Sothern v Whale Oil Beef Hooked (15/015 Appeal 15/002)

Content: “Special Investigation: Charity Begins at Home.”

Publisher: Whale Oil Beef Hooked

Complainant: A. Sothern

Outcome: Appeal Dismissed

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The Online Media Standards Authority Complaints Committee ruled on 11 December 2015 that the complaint made by A. Sothern of the NZ Charities Network against Publisher, Whale Oil Beef Hooked, was Not Upheld OMSA15015. The Complainant appealed the Decision to the Chairperson of the Appeal Committee.

The Chairperson accepted the appeal to be heard in relation to the matter raised about Standard 3 Fairness and Guideline 3b as the Complainant said they were not made aware of the nature of their participation in the material to be published and said the Publisher exploited their lack of experience with the media.

After consideration of all the material before it, the Appeal Committee said that despite Ms Sothern’s assertion that she was unaware of her participation in an interview, it was clear she knew Mr Slater was a media person before she called him. With that in mind, the Appeal Committee said that on contacting a publisher for support or promotion, individuals have a responsibility to be self-informed of the likely outcome of such conversations.

The Appeal Committee said in this instance, the threshold had not been reached to breach Standard 3 Guideline 3b and ruled the complaint was Not Upheld and Dismissed the appeal.

Appeal Committee’s Ruling: Appeal Dismissed

Date of Ruling 19 February 2016