Jones v Television New Zealand (16/003)

Content: “Boy kisses father goodbye before blowing himself up in ISIS propaganda video.” 21 February 2016

Publisher: Television New Zealand, ONE News Now website

Complainant: M. Jones

Outcome: No Grounds to proceed

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The Chairman accepted the Complainant was offended by the content of the article as in their view it was inappropriate to promote the material on an online platform at all.

The preliminary comment from TVNZ said the story reported an issue of international significance and described the content of the video so that viewers could decide whether to view the video. TVNZ said the footage was described in the context of being propaganda and the video itself was preceded by a warning which stated “Warning content may disturb.”

In considering whether the content was presented in a way that was likely to cause panic, unwarranted alarm or undue distress, the Chairman held the content was simply reporting news and current affairs which were of high public interest. The Chairman held, that objectively, the content of the article and the video were unlikely to cause unwarranted distress to most readers.

Accordingly, the Chairman ruled the ONE News Now content met the requirements of Standard 5 and there was no breach of the Code of Standards and therefore, no grounds for the complaint to proceed.

Chairman’s Ruling: No Grounds to Proceed

Date of Ruling: 29 February 2016