16 May 2011

Samoa complaint against TV3 in NZ rejected

1:40 pm on 16 May 2011

Samoa's government has failed in its complaint to New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority over a story on TV3's Campbell Live.

The programme's host, John Campbell, alleged donations for the 2009 tsunami were unaccounted for and implied Samoans were being short-changed by their government.

Megan Whelan reports

"Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, said at the time the allegations by Campbell Live that a balance of about 45 million US dollars is unaccounted for was grossly misleading. But the BSA says the government was given fair and reasonable opportunity to respond to the matters raised, and as senior politicians they should have been familiar with dealing with media, so the story was not unfair. Samoa's complaint maintained that the Campbell live item did not deal fairly with the Prime Minister, because he was door-stepped as he was leaving a function at 11pm. However, the BSA says the programme made considerable efforts to obtain comment from the Prime Minister, and it is not required to provide written questions in advance as had been requested. The Authority declined to determine if the reporting of the Samoa government's action following the tsunami was accurate."