A complaint regarding a comment on striking teachers by NewstalkZB host Mike Hosking has been upheld by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
The BSA found the comment made by Hosking during a June 12 broadcast, inaccurate and in breach of the broadcasting standards.
Hosking had responded to a listener on his Mike Hosking Breakfast show who asked if “striking teachers do this (strike) on full pay.”
Hosking’s responded: “Of course they do … people who go on strike have always been on full pay. They’re supported by union.”
In a statement, the BSA wrote that “based on factual background”, Hosking’s comment was incorrect.
“While some unions, such as the PPTA, do have ‘hardship funds’, based on readily available information, it is clearly not true that unions pay all members their full salary during strike action (even if interpreting Hosking’s statement as applying only to teachers and teachers’ unions),” the statement read.
“While the relevant segments made up a small part of the broadcast overall, we consider stating that striking workers are paid by unions was material in the context of discussing striking teachers and teachers’ unions, and would affect the audience’s understanding of that topic as a whole.
“Recognising that Hosking is in a privileged and influential position as a well-known national broadcaster, we are satisfied that upholding the accuracy complaint in this case does not unreasonably limit the broadcaster’s free speech or prevent Hosking from expressing his views.
“Rather, it reasonably requires Hosking to express his views in a way that does not propagate misleading information that may affect listeners’ understanding of issues discussed,” the BSA said.