GEOFF DAVIES AGAINST THE DOM POST

Case Number: 3364

Council Meeting: DECEMBER 2022

Decision: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: The Dominion Post

Principle: Accuracy, Fairness and Balance

Ruling Categories: Editorial Discretion / Freedom
Tragedies, Offensive Handling of

Overview

On 1 November 2022, the Dominion Post published a story headlined Teen in coma after crash that killed girlfriend.  The story also ran on the Stuff website. Geoff Davies complained that the decision to publish a photograph of the young man in a coma in the intensive care unit was in poor taste and was an error of judgement. The Dominion Post replied that the family supplied the photograph and wanted it published and that the editor considered it was a valuable addition to the story.

The Media Council considers that in this particular case the paper was within its rights to publish the photograph. It had been supplied by the family who wanted it published. There is some public interest in publishing the photograph as it graphically demonstrates the consequences of poor driving decisions. It did not show terrible injuries or otherwise shock unduly.  No principles have been breached.

 

Decision: There were insufficient grounds to proceed.

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