GRANT LEWIS AGAINST THE BREAM BAY NEWS
Case Number: 3228
Council Meeting: MARCH 2022
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Principle: Accuracy, Fairness and Balance
CASE NO: 3228
RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF GRANT LEWIS AGAINST THE BREAM BAY NEWS
FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO PROCEED
DATE: MARCH 2022
The Bream Bay News ran an editorial on 24 February 2022 headlined An idea to get those Wellington protestors to move on. The item carried a suggestion that an announcement should be made to the protestors saying it was good to have them all in one place so they could all get a dose of the Pfizer vaccine sprayed on them from above by a helicopter.
Grant Lewis complained the editorial breached Media Council Principle 1 (accuracy, fairness, and balance) and called for the item to be retracted.
The Media Council understands that Mr Lewis finds the item offensive, but as the Council has noted in previous rulings there is no right to not be offended. The comment in this editorial was obviously hyperbole and flippant. It was a suggestion that was clearly not intended, or likely to be, taken seriously by readers even though it might be seen as not amusing by many.
There were insufficient grounds to proceed.