DANIEL RANDALL AGAINST NEWSHUB

Case Number: 3349

Council Meeting: NOVEMBER 2022

Decision: No Grounds to Proceed

Principle: Accuracy, Fairness and Balance

Ruling Categories: Misleading

Overview

  1. Newshub ran an article on November 6, 2022, headlined Cost of living: Government’s childcare subsidy package supported by Kiwis but criticised by National.
  2. The story reported a speech by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in which she announced an expansion of access to childcare subsidies. It included brief comment from two people who praised the move and critical comment from National Party leader Christopher Luxon.
  3. Daniel Randall said the article did now show how it came to the assertion that it was “supported by Kiwis”. He said it was unsubstantiated and inaccurate and the headline was therefore misleading and biased.
  4. The Warner Bros Discovery Standards Committee said the statement that it was applauded by Kiwis was supported by two quotes.
  5. One said, “It’s a fantastic idea because living expenses are now really expensive.”
  6. A second said, “I study at the moment full time, so if I don’t have childcare I can’t study.”
  7. Similarly, Mr Luxon’s comments were reported.
  8. The committee said headlines were designed to give a brief taste of the story that followed and were designed to attract readers’ attention. The headline provided an accurate representation of the article’s content.
  9. The Media Council can see no basis for arguing a breach of Principle (6) Headlines and captions, which states headlines should accurately and fairly convey the substance or a key element of the report they are designed to cover.
  10. The story reported the comments of two Kiwis and that justified the headline reference. The headline conveyed a key element of the story and was not inaccurate or unfair.

Decision: There were insufficient grounds to proceed.


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