JAKE VINSON AGAINST STUFF
Case Number: 3224
Council Meeting: MARCH 2022
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Supression of Fact
CASE NO: 3224
RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF JAKE VINSON AGAINST STUFF
FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO PROCEED
DATE: MARCH 2022
Jake Vinson based his complaint on an item published by Daily Telegraph NZ on February 23, 2022, headlined Watch: Stuff.co.nz accused of manipulating video to conceal police brutality at parliament protest.
The video allegedly concealed footage of a policeman provoking a protester with a punch and then savagely eye-gouging him. It was claimed the officer’s actions were blocked out by Stuff graphics and this made it look as though “the protester instigated the violence, when in fact, he was naturally reacting to the officer’s brutal assault.”
The following day Daily Telegraph NZ published a story headlined Stuff.co.nz editor responds to eye-gouge video manipulation claims.
It reported Stuff editor-in-chief Patrick Crewdson denying the video was manipulated. He said that some of YouTube’s standard recommended content placements appear on the screen towards the end of all its videos on the YouTube channel.
He said the same video of police and protesters clashing - but without those recommended content pop-ups – was watchable directly on Stuff. He added that Stuff had also published a story in which it interviewed the protester who alleged police assaulted him. That story also showed the incident.
“Far from manipulating content to “cover up” police actions, we have reported on those allegations directly, including with video footage.”
Mr Vinson complained Stuff had breached Media Council Principle 1 (accuracy, fairness and balance). His complaint stated “See video uploaded. it explains everything.” He did not elaborate.
The Media Council has looked at the articles published by the Daily Telegraph NZ, which discuss the video referred to. The second article gave a reasonable explanation for what Mr Vinson regards as manipulation.
The Council believes Stuff’s coverage of the alleged assault, including the interview and video of the protester, gave a full and balanced report of the incident.
Mr Vinson has not advanced a case that Stuff’s coverage breached Media Council principles. There were insufficient grounds to proceed.