RENATA CANTU CROSA AGAINST NEW ZEALAND HERALD
Case Number: 3115
Council Meeting: SEPTEMBER 2021
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Ruling Categories: Discrimination
CASE NO: 3115
RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF RENATA CANTU CROSA AGAINST NEW ZEALAND HERALD
FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO PROCEED
DATE: SEPTEMBER 2021
Renata Cantu Crosa complained about a New Zealand Herald story published on 18 September 2021 about the three South African sisters who were murdered in Timaru. The story began: “The family was picture perfect. Three little girls with white blonde hair and big bright eyes, their parents beaming and adoring in scores of photographs.” The story was illustrated with photographs of the family.
The description of a picture perfect family as being white and blonde contributed to the systemic racism in which we live, Renata Cantu Crosa said. Being part of the Latino community, the story had caused her great distress.
The NZ Herald replied saying the complainant had misinterpreted the reporter’s point. “Picture perfect” referenced the family’s safe and contented domestic life. It was a long bow to draw to suggest only blonde children could be picture perfect.
The Media Council can understand the complainant’s sensitivity about the subject, but it agrees with the NZ Herald. The term “picture perfect” referred to the family dynamics and evident happiness. It could just as easily have been applied to a happy looking family of any race.
Finding: Insufficient Grounds to Proceed.