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Broadcasting Standards Authority

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How to apply the Bill of Rights

Friday, July 27th, 2012

The Broadcasting Standards Authority (in the wake of several High Court decisions, and perhaps aware of some of the criticisms I made with Claudia Geiringer) commissioned me to provide some advice on how the Bill of Rights applies to them and how they can practically integrate it into their decision-making. They have posted my paper […]

How to door-step someone

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

John Campbell has demonstrated, with immaculate ethics, how to go about door-stepping someone. Door-stepping is turning up to someone’s place with cameras rolling to get that person to answer questions. As the BSA has often said, it’s usually unfair to do this. But the Campbell Live crew weren’t unfair. They were doing a story on Tower Insurance. They’d […]

Told you so

Friday, October 28th, 2011

High Court agrees with me You might remember that I argued (here and here) that the Broadcasting Standards Authority’s decision to uphold complaints against TVNZ’s documentary on the Aramoana massacre on grounds of taste and decency and children’s interests, was wrong. The High Court has agreed with me. It has upheld TVNZ’s appeal. (I should […]

Hung: drawn and quartered

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The BSA’s decision on the Hung programme has been put to death by the High Court. (You might have thought this would be a judicial decision of public interest for the Courts of NZ website. Apparently not.) My article with Claudia Geiringer about the BSA and the Bill of Rights is cited again, perhaps not […]

Pagani sides with the wowsers

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

John Pagani reckons the BSA got it right about Aramoana, and I got it wrong. He thinks it was a “balanced call”, made by the experts we’ve appointed to administer standards that, after all, include good taste and decency and children’s interests. For him, I’m a “Bill of Rights fundamentalist” who treats this as an […]

Oh, and one other thing about the BSA’s dumb Aramoana decision

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

It was based on a really dumb complaint. Here’s the BSA’s summary of the complainant’s original grounds: … the policeman’s “obscene language” breached standards relating to good taste and decency, law and order, responsible programming and children’s interests. The complainant considered that it gave “a negative impression of New Zealand policing” and that “it signals […]

For fuck’s sake

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

I’ve read hundreds of Broadcasting Standards Authority decisions in my time. The vast bulk of them, I agree with. Most of the rest, I figure it’s a line call. Then there are the shockers. This is one. The BSA has found that a story on the TVNZ current affairs show Sunday about the Aramoana massacre […]

Paul Henry broadcasting complaint

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

The BSA has found that TVNZ’s actions in response to Paul Henry’s ill-judged comments about the Governor-General were sufficient. Good call, I think. Along the way, though, they also found that the comments breached standards of good taste and decency, fairness and discrimination. Perhaps that’s not too surprising. TVNZ had upheld the complaint on all […]


Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Yes, it’s helpful to the country to understand the gravity of the disaster in Christchurch. Yes, we should cut news crews some slack when they’ve got to edit on the hoof. Yes, most of the coverage I’ve seen on TVNZ and TV3 has been responsible. But I think the highlights packages of bleeding-head woman, bandage […]

Hot off the press

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

John Key’s remarks on RadioSport about Liz Hurley being hot have now hit the UK’s Daily Mail, I see. I’m more interested in why John Key is the only political leader given a weekly interview slot on RadioSport – and Breakfast TV, actually. This was the widely overlooked angle in the Paul Henry saga. I […]

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