AARON SCOBLE AGAINST STUFF

Case Number: 2846

Council Meeting: NOVEMBER 2019

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Stuff

Ruling Categories: Editorial Discretion
Privacy

Overview

CASE NO: 2846

RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT FO AARON SCOBLE AGAINST STUFF

FINDING: NO GROUNDS TO PROCEED

DATE: NOVEMBER 2019

Aaron Scoble complained about an article published by Stuff on October 25, 2019 headlinedLes Orchard is probably New Zealand’s most prolific fraudster.

The article mentioned Aaron Scoble was one of 10 aliases used by Mr Orchard and it was later amended with a note acknowledging Mr Scoble was the subject of identity theft when he was overseas some 20 years earlier.

Mr Scoble objected to the publication of his name in this article as in his view it dragged him through the mud again and that there was no public interest to justify it.

Stuff editor in chief Patrick Crewdson said it was a newsworthy story; it was a matter of fact that Mr Scoble’s name had been used as an alias and it did not reflect against him.

The Media Council can understand Mr Scoble’s annoyance at being named here again as a victim of an identity theft but it cannot identify where publication of his name in this story was in breach of any Media Council principles. The use of his name as an alias is a matter of public record and there is no breach of privacy. Stuff seems to have taken reasonable steps to ensure that he is not unduly disadvantaged by the publication, but the decision to publish was a matter of editorial discretion.

No Grounds to Proceed.