Case Number: 826

Council Meeting: May 2001

Verdict: Not Upheld

Publication: Greymouth Evening Star

Ruling Categories: Balance, Lack Of
Letters to the Editor, Closure, Non-Publication

The New Zealand Press Council has not upheld a complaint against the Greymouth Evening Star from David Tranter, a health campaigner, of Greymouth.

Mr Tranter complained that the Greymouth Evening Star did not give coverage to the launch of the West Coast Health Coalition lobby group on February 16.
Other newspapers, The Press and The News (Westport), had run articles about the launch which was attended by 16 people.

Mr Tranter accused the newspaper of unbalanced reporting, citing the fact it had not given his launch coverage but had extensively covered, for example, the launch of a mosaic in the Grey Hospital.
He also complained about the non-publication of a letter he wrote to the newspaper, dated 15 February, about $200,000 raised by the community for lighting the runway at Greymouth for medical emergencies.

The editor of the Greymouth Evening Star, Kit Carson, said he had not received a press release about the coalition issued the day after the launch. He eventually received it four days afterwards and by then considered it old news. He said Mr Tranter's views were not ignored by his newspaper: in December Mr Tranter's views had appeared in no fewer than four articles and nine letters.

The Press Council accepts it is an editor's right to determine what news is covered and what letters are published. Mr Carson did no more than exercise those rights.

The complaint is not upheld.