DAMON MATHER AGAINST NEWSHUB
Case Number: 3465
Council Meeting: DECEMBER 2023
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Publication: Newshub TV3
Accuracy, Fairness and Balance
Comment and Fact
Discrimination and Diversity
Conflicts of Interest
Ruling Categories: Politics
Newshub published a story on August 11, 2023, headlined New Zealand spies call out foreign interference, including by China, in first-of-a-kind report.
The report on violent extremism, foreign interference, and espionage, said China, Russia and Iran were involved in foreign interference. It said the most interference was China’s continued targeting of New Zealand’s ethnic Chinese communities.
Damon Mather complained that the story was hypocritical, designed to push the US agendas and create fear and hatred towards China. He also said Discovery (which owns Newshub) owned most New Zealand media, New Zealand’s spies were in fact US citizens and the biggest threat to humanity was the US and Jews.
Newshub believed the substance of Mr Mather’s complaint related to its corporate ownership. It maintained Newshub was a reputable and independent newsroom.
The Media Council notes the story mentioned in this complaint appears to be a straightforward report of an assessment made by the Security Intelligence Service.
Mr Mather disagrees, as he is entitled to, but does not demonstrate how Newshub’s reporting has breached any of the Media Council’s principles. His unsupported claims (that Discovery own most New Zealand media, that New Zealand spies were US citizens and that the US and Jews are the biggest threat to humanity) do nothing to advance his case.
Decision: There were insufficient grounds to proceed.