JOSH BAILEY AGAINST RNZ

Case Number: 2680

Council Meeting: JULY 2018

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Radio NZ

Ruling Categories: Accuracy
Misleading

Overview


CASE NO: 2680

RULING ON THE COMPLAINT OF JOSH BAILEY AGAINST RNZ

FINDING: NO GROUNDS TO PROCEED

DATE: JULY2018

Josh Bailey complains that RNZ routinely refers to Paul Brislen as a “tech expert” when he has no relevant technical qualifications to the issues he comments on. The RNZ audience is therefore misled into thinking he is qualified to comment when he is offering nothing more than his opinion as an unqualified layperson.

A comparison would be, Mr Bailey contends, if RNZ were to refer to him as a medical expert if he had opinions on medical issues.

RNZ, in their preliminary response to Mr Bailey, noted that Mr Brislen had been referred to as a “tech expert and PR guy” and he was commenting in the context of the history of EFTPOS in New Zealand. Clearly, from Mr Brislen’s background, he was well-qualified to comment on this issue and neither his descriptor nor the comments he made would have misled the RNZ audience in any way.

The Media Council agrees with RNZ and goes further.It is not necessary to hold a formal qualification in a field to be expert in it.Several years working in a particular field can of itself lead to an expertise in the area. Mr Brislen has been working in the field of communicating tech information for many years.Indeed he is probably better able to communicate the detail of tech issues than many “qualified” tech experts.

Furthermore the Council notes that RNZ responsibly declared Mr Brislen’s PR work for Paymark, indicating their adherence to ethical journalistic standards.

The Media Council considers that it is reasonable to call Paul Brislen a tech expert on the subjects he comments on.

Finding: No Grounds to Proceed