COLIN DECIO AGAINST RNZ
Case Number: 3225
Council Meeting: MARCH 2022
Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed
Publication: Radio NZ
Balance, Lack Of
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.