Letters / Press Releases:

Media Matters in NZ is 21 years old - March 2015

Our members span three generations and we continue to advocate for a safer TV and Internet environment for our kids.

You have to admit that the politicians have had it their way for too long.  The recent election campaign has been dominated by stories of Internet misuse, yet nothing has actually been done, or planned to be done, to prevent this.

Please help our cause and NZ's future.

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The rise and rise of violence on television - NZ Listener Letter - 17 March 2013

Dianna Wichtel [Listener columnist] deserves the thanks of us all, for her telling appraisal of the rise and rise of violence on television.  She is the only NZ media commentator I know of, who has been brave enough to label it "unacceptable".

Why is there not more regular critical assessment of the social impact in this country of the most powerful instrument of behaviour modification ever devised in our media?  TV columnists prattle on about what they have seen.  A Radio NZ journalist lectures journalists about journalism standards weekly on Media Watch.  TV3 runs a show around midnight in which a pompous academic bangs on about various esoteric subjects. 

None of these people show any awareness whatsoever that this month, a study by Otago University was released which found that constant exposure to TV Violence, contributes to violent crime. 

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TV watching linked to criminal activity - Press Statement - 19 February 2013

The latest report from Otago University (Dominion Post today) says what Media Matters and other advocacy groups around the world have been saying for 25 years, i.e. that watching repetitive violence on TV encourages the young and the vulnerable to see violence as a solution to their problems.

[ Read full statement ... ]


Media needs new complaints body - DomPost letter - 31 December 2011

DomPost, 31 December 2011 - Media needs new complaints body

I'd like to thank Unicef NZ's Dennis McKinlay for his timely observations about online child abuse (Features, Dec 27).  I'd add two things.

First, he mentions the need for international co-operation; ...
[ Read full letter by John Terris ... ] 

Features, 27 December 2011 - Related article:

Searching for ways to prevent online child abuse
DomPost Online | Tuesday, 27 December 2011
By Dennis McKinlay

OPINION: How do we tackle online child sexual abuse while still giving young people access to the internet?  It's a thorny problem, but some thought is starting to sort fact from the emotion that has accompanied this debate. [ Read full article ... ]


BSA fines complainant Donald McDonald - Press Statement - 14 August 2011

It appears from its decision in respect of a complaint from one of our members, Donald McDonald, a retired scientist, about news accuracy, which has resulted in its effectively fining Mr McDonald for having the temerity to complain, that the Broadcasting Standards Authority has relinquished any claim to credibility as a monitor of standards in NZ Broadcasting.

Read full statement ... 
Read BSA decision 2011-020


BSA Handling of Complaints from our Members - Letter to BSA - 24 October 2010

By Media Matters President, John Terris

John Terris

John Terris

Background: Donald McDonald, a long-time Media Matters member and a pensioner with about 100 complaints to his name, has had the BSA threaten to charge him for a recent complaint.

Dear Sir,

We are appalled that the Authority has threatened Donald McDonald with costs for making what are alleged to be frivolous and vexatious complaints.

Our Executive is of the view that the statutory role of the Authority is to uphold Standards, not to punish the people who complain.  We have completely lost confidence in the ability of the Authority to contain continuing offenses against standards on NZ television ....

Read full letter ... ]


Media complaints - Sunday Star Times letter - 30 May 2010

Sunday Star Times, 30 May 2010 - Media complaints

THE ARTICLE ridiculing those who make complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Authority (News, May 23) shows just how contemptuous of any sort of standards those responsible for the increasing volume of gratuitous violence, sex and bad language on television really are of the audience ...
[ Read full letter by John Terris ... ] 

News, 23 May 2010 - Related article:

Mice cruelty aside, chill wind blows back on media accusers
Sunday Star Times, 23 May 2010,
by Esther Harward

RECENT COMPLAINTS to media watchdogs – including that a runway fashion outfit was described with the wrong animal print, a flounder dish was criticised in a restaurant review, and a newspaper dropped an apostrophe in Hawke’s Bay – have got commentators ... [ Read full article ... ]

What about the kids? - Press Statement - 3 November 2008

The latest crime statistics show once again that while overall crime is declining, crimes of violence involving young people continue to rise.
[ Read full statement ... ]

Media Matters name change - Press Release - 28 April 2008

Press statement by Media Matters President following AGM in Lower Hutt 28 April 2008.