Case Number: 671

Council Meeting: NOVEMBER 1997

Verdict: Not Upheld

Publication: Daily Telegraph

The New Zealand Press Council has declined to uphold a complaint against the Daily Telegraph by a local Napier man David Bosley.

The complaint related to an article on 3 July about a disagreement between a local disc jockey, Kevin Wagg, and his neighbour, Mr Bosley, over dogs. The dog owned by Mr Bosley’s partner was attacked by Mr Wagg’s dog, and later died.

The manner in which the Daily Telegraph reported Mr Wagg’s attempt to regain his good standing as a dog owner through Napier City Council, upset Mr Bosley who complained to the Press Council.

He alleged bias by the newspaper and said he had received no satisfaction from the editor in getting him to put his side of the story. The editor rejected claims of bias and said attempts had been made on the day the article was published to contact Mr Bosley, but conceded these had been made within a short space of time. He said he had made numerous offers to Mr Bosley to put his case on the dog story. Mr Bosley’s only response, other than threats of litigation and requests for financial redress, had been a letter to the editor that was published unabridged.

The Press Council did not uphold the complaint. It said it found the complaint by Mr Bosley at times confusing and on occasions, the basis of it seemed to shift. It accepted the editor had attempted to give Mr Bosley as opportunity to put his side of the case after the report’s publication in the face of confusing claims and arguments by Mr Bosley.

However, the Council noted the Daily Telegraph, on the occasion of the phone calls, could have made a more protracted attempt to reach Mr Bosley.