A “serial complainer” has successfully had a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling overturned, meaning he will no longer have to pay a $50 fine for making too many complaints.
Wellington man Donald McDonald submitted a complaint to the BSA regarding an item on One News that incorrectly stated that a supernova was 240 light years away, instead of 240 million light years.
The BSA rejected the complaint, saying it was “peripheral” to the news item and issued a $50 fine to McDonald as deterrent against making “frivolous and trivial” complaints.
McDonald is known a prolific complainer, with his complaints alone making up five per cent of TV One’s complaints.
He took the matter to the High Court, where the court upheld the BSA ruling but dismissed the $50 fine.
McDonald has vowed to continue submitting complaints if he feels that facts are wrong.
I will have to prove my arguments more clearly to those who do not understand numbers, which is the news media in many cases.
“For TVNZ not to admit the error is a disappointment to hundreds of stargazers and schoolteachers.”
“I’m not just a mad scientist but a stickler for fairness and truth.
“I’ve been described by some as an amateur vexatious litigant, which is not really me and it’s not what I think of myself. I’m anxious for this opportunity to avoid such connotations.”