ANDY DE BOER AGAINST STUFF
Case Number: 3150
Council Meeting: NOVEMBER 2021
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Balance, Lack Of
Comment and Fact
Headlines and Captions
CASE NO: 3150
RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF ANDY DE BOER AGAINST STUFF
FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO PROCEED
DATE: NOVEMBER 2021
Stuff published an article on October 30, 2021, headlined Your unvaccinated friend is roughly 20 times more likely to give you Covid. The article, written by two Melbourne University academics specialising in biosecurity risk, sets out the risks Australians faced when the lockdowns eased and what risk there was of catching Covid from someone who was unvaccinated.
Andy de Boer complained the article breached Media Council principles relating to fairness and balance, comment and headlines. He said the article was absolute nonsense and the authors were using assumptions and flawed modelling to arrive at their conclusions. He commented the headline was sensationalist rather than truthful and that the article was fear mongering.
The Media Council notes that the article was the opinion of two people with some expertise on the subject. Mr de Boer supplied no evidence to back up his claims that the article was nonsense. None of the facts mentioned have been shown to be wrong. A bare statement that an article is inaccurate provides no base for complaint.
There was also nothing to support his claim that there were breaches of principles relating to fairness, balance or headlines.
There were insufficient grounds to proceed.