

    I continue to complain because TVNZ continue poor Broadcasting standards and they don’t pay attention and lawyer not too great and judge not too great, everyone.

    ACC Motorcycle levies, Professor Muddled Larger individual levies with Smaller total claims on motor cycle population.

    Page 7

    BSA have insulted literacy and Numeracy standards of common people. “ Accuracy, does not mislead?” the tone of Close Up clip was Phallic symbol complained was imaginary in my mind or Hadyn’s mind. As it was a long time ago and I lost (90%) of my photos and books in house shift, and my Paradise Internet account expired, it is now hard to prove. But you should give me credit that WGTN CC ordered Dot Com:

    Please supply ten by Hearts firework

    10xSaturn’s Rings

    10x Catherine Wheel

    Throw in 10x Assorted Phallic Symbols.

    As examples- “ Engineered” TVNZ 7 Tuesday 7pm 5 June . “Are your fireworks doing as they are supposed to?”, promo Wednesday 30 May

    Committee understands……. “ No doubt Shrek and Phallic part of your oeuvre”

    No inaccuracy found?

    “Less wacky? Canvassed? “NOT AT ALL!! Only tiny cigarette paper, postage stamp NOT BSA HEADNOTES http://www.BSA.govt.nz McDonald 14 BSA submission High Court.

    Page 8

    His complaint One about us ( One) and he was right. Did not mention Supernova or distance.

    Superficial treatment of an experienced complainer.

    I appreciate the movie in my flat- Fermats last theorem, Saturn’s Rings, Roche linit, perigee full moon “Close Up” , 3x earthquakes TGA 5.0 etc. My theory was often proved a fortnight later because God just gave Wellington another noticeable earthquake on Sunday Church-April May 2012 Super Moon EQNZ

    Standard 6 fairness, 6b not a distortion of the original event or the overall views expressed .

    I have complained thirty months that the BSA standards cannot be read X or printout X access X to Law Standards X

    For this reason, I lost my Court Case,cost $25,000 claim. Please pay. And TVNZ letterhead bad art corporate does not photocopy $1 m waste suits TV

    The programme was called “Serial complainer” ( like mass murderer?) but only mentioned two less serious complaints. THIS WAS THE WRONG OVERALL IMPRESSION.

    Page 9

    The http://www.tvnz.co.nz site on 27 June 2005 called me “ picky McDonald” which I did not object to. Although viewers could see the photos which showed street sign on a very sick angle Hall- Hanson St, Rhodes, Donald McLean,Newtown, WCC and ( Potholes popped up a few days ago at bus shelter,) old hospital Wellington Regional, WGTN CC still cannot see the bus approaching 2012 and toilets ( paper,red button) still faulty ten years.

    That later Close Up 17 April 2012 was going to have a new name but in the event was titled Serial Complainer. So it should have done fair justice to say , 14x accuracy complaints in High Court. ( How reporter Hadyn Jones originally found Don)

    It scarcely scratched the surface.

    “6d.” Right of individuals to express their own opinions.

    “ We have got a lot of serious things to say about you, TVNZ.”

    Shrek isobars 1 September 2011 media 7 TVNZ was good and stated “ In fairness this was not a BSA complaint.” Lucky it showed sometimes key words. Ideas. Cell phone SMS complaints.

