Radio New Zealand has lost an appeal against a Broadcasting Standards Authority ruling that it apologise to convicted child molester Peter Ellis.
Radio NZ had argued that an apology was a voluntary expression of contrition and to be ordered to say sorry, when it was not, amounted to dishonesty.
The order for an apology and publication of a summary of the authority’s decision in four major daily newspapers was the result of finding that National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme in August 2003 was not fair and balanced. A man interviewed on the programme had made new allegations against Mr Ellis.
Radio NZ also had to pay Mr Ellis $5300 costs and $5000 to the Crown. It accepted the finding that the story lacked fairness and balance but objected to apologising.