PETER ZOHRAB AGAINST WAINUIOMATA NEWS

Case Number: 917

Council Meeting: FEBRUARY 2003

Verdict: Not Upheld

Publication: Wainuiomata News

Ruling Categories: Bias
Letters to the Editor, Closure, Non-Publication

A complaint was made against the Wainuiomata News by a reader over a front-page article on pay parity.

The newspaper published an article on October 17 last year about the launch of a poster promoting pay parity.

Mr Peter Zohrab, the acting president of the New Zealand Equality Education Foundation, wrote to the newspaper criticising the article for being what he called ''one-sided propaganda.''
The newspaper published his letter then at least two letters from other readers objecting to the views expressed in his letter. A further letter from him was not published on the grounds that the editor declared correspondence on the issue closed.

Mr Zohrab complained to the Press Council that he had not received a reply to his original letter of complaint, that the newspaper was biased and that his second letter was not published. He wanted to be interviewed with his response published on the front page.

Unfortunately, the editor, Mr Peter Bartlett, declined to give the Press Council any response to the complaint before it.

None-the-less on the information available, the council concludes that the newspaper acted quite reasonably in publishing only one letter from Mr Zohrab and declaring the matter closed when it did.

The complaint is not upheld.