    I have much to dispute when I read Complaints Committee

    Yours Sincerely

    Don S McDonald

  23. 23

    Don CloseUp 17-4-12

    Dear Donald McDonald
    Further to your email received 1 May wish to advise that TVNZ’s Complaints Committee has completed its enquiry into your formal complaint about Close Up shown on 17 April on TV ONE.
    Your complaint has been considered with reference to Standards 5 & 6 of the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice.
    Television New Zealand Ltd
    Te Reo Tātaki
    100 Victoria Street West
    PO Box 3819
    Auckland
    New Zealand
    tvnz.co.nz
    The Decision
    The Complaints Committee has not identified any breach of the relevant standards and accordingly declines to uphold your complaint. The reasons for this decision are discussed below.
    The Programme
    Close Up of 17 April contained an item about you and the complaints that you make.
    It was introduced:
    Don is probably this country’s most prolific complainer, he alone makes up nearly 5% of all of TV ONE’s complaints. He once complained that a ONE News isobar on the weather map was a subliminal advertisement for the movie “Shrek”…. He complained to the Wellington City Council that its fireworks displays contained phallic symbols. Recently Don became the first person to be fined by the Broadcasting Standards Authority for complaining too often about too little. It cost him $50, he appealed and this week had his day in the High Court. So what makes Don tick?
    The rest of the item contained a pre-recorded interview with you in your house and outside court. The item explains how you see the world.
    In the back announce the presenter states: for the record the complaint Don was fined about was one about a ONE News story and he was right.
    The Complaints Committee notes in relation to your complaint you have referred to a number of formal complaints you have made previously. These will not be addressed in this complaint response.
    You have complained about the BSA’s handling of your complaints. TVNZ has no level of influence over the decisions of the BSA. These issues will not be addressed in this complaint response.
    E: complaints.committee@tvnz.co.nz
    You have complained about complaints you have made to other bodies. These issues will not be addressed in this complaint response.
    Your Complaint
    You state on McDonald reply to Close-Up TVNZ and expecting High Court decision
    FAR BE IT for Close-Up ONE (Tuesday 17/4/2012, 7.0 pm. NZST) to imply – even 5% selection of Don’s admittedly many complaints ten years ago were wacky? There’s masses of paperwork to sift.
    However, Hadyn Jones should be familiar with his previous Close Up treatment of Don in 2005 27/6 (investigating condemned inadequate Newtown toilets however) where Wellington City Council Issues Resolution Office (and communications manager) willingly endorsed that “95% of Don’s complaints are genuine and should be addressed”. Is this still true? And if it is, then the 17th April backgrounder possibly lacked BALANCE. FORMAL COMPLAINT. I am not just a mad scientist but a stickler for FAIRNESS AND TRUTH, B. Sc.
    Some media (DomPost Teleview, 19/4/2012) labelled me “this amateur vexatious litigant” which is not my self image and I am anxious for this opportunity to avoid such connotations.
    I have received a smattering of support from star-gazers, science enthusiasts and Media Matters in New Zealand (donate $3, if you like to support my legal fund.)
    Virtually all my accuracy complaints were correct. But there was no public declaration of this fact. So did I continue to build up a history? Until it comes to this. At long last today (April 2012) my complaints hopefully will get an honest review and overturn the pattern of shameful decisions (and frivolous rubbish) of Broadcasting Standards Authority, with media coverage.
    SuperNova 240 light-years or million light-years, sounds a screaming alarm that planet Earth is doomed, – flux of x-rays and an explosion, erupting as bright as Full Moon, menacing Earth’s skies for weeks. THAT’s possible! But equally a tvnz error! Do NOT fine the complainer. tvnz admitted their error.
    A One News item(?) on gender pay equity “They say 31% gap”, contradicts its data – average weekly wage $681 / 431 = 1.58 x (times) and does not even distinguish which sex is higher, or is it lower paid? Cryptically, “difference is minus / % is times. Is this my discovery or does the little “o” in “%” mean X over Y.
    A professor disputed the basis of ACC motorcycle levies but in my submission committed a greater sin (Radio NZ). He muddled Larger individual levies with the Smaller total claims of motorcycle population.
    Such matters are the basis of political debate, which is often swayed to wrong advice..
    I was not advised whether such matters were on the table to discuss. I have limited access or skill to typing and internet or engage help to prepare my case and rebut BSA (Broadcasting Standards Authority) submission.
    I gave strong hints to BSA but they lacked high school maths knowledge to consider my complaints fairly. I FEAR BSA have insulted literacy and numeracy standards of common people. The fight has only just started and change will happen.
    There is a culture with news editors that numbers do not matter much.
    2
    A misguided friend changed the spelling of her son’s name, seeking a happier numerology sum and entry to university – never mind Jesus? I don’t call that good maths. Ow! It doesn’t work that way.
    People often don’t even know their car license plate and cellphone number, except to “Post-it” on a fridge.
    But numbers back up a measured discussion of a property or fact like uranium 235 – apart from personality, e.g. the films Catch-22, and Fahrenheit 911. If numbers rarely find their way into a story, it is likely the scientist thought they were very important. Please don’t stigmatise maths. “Donald S. McDonald” has 40 articles in Encyclopedia of “Integer Sequences” (find this on Google).
    Titanic iceberg is not a chinky iceblock in a tumbler! When TV reported a massive iceberg “2000 cubic metres” you’ve got to wonder if they omitted a factor of one billion – should be cubic kilometres. BSA submission (tricked the judge) that it was trifling – “mi^3”, with a little 3 (expand in words).
    In 2005 my society could have said “Good on you Don … sticking up for an accurate figure! Steer clear of that one (iceberg).” That may be how 90% of my complaints were not at first upheld. “Earthquake just after sunrise, is figure of speech?” No! I won’t accept that. People had risen and gone to work for two hours – morning tea time. Adding transport and altitude of the Sun, high in the sky, to the equation. Tidal difference or tsunami impact changes in 2 hours.
    And why we’re going to change that way from this minute and very insist on programming standards in Radio, TV and Newspaper. “8c or 18 cents per minute for toll calls” ** It’s a big deal my lawyer said (my only complaint that has ever been upheld.) … and credit card approved in sixty seconds.
    Please join or donate to Media Matters in New Zealand , http://www.viewers.org.nz , [If you should be now persuaded Don was right all along- and definitely deserves recognition for his devotion, persistence and tenacity to numbers.] We’re going to fight this $50 fine ; supposed to be a deterrent. PO Box 31-618 Lower Hutt 5040.**
    FUNNY FINISH. Expected return on Lotto Power-ball, all divisions 2 – 6 equals 5.5 cents per line – plus drive to the shop and find out if I won? “What would you like to do with your prize? – spend it again!” with next to zero chance? Do you rationally believe your chances of winning will improve? BSA: “Your chance is extremely remote – Big Wednesday”. Even Lotto Keno sequences, #7799 prime numbers.
    Russel Norman MP just tweeted “Privatising the electricity network led to a 300% increase in prices.” But BSA said similar, like 18% in 20 years.. This is a huge divergence of sources. ANZAC: dying for freedom is NOT the Worst thing that can happen: Being Forgotten is. [National War Memorial, 25-4-2012.]
    The Relevant Standards
    Standard 5 Accuracy
    Broadcasters should make reasonable efforts to ensure that news, current affairs and factual programming:

