Speak Up For Women’s Beth Johnson talks to Sean Plunket on Magic Talk about Bad News and the Media Council Ruling.

Bad News with Alice Sneddon is a web-based short series which received $380,000 of taxpayer funds via NZ On Air for 8 episodes. The funding was for a comedy/documentary series.

The series was made by The Spinoff and platformed and actively promoted by Radio New Zealand.

One episode is entitled “TERFs” and is about Speak Up For Women and our event at Parliament last year. Despite being told that there would be no external filming of our event but that we would be happy to interview with Alice later, she and two other Spinoff staff purchased tickets under a different name and attended the event with the sole purpose of disrupting and filming covertly.

Alice was removed from the event after she disrupted the Q&A session and her colleagues filmed. A lawyer representing Speak Up For Women contacted Spinoff to ensure that the footage would not be used as there were many women attending who were afraid of having their faces publicised. We traded legal letters back and forth to little productive end.

When the video was finally released and promoted by Radio New Zealand it was entirely one sided and made hugely inaccurate claims. It is an abusive rant in which Alice calls Speak Up For Women “bitches”, “witches”, “TERFs”, and the worst kind of women.

We complained to RNZ and they defended their decision to platform it. Then we went to the Media Council. On Tuesday of this week the Media Council announced that they would be upholding none of our complaints despite clear evidence of subterfuge, inaccuracy, imbalance, and abuse. You can read their ruling here.

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