Decisions

Westaway v Television New Zealand (16/015)

Content: “Is this NZ’s worst driver? Dashcam captures Timaru car in near head- on – then on footpath”

Publisher: Television New Zealand

Complainants: J. Westaway and K. Westaway

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The Chairman accepted the Complainants’ view the content was misleading, unfair and breached the privacy of the individual shown in the footage.

The Chairman noted the response from the Publisher outlining the actions taken to amended the content in order to reflect the incident was the result of a medical event and provide clarification of the timeframe.

The Chairman said the Publisher had made reasonable efforts to ensure the content was not misleading once additional information was available and it was not in breach of Standard 1 Accuracy. The Chairman said due to the action taken, this part of the complaint was Settled.

Turning to the concerns about Standard 4 Privacy, the Chairman took into account the article did not mention the individual specifically and the video was taken in a public place and widely available. While noting the sincere concerns of the Complainants’ and the difficult circumstances illustrated in video, the Chairman said the content did not reach the threshold to be considered to breach the Standard for Privacy.

Noting the self-regulatory actions of the Publisher in amending the content, the Chairman ruled the complaint was Settled.

Ruling Date: 8 June 2016

Chairman’s Ruling: No Grounds, in part; Settled, in part