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TVNZ WINS HIGH COURT APPEAL OVER ARAMOANA STORY


TVNZ WINS HIGH COURT APPEAL OVER ARAMOANA STORY

 

TVNZ says its successful High Court appeal against a decision by the Broadcasting Standards Authority is an important win for media freedom.

 

The High Court decision overturned the BSAs ruling in April that the use of the word f***ing in TV ONEs Sunday current affairs programme on Aramoana breached broadcasting standards.

 

Justice Simon France described the BSAs decision as plainly wrong, and said it does a disservice to the programme to isolate this word.

 

TVNZ successfully argued that viewers had a right to hear the exact exchange that took place between the Aramoana gunman David Gray and the policeman who shot him dead.

 

John Gillespie, TVNZs Editor Current Affairs, says: This is an important win for media freedom and the right of the New Zealand public to hear an accurate and complete record of such a significant event in our history.

 

The Sunday programme aired on the 20th anniversary of the massacre and revealed details of the final confrontation between Police and David Gray, information never before made public. Much thought and scrutiny went into how Sunday would reveal those details. The judge vigorously backed up that scrutiny in his decision.

 

Were not arguing to relax the rules around strong language on TV. Context is all important. Our story accurately recounted an important historical event, which is surely our public duty as journalists. This case was an obvious exception to the general rule, and the judge agreed.

 

It is very heartening to see a very quick, commonsense and clear decision from the Court, he says.

 

ENDS

 

Contact:

Georgie Hills

021 415 293