THERESA O'REILLY AGAINST NEWSROOM
Case Number: 3122
Council Meeting: OCTOBER 2021
Decision: No Grounds to Proceed
Ruling Categories: Discrimination
CASE NO: 3122
RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA COUNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF THERESA O’REILLY AGAINST NEWSROOM
FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO PROCEED
DATE: OCTOBER 2021
Newsroom published an item (video and text) on October 1, 2021 headlined ‘Consequences’ for not getting vaccinated – Rob Fyfe in which the Government’s business advisor on Covid-19 described vaccine refusers as freeloaders.
The complainant said that describing people as freeloaders was derogatory, discriminatory and stirred up hatred. It was illegal to discriminate against someone for their medical choices or those who could not take the vaccine for medical reasons.
It was Mr Fyfe's opinion, expressed in the video that accompanied the article that vaccine refusers were freeloaders and Newsroom was within its rights to use the word in the article. We note it was in inverted commas. The complainant did not set out how reporting the comment breached any Media Council principles.
There were insufficient grounds to proceed.