STEPHEN REDDIN AGAINST STUFF
Case Number: 3182
Council Meeting: DECEMBER 2021
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Headlines and Captions
CASE NO: 3182
RULING OF THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL OF THE COMPLAINT OF STEPHEN REDDIN AGAINST STUFF
FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO PROCEED
DATE: DECEMBER 2021
Stuff published an article on December 3, 2021, headlined National leader Christopher Luxon says Auckland should be in green light setting now.
Stephen Reddin complained that the article and headline were misleading as Mr Luxon had said Auckland should not be at red light. He said the report was slanderous to Mr Luxon and the National Party.
Stuff changed the headline later on the day of publication to read: National leader Christopher Luxon: Why is Auckland in the red light system? It also added the following at the bottom of the story: Clarification: An earlier version of this article said Luxon wanted Auckland to be in green. He in fact said that hospitality was ready for green, and National was against the traffic-light system (amended December 3,2021, 2.14pm).
The Media Council can see that the article, as originally published, took Mr Luxon’s comment somewhat too far, but it was a mistake of degree, and a correction was quickly made to the headline and story.
The Media Council’s principle 12 says a publication’s willingness to correct errors often defuses complaints and significant errors should be promptly corrected with fair prominence. If the error had remained uncorrected it may have warranted further consideration. However, as Stuff swiftly fixed its error, and given its nature, there would be no purpose in taking this complaint further.
There were insufficient grounds to proceed.