COLIN DECIO AGAINST RNZ

Case Number: 3225

Council Meeting: MARCH 2022

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Radio NZ

Ruling Categories: Balance, Lack Of
Bias
Police

Overview

CASE NO: 3225 

RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF COLIN DECIO AGAINST RADIO NEW ZEALAND

FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO PROCEED

DATE: MARCH 2022

RNZ published an article on February 10, 2022, headlined Police say anti-mandate protest at Parliament “unprecedented”. This was a report of a statement by Wellington District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell on the protest that had taken over Parliament grounds and surrounding streets.

Colin Decio complained this report was biased as it only quoted the police commander’s comments rather than giving a full picture. There was no mention of “pepper spray used indiscriminately, or the police violence that caused a woman to have a fractured sternum due to being unable to protect herself against a female police officer’s elbow. Truth is there were many instances of extreme violence perpetrated by the police that day and RNZ only promoted the police commissioner’s opinion.”

RNZ complaints coordinator George Bignell said the story was a report of statements made by the District Commander and did not purport to be a comprehensive record of everything that occurred at Parliament that day.

He said there was no requirement for publishers to substantiate or refute all or certain allegations before an article was published relating to the topic at hand.

The Media Council believes this story was a straightforward report of the police statement. While it presented only one point of view in a situation where there are many different views, there are no factual inaccuracies established by the complainant.  It must be seen in the context of the extensive reporting of the protests where RNZ and other media covered or attempted to cover all that went on.

Mr Decio has not advanced a case that RNZ’s coverage breached Media Council principles. There were insufficient grounds to proceed.

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