Q.POULSEN AGAINST THE SUNDAY STAR-TIMES

A complaint to the New Zealand Press Council by Quinton Poulsen of Levin that a letter he had written to the Sunday Star-Times had been edited to the extent that its meaning had been changed, has not been upheld by the Council. Mr Poulsen’s letter to the newspaper’s “to the point” section, on tertiary education, had the words “New Zealand” and “system” edited out.

In his complaint Mr Poulsen said the omission of the words had completely changed the meaning of his letter. It read as though he was attacking tertiary education in general whereas he was referring only to what was happening in New Zealand.

The editor, in her response, said the Sunday Star-Times was a New Zealand newspaper and as such the words “New Zealand” were often removed from stories, letters and features because it was clear that was the country which was being written about.

It was the right of the newspaper to edit and abridge letters so long as the meaning was retained and in this case she believed the editing in this case was entirely proper and that the meaning of the letter was not distorted in any way.

The Council agreed with the editor’s view. The complaint was not upheld.

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