RACHEL BROWN AGAINST STUFF
Case Number: 3370
Council Meeting: JANUARY 2023
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Balance, Lack Of
Comment and Fact
On November 28, 2022, Stuff published a story headed Ladies, from November 28, you’re working for free: A deep dive into NZ’s gender pay gap. It covered the #NoPayDay campaign, which said Kiwi women were effectively working for free from November 28 because of the gender pay gap. It talked to a range of women about pay and looked at initiatives to close the pay gap in New Zealand.
Rachel Brown complained that the headline was misleading. Women, including her, did get paid after November 28. The story ignored that fact that pay was related to factors like years in the job and qualifications. For example, she had been in the same job for eight years and was paid more than a man who had been doing the same job for only a year. The story failed to examine these factors. Stuff replied to the complaint, saying they had considered the complaint and would not be making any changes.
The Media Council considers the article is obviously not claiming that women don’t get paid after November 28, but rather the headline is a
dramatic way of showing what the campaigners say is the effect of the gender pay gap. There is no inaccuracy and the headline is not
misleading. In a long-running story such as this, it is not necessary or possible to cover every aspect of the story. This article was a
legitimate look at the latest developments in the campaign to reduce gender pay disparities. No principles are breached.
Decision: There were insufficient grounds to proceed.