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Cindy Kiro manipulates the media, and the BSA dutifully comply.

Posted by watchingcyfswatchnewzealand on May 11, 2007

As posted on CYFSWATCH NZ

Cindy Kiro manipulates the media, and the BSA dutifully comply.
Monday, 07.05.2007, 10:28am (GMT12)

Campbell Live Used Vulnerable Child – BSA


Complaint by the Children’s Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro – upheld

A TV3 Campbell Live item examining the proposed amendment to section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961 featured an interview with a woman and her 14-year-old son.

One aspect of a complaint made by The Children’s Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro, was that the interview with the boy was unfair to him.

In its decision, the Authority noted that the broadcaster was aware that the boy, who had been removed from his mother’s care by CYFS due to ongoing concerns for his safety, was in a vulnerable situation.

The Authority considered that reasonable research by the broadcaster would have also revealed that the mother was facing assault charges against another son, as this information had been reported in other media and was thus in the public domain.

Further, the broadcaster had made no effort to contact CYFS, the boy’s legal guardian, prior to interviewing him. Had the broadcaster done so, it could have discovered that the mother had secured her son’s presence at the interview using deception.

In the Authority’s view, gathering this information was critical to the broadcaster’s assessment of whether it was suitable to involve the boy in the programme. In failing to do so, the broadcaster breached the fairness standard requirement to recognise the rights of individuals, and particularly children and young people, not to be exploited, humiliated or unnecessarily identified.

Link to full decision:



TV3 slammed for riding-crop interview

 2:05PM Monday May 07, 2007

TV3’s Campbell Live has been censured over an interview with a boy who was allegedly whipped by his mother with a riding crop.

Children’s commissioner Cindy Kiro complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) that the child was being exploited by sitting with his mother during his interview.

He would have felt pressured to provide the right answers and the show “displayed a disregard” for the boy’s rights, she said.

Campbell Live featured the 14-year-old boy with his mother, who had been found not guilty of assaulting her son by successfully arguing she used reasonable force, on July 19 last year.

During the interview, the boy said he felt he deserved the discipline meted out to him.

The 14-year-old also said he would not smack his own children, though after the interview the host said the boy only said this because he was afraid CYF would take them away.

The BSA ordered TV3’s owner CanWest to broadcast a statement explaining why the complaint was upheld, and to pay $1500 costs to the Crown.

The complaint was one of four brought to the BSA by Ms Kiro, but the other three were turned down by the BSA.

She also claimed the show’s producers had not asked Child, Youth and Family (CYF) – the boy’s legal guardian – if they could interview him.

In another complaint, Dr Kiro said the boy’s privacy was breached because those who were familiar with the case could identify him though both the boy and his mother were shown in silhouette.

The commissioner also alleged the story was unbalanced, being firmly pro-smacking and against reform of child-hitting laws.

It was also inaccurate, Dr Kiro said, because the mother was not a reliable source and that the journalist had made no attempt to investigate the circumstances of the case.

After interviewing the mother and her son, the host then interviewed a lawyer who had worked with families in Sweden trying to prevent similar anti-smacking law reform.

He then talked to Green MP Sue Bradford, the chief proponent of the repeal of Section 59, who explained why she wanted to remove the “reasonable force” defence.

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