Friday, October 12, 2012

What to do when Fair Go comes calling

We all enjoy the entertainment value when we see an unscrupulous trader or tradesman  or supplier of goods squirm under the glare of a programme like Fair Go.

"Hell he deserves it."  "Good on Fair Go for letting us know."

But what if Fair Go actually makes a mistake? What if the person accused made a mistake or an error in judgement?

What to do

  • Request a copy of the questions that you will be asked
  • Meet them on their turf. Don't invite them to your premises
  • Asked that you be allowed to provide a written statement

As it stands the accused has no avenue to put up their side of the defence. Fair Go hides behind their perceived image of fair just and balance reporting. What actually happens is anything but. Once a programme like Fair Go has committed to a story, they hardly ever admit to a mistake unless forced to do so.

The standard excuses are:

  • We just reported the story. We do not take sides
  • Not our statements but that of the complainants
  • It is the opinion of our experts
  • The catch all is of course "we do not agree"

For those that cannot fight back there is no recourse. Sure there is the complaints process but they know their way around these. Legal action is only for those with deep pockets. For the rest of us we will just have to " bite our tongue and suck it." But do we?

The Battery Clinic's fight with Fair Go is an example of what you can do to protect yourself. The key is that media odds in the age of YOUTUBE have shifted slightly. This is the age of the democratisation of the media.

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