MARK DOYLE AGAINST THE PRESS

Case Number: 2966

Council Meeting: NOVEMBER 2020

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: The Press

Ruling Categories: Children and Young People
Confidentiality
Discrimination
Unfair Coverage

Overview

On August 29 2020 The Press published an article Z-shaped house being built for $9.5m in Fendalton, Christchurch. It included artists impressions of the design of the house taken from documents submitted to the council and a photograph of one of the owners of the property, a local Pak ‘n Save owner. The man was named, as was his wife, who was noted to be a lawyer. The article included comment from the family through a spokesperson.

Mark Doyle complained that the article opened the family to abuse, bullying and persecution.It could also lead to the possibility of staff in the business thinking they had a legitimate case for being paid or treated unfairly. This sort of journalism was dangerous and divisive and not something that society needed in these times.

He contends the article breaches the Principles of Accuracy, fairness and balance; Children and young people; Discrimination and Confidentiality.

The Media Council notes that most of the information contained in the story was publicly available from a resource consent application and property records. That an expensive and distinctive house was being built by a prominent local business owner and his wife is newsworthy.

There are no substantive arguments given to support the contention that any of the Principles cited have been breached.

Finding: Insufficient Grounds to Proceed.