IVAN HANSEN AGAINST THE PRESS
Case Number: 3381
Council Meeting: FEBRUARY 2023
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Publication: The Press
Headlines and Captions
Taste Lack of
The cover of Your Weekend magazine that was included with The Press on November 19, 2022 featured the headline F**K CANCER in bold type, with an underline Why one woman is fighting to share her journey with the disease, unfiltered.
Ivan Hansen complained, saying the headline was “thoroughly disgusting”. Naturally, every thinking person hated cancer, he said, but most would be aghast at the use of such language in a newspaper or other media.
Stuff replied that they had thought very carefully about using the word. “The phrase is commonly used as a hashtag, a rallying cry and a statement of support and expression for anyone going through the horrendous experience that is cancer," The Press said.
The Media Council is aware that for some readers, the use of the word complained about would be particularly offensive, but in recent times it has been more commonly used. The Council considers that the decision to use the word is a judgement call that editors are free to make. In this case, Stuff showed sensitivity to those who might be offended by printing the word with asterisks. The word was relevant to a story about an important subject and not used in a gratuitous manner. No principles have been breached.
Decision: There were insufficient grounds to proceed.