SAM CORKE AGAINST STUFF

Case Number: 3088

Council Meeting: AUGUST 2021

Decision: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Stuff

Ruling Categories: Accuracy
Balance, Lack Of
Discrimination
Unfair Coverage

Overview

This complaint was about an article published by Stuff on August 25, 2021 headlinedCovid-19: Singling out one ethnicity in team of 5 million ‘unhelpful’ Pacific leader says.

The article reported a Pacific community leader criticising Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield for stating that the majority of cases in the latest outbreak were of Samoan ethnicity. The largest cluster of cases was linked to a service at the Samoan Assembly of God church and the identification of this group sparked racist comment against Auckland’s Samoan and Pasifika community.

Mr Corke complained that the article was racist, inflammatory, inaccurate, unfair and unbalanced. In his view it was untrue to say Samoans were being singled out and the article was an attempt to incite a feeling of victimisation.

The article sets out reactions to a statement by the Director-General. There is nothing to suggest the views reported were inaccurate, or showing there was no factual foundation for them. The complainant seems to be taking issue with the views reported, not with the reporting. No case has been made that the article breaches any Media Council principles.

There are insufficient grounds to proceed.

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