    is accurate in relation to all material points of fact and/or

    does not mislead.
    Guidelines
    5a The accuracy standard does not apply to statements which are clearly distinguishable as analysis, comment or opinion. 3
    5b In the event that a material error of fact has occurred, broadcasters should correct it at the earliest appropriate opportunity.
    5c News must be impartial.
    As the Committee understands it you are complaining about the discussion of your complaints about the “Shrek isobars” and the “phallic fireworks” in the introduction to item. There is no doubt that these complaints are part of your oeuvre of complaining i.e. the summary of the complaints in the item accurately reflects complaints that you have made. No inaccuracy is found in this regard.
    You further complain that many of the complaints you make are less ‘wacky’ this is canvassed in the item including recognition that the complaint you were fined for was about a ONE News item and you “were right”.
    The item makes the point that you complain too often about too little – the Complaints Committee agrees that this is an accurate summary of the complaints that you generally make. In general you complain about points of fact (that may or may not be inaccurate) which have little to do with the focus of the item. These facts are what are termed “immaterial” to the item and a number of this Committee’s complaint responses have tried unsuccessfully to explain that this means that a breach of standards has not occurred. The item did not use the word ‘wacky’ in relation to your complaints.
    The Complaints Committee finds that the item was not inaccurate and would not mislead the viewer about the type of complaints that you make. No breach of Standard 5 has been identified.
    Standard 6 Fairness
    Broadcasters should deal fairly with any person or organisation taking part or referred to.
    Guidelines
    6a A consideration of what is fair will depend upon the genre of the programme (e.g. factual, dramatic, comedic or satirical programmes).
    6b Broadcasters should exercise care in editing programme material to ensure that the extracts used are not a distortion of the original event or the overall views expressed.
    6c Except as justified in the public interest:

    Contributors and participants should be informed of the nature of their participation

    Programme makers should not obtain information or gather pictures through misrepresentation;

    Broadcasters should avoid causing unwarranted distress to surviving family members by showing footage of bodies or human remains.
    6d Broadcasters should respect the right of individuals to express their own opinions.
    6e Individuals and particularly children and young people, taking part or referred to should not be exploited, humiliated or unfairly identified.
    6f Where the programme deals with distressing circumstances (e.g. grief and bereavement) discretion and sensitivity are expected.
    As discussed above both complaints discussed i.e. the “Shrek isobars” and the “phallic fireworks” are complaints that you have made. As further discussed the item makes the point that you complain too often about too little – the Complaints Committee agrees that 4
    5
    this is an accurate summary of the complaints that you generally make. In general you complain about points of fact (that may or may not be inaccurate) which have little to do with the focus of the item. These facts are what are termed “immaterial” to the item and a number of this Committee’s complaint responses have tried unsuccessfully to explain that this means that a breach of standards has not occurred. The item did not use the word ‘wacky’ in relation to your complaints.
    The Complaints Committee does not agree that it was unfair to you to discuss your complaints in this way. The item was good-hearted and the reporter displayed a genuine affection for you and your complaints. No breach of standard 6 has been identified in this regard.
    Right to Refer to Broadcasting Standards Authority and Time Limit
    In accordance with section 7(3) of the Broadcasting Act you are hereby notified that it is your right, should you be dissatisfied with this decision, to refer the matter to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, P O Box 9213, Wellington, as provided under section 8 of the Act, for the purpose of an investigation and review of the decision. You have 20 working days after receipt of this letter to exercise this right of referral.
    Yours sincerely
    Complaints Committee

  24. try my best. Appendix of BSA submission to high court touches on about 14 Accuracy complaints 2000-… I have support from science community on many of these that they were valid and important lapses of scientific and mathematical standards which are important to uphold. 04/389-6820. p312 Wellington. I have to get this referral perfect to avoid high court continually. they expect me to convince lawyer and lawyer convince judge,who possibly does not appreciate measurements or 50 mph.