Decisions

Jowsey vs Radio New Zealand (13/004)

Content: “Climate deniers ordered to pay court costs”

Publisher: Radio New Zealand

Outcome: No Grounds to Proceed

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The Chairman viewed a copy of the content, the complaint, the preliminary response from Radio New Zealand and the relevant Standard from the Code, Standard 4 Discrimination and Denigration.

The Chairman noted that Mike Jowsey considered the term “Climate deniers” to be derogatory and discriminating. The Chairman accepted that the range of views on climate change could be considered under Standard 4 as a matter of political belief however, in his view, the threshold to affect a breach of this Standard had not been met in this instance.

The Chairman noted the story clearly referred to the facts of the case, which challenged the science behind work undertaken by National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research. While the use of the word “deniers” in the headline may be seen as somewhat provocative, the Chairman found the Complaint had no grounds to proceed.

Chairman’s Ruling:    No Grounds to Proceed

Date of Ruling:    25 November 2013