$8,000 fine not enough

The Herald reports:

NZME Radio has been ordered to pay a fine and compensation totalling $8000 for breaching broadcasting standards.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority () has ruled hosts on the Hauraki Breakfast Show seriously breached standards when they intentionally broadcast live on air a caller who had asked to make a complaint off air.

The BSA has ordered NZME Radio to pay $4000 in privacy compensation to Deborah Stokes, $4000 in costs to the Crown and to broadcast a statement summarising the Authority’s findings.

Stokes, the mother of New Zealand-born English cricketer Ben Stokes, called the station to complain about comments made by the hosts regarding her son, and to defend him. When she asked to speak to someone off air, host assured Stokes she was off air. The conversation was actually being broadcast live.

Good to see the BSA ping them but I think they got off too lightly. To blatantly lie to Mrs Stokes and tell her she is off air when she is being broadcast live is terrible ethics. The host seemed totally unrepentant and seems to think it was all a joke. $8,000 is not a lot to NZME but a medium sized five figure sum would be more likely to incentivise them not to do it again.

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