Case Number: 754 SHEILA TAYLOR AGAINST THE RODNEY TIMES
Council Meeting August 1999
The New Zealand Press Council has rejected a complaint by Sheila Taylor that articles in the Rodney Times and The Coaster breached her privacy.
Sheila Taylor complained to the Press Council on May 19 about two articles Ė one in the Rodney Times on May 6 and the other in The Coaster on May 12. Ms Taylor complained her privacy had been breached because the two reports named her in relation to a complaint against her from a neighbour annoyed at the barking dog.
The May 6 report in the Rodney Times pointed out she was appearing the next day at a Rodney District Council dog control subcommittee hearing on the complaint about her barking dog. The second article in The Coaster on May 12 was a detailed account of the hearing. It not only named her but also named the street in which she lived.
Ms Taylor said she thought in order to protect her privacy the two papers could have merely pointed out there was a problem between neighbours in Manly without publishing her name or where she lived. She also complained that a letter she wrote to the Rodney Times responding to its article had not been published.
The editor of the Rodney Times said her letter was published on May 20, the day after Ms Taylor made her complaint to the Council.
The Press Council dismissed Ms Taylorís complaints. The Rodney Times report had been based on a public document on the hearing while The Coasterís report was an account of a public meeting. Neither breached Ms Taylorís privacy in any form but merely reported on an issue of public interest.