ANGUS HASTIE AGAINST CAMBRIDGE EDITION
Case Number: 2666
Council Meeting: MAY 2018
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Publication: Cambridge Edition
Balance, Lack Of
CASE NO: 2666
RULING ON THE COMPLAINT OF ANGUS HASTIE AGAINST CAMBRIDGE EDITION
FINDING: NO GROUNDS TO PROCEED
DATE: May 2018
Angus Hastie complained that an article headlined Petition against fluoride published in Cambridge Edition was biased in favour of fluoride promoters compared to individuals opposing fluoride. He contended that the article therefore breached the Media Council principles of accuracy, fairness and balance.
The complaint was given preliminary consideration by a Media Council Committee who saw it as having no grounds to proceed.
It was noted that the article began with a three paragraphs reporting on an anti-fluoridation petition and gave some information about the reasons why its supporters oppose fluoridation. There were then two paragraphs about the government position on fluoride, followed by three about supporting fluoridation. One quote from a public health specialist was in a break-out panel.
The Council finds no imbalance in this article.
Furthermore fluoridation is a long-running issue and the arguments for and against have been aired many times and at great length.There is no need for every article to be completely balanced.
Ruling: No Grounds to Proceed