DUNCAN HILL AGAINST RADIO NEW ZEALAND

Case Number: 3267

Council Meeting: MAY 2022

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Ruling Categories: Accuracy
Balance, Lack Of

Overview

Radio New Zealand published a story on Mach 3, 2022, headlined Overall security arrangements for Parliament to be reviewed following anti-mandate protest – Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson.

The story quoted Mr Robertson’s comment as workers began clearing debris left after Police forced protesters out of Parliament grounds after a three-week occupation.

Duncan Hill complained that he had yet to see any viewpoint from the protester’s perspective. Photos that went with the story did not support Mr Robertson’s comments and it would have been clearer to say the photo showed debris after the police removed the protesters at haste and destroyed/removed their equipment.

To say “rubbish left at Parliament’s grounds” is judgemental, inaccurate and unfair and undermines the protesters from the get-go.

The Media Council notes Mr Hill made broad statements setting out his view of the story but did not supply any evidence showing how the article or caption were inaccurate.

This was a straight report on the situation after the protest was cleared, and on the start of the clean-up and comment from Mr Robertson. A complaint that coverage was not balanced cannot be sustained given that protesters and their views had been given such extensive coverage in the previous three weeks.

As for the photo and caption they reflect the reality of what remained after the area was cleared. The debris was remains of what had been bought onto the site by the protestors.
There was nothing to show that what was stated in the article was inaccurate or unfair.

There were insufficient grounds to proceed.

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