STEVEN CRANSTON AGAINST THE NZ HERALD

Case Number: 3320

Council Meeting: OCTOBER 2022

Decision: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: New Zealand Herald

Principle: Accuracy, Fairness and Balance

Ruling Categories: Accuracy

Overview

The New Zealand Herald published an article on October 2, 2022, headlined Greenpeace sceptical as Government signs deal with agriculture to reduce emissions.

Steve Cranston complained that the paper failed to provide balance and context to a statement in the story stating that half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions came from agriculture.

“This is incorrect. Methane emissions in this country have now stabilised and will be producing little if any additional warming of the climate. Additional warming is what is important when it comes to climate change. This is why the Paris Agreement has a warming based goal (limit to 1.5 deg)”

The Herald’s Editor Murray Kirkness said the article reported that agriculture was New Zealand’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. This was a completely accurate statement confirmed in the Ministry for the Environment profile. It did not imply that half the warming came from this sector as the article did not even reference warming.

The Media Council does not accept that a case has been made to show how the article might have been in breach of Principle 1 (accuracy, fairness and balance). This appears to be a straightforward report on an agreement between the Government and agriculture on a plan to reduce emissions. The key facts reported were from the Ministry for the Environment. These are not disputed, and Mr Cranston has raised arguments about matters that were not detailed in this story.

 

Decision: There were insufficient grounds to proceed.

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