HAILEY RYAN AGAINST NEWSHUB

Case Number: 3178

Council Meeting: DECEMBER 2021

Decision: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Discovery TV3 Newshub

Ruling Categories: Accuracy
Misrepresentation
Politicians
Unfair Coverage

Overview

CASE NO: 3178

RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF HAILEY RYAN AGAINST NEWSHUB/TV3

FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO UPHOLD

DATE: DECEMBER 2021

 

Newshub published an article on December 1, 2021, headlined Full Interview with Jenna Lynch: Christopher Luxon believes abortion is tantamount to murder.

Hailey Ryan said the headline was completely misleading and not what Mr Luxon said. He simply said he was pro-life. 

It was inflammatory and inaccurate reporting and verging on bullying, with a line of questioning verging on harassment.

However the article, which included a lengthy video clip of an interview with the newly elected National Party leader and his deputy Nicola Willis, reported Mr Luxon’s actual comments.  When asked if he thought abortion was tantamount to murder, he said he was “a pro-life person” and “That’s what a pro-life position is.”

Having viewed the relevant section of the interview the Media Council does not believe Mr Luxon was miss-reported.  Mr Luxon affirmed that the pro-life position that he supported was that abortion was tantamount to murder.  The story was therefore accurate. The headline also accurately and fairly conveyed a key element of the report. The segment was an example of the sharp questioning the politicians must endure when they co-operate in interviews which can touch on difficult issues. Questioning of this sort does not constitute harassment and is not in breach of journalistic principles.

It is also noted that the complaint related to a short segment of a lengthy video in which Mr Luxon was given the opportunity to say what he thought on a range of issues, where his comments were less controversial and showed him in a relaxed and reasonable light.

There were insufficient grounds to proceed.

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