Case Number: 3003

Council Meeting: MARCH 2021

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: New Zealand Herald

Ruling Categories: Bias
Letters to the Editor, Closure, Non-Publication
Offensive Language


George Winch complained about the New Zealand Herald’s “constant and vile comments on President Trump”. He states the editor and reporters have actually become activists for the Democrats and the left and are manipulating the New Zealand public with unbalanced reporting. They do not publish pro-Trump letters to the editor, but if they are anti-Trump they are published.

In response to Mr Winch’s initial complaint the Herald advised that no one there was anti-Trump, and neither were they a ‘socialist’ newspaper. The current lead article was entirely based on Mr Trump’s farewell speech and included extensive detail of what he considered to have been his achievements while in office.

Mr Winch has provided no material to back his complaint. The Media Council cannot determine a complaint that is little more than a single sentence of criticism covering numerous articles which relate to major public issues and events.

Additionally the Media Council has many times endorsed an editor’s prerogative to determine which letters to publish and which to decline. We see no reason to alter this stance.

Finding: Insufficient Grounds to Proceed.