A complaint was lodged with the Registrar of the BCCSA against the Respondent for its news broadcast of 10 May 2019 which contained inaccurate information regarding the process followed in the handing over of an RDP house to an elderly lady. The story was not presented in the correct context as it was presented as an escalating confrontation between the elderly lady and the Government representative.
The Complainant argued
– that the entire story was based on a misunderstanding by the elderly lady, who later (after the house was handed over a few days later) apologised to her;
– that she submitted the correct information to the Broadcaster before the broadcast, but that it failed to verify the information or to rectify the story;
– that her dignity was impaired as she was filmed without her consent and private details were broadcast in the process.
The Broadcaster argued that a right of reply was repeatedly offered and also disputes receiving the correct information before the broadcast.
The Tribunal upheld the complaint and found that the news insert was not presented in the correct context, that it was both untruthful and unfair (by not portraying, for example, that the Complainant was personally responsible for securing a house for the lady within days) and thus contravened clauses 28.1.1 and 28.1.2. Clause 28.1.5 was contravened since the inaccurate information was not rectified immediately when the correct information came to light. Clause 28.4 was contravened since the Complainant’s dignity was infringed.