Fine for ‘quite distinct from strictly objective news reporting’ Campbell Live
Current affairs show Campbell Live, it’s a good thing something like this exists. Close Ups counterpart has been a part of many tv-nights of uninformed populists. But what has now been revealed by Stuff.co.nz? There isn’t always extensive and broad research done for all the items presented. Campbell aired an item about Paper Reclaim in Auckland, alleging their plant was unsanitary and rat-infested. Workers were asking for a 1 dollar raise because of the working conditions and for their hard work and loyalty. Awful, horrible. These people deserve more than that. Oh hold on, let’s first take a look at the evidence presented. Some shots of a heap of rats (not at the plant itself), a cartoon of hundreds of rats (uhm yeah a cartoon) and statements made by the disgruntled employees (very objective). Not very reliable or even acceptable evidence. Of course Paper Reclaim agreed and filed a complaint, stating: ‘Campbell Live had relied on the unsubstantiated claims of a small number of workers and had “over-dramatised a pay dispute, by references to a rodent health problem, when no such problem existed”. TVWorks disagreed, replying: ‘’There was no doubt the item was sympathetic to the workers and presented in a manner that was ‘entertaining and informing’”. A word from the union: ‘acknowledged in a signed joint statement that there was no rat problem’. And lastly the final word comes from the Broadcasting Standards Authority: ‘numerous references to rats, “coupled with sensationalist clips of masses of rats and audio of rats squealing, created the clear impression for viewers that Paper Reclaim had a serious rat problem”’. Result: the show was fined $16,000. A little less sensationalism, a bit more investigative reporting. Oh sorry TVWorks what is that now? “Viewers understand the genre (which is quite distinct from strictly objective news reporting) and would take those ‘entertaining’ elements for what they were”. At least you’re honest.