TIM HOLVEY AGAINST RNZ
Case Number: 2734
Council Meeting: DECEMBER 2018
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Publication: Radio NZ
Balance, Lack Of
Headlines and Captions
CASE NO: 2734
RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF TIM HOLVEY AGAINST RNZ
FINDING: NO GROUNDS TO PROCEED
DATE: DECEMBER 2018
Tim Holvey complained that an article Cyclist rides free after breaking boy’s leg in Dunedin published on the RNZ website on October 10 2018 breached Media Council Principles of Accuracy, fairness and balance; Comment and fact; Headlines and captions; and Photographs and graphics.
The article reported that a boy had received a broken leg after being hit by a cyclist in Marlow Park, also known as dinosaur park.
Specifically Mr Holvey complained that the headline was a dog-whistle and that use of the photo of a mountain bike in a forest was “sloppy journalism”.
RNZ responded that the headline was accurate as in the normal course of events a person causing injury to another party could well expect more serious charges to be laid; and the inclusion of a stock photo of a bicycle’s handlebars against a blurred backdrop of park-like surroundings was not “sloppy journalism”.
The Media Council notes that the full online story reported that the cyclist had merely been issued with an infringement notice for cycling on a footpath and that no charges would be laid.It also noted that police had said the boy’s family were satisfied with this outcome. The headline was a fair reflection of the story.
In relation to the use of the photograph of bicycle handlebars the Council considers that most readers would understand that this was a clearly use of a stock photograph.
The Media Council finds that this was a straight forward news report that did not breach the Principles cited.
No Grounds to Proceed