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Horse Protest reporting Unbalanced


Hesi
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Horse racing protest article was one-sided

9 Apr, 2020 5:00am
 2 minutes to read
Photo / File
Photo / File
NZ Herald
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Media Council has upheld a complaint against the Whanganui Chronicle's coverage of animal rights activists' plans for a "horse racing kills" protest against the Wanganui Jockey Club's Summer Raceday in January.

The story reported on a horse needing to be euthanised after falling at the track the previous year and that some 2500 horses died each year as a result of racing.

Thoroughbred Racing New Zealand complained the article was unfair and unbalanced as no opposing views were sought and the accuracy of statements was not tested.

The Media Council says the print version of the story offered no indication that any of the information provided was tested or that any attempt was made to seek the view of people representing the racing industry. The online version was little better as it was some five hours after the stories were published early on January 8 before comment was sought from the jockey club or NZTR to where it was referred. At that stage the online story was edited to remove figures related to the numbers of race related horse deaths and slaughter numbers. Lines were also belatedly added saying comment had been sought.

 

It is not clear that the figures were inaccurate. The number of race-related fatalities is in line with NZTR reported fatalities, but no information has been offered to the Media Council to support or contest the claim that 2500 die each year as a result of horse racing.

NZTR chose not to make a detailed rebuttal but the story did not have to rest there. Animal welfare is a matter of considerable public interest and rather than shutting down the story the Chronicle could have done further investigation to explore the issues.

However, it is clear that there was a lack of fairness and balance in the way this story was handled. It was one-sided. In correspondence with the NZTR the Chronicle acknowledged it failed to seek balance but undermined claims to transparency by failing to advise readers of mistakes in the way it reported this article.

Media Council Principle 1 states that publications should be bound at all times by accuracy, fairness and balance and should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers by commission or omission. In articles of controversy or disagreement, a fair voice must be given to the opposition view.

The full Media Council decision is at www.mediacouncil.org.nz.

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1 minute ago, Hesi said:

Horse racing protest article was one-sided

9 Apr, 2020 5:00am
 2 minutes to read
Photo / File
Photo / File
NZ Herald
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Media Council has upheld a complaint against the Whanganui Chronicle's coverage of animal rights activists' plans for a "horse racing kills" protest against the Wanganui Jockey Club's Summer Raceday in January.

The story reported on a horse needing to be euthanised after falling at the track the previous year and that some 2500 horses died each year as a result of racing.

Thoroughbred Racing New Zealand complained the article was unfair and unbalanced as no opposing views were sought and the accuracy of statements was not tested.

The Media Council says the print version of the story offered no indication that any of the information provided was tested or that any attempt was made to seek the view of people representing the racing industry. The online version was little better as it was some five hours after the stories were published early on January 8 before comment was sought from the jockey club or NZTR to where it was referred. At that stage the online story was edited to remove figures related to the numbers of race related horse deaths and slaughter numbers. Lines were also belatedly added saying comment had been sought.

 

It is not clear that the figures were inaccurate. The number of race-related fatalities is in line with NZTR reported fatalities, but no information has been offered to the Media Council to support or contest the claim that 2500 die each year as a result of horse racing.

NZTR chose not to make a detailed rebuttal but the story did not have to rest there. Animal welfare is a matter of considerable public interest and rather than shutting down the story the Chronicle could have done further investigation to explore the issues.

However, it is clear that there was a lack of fairness and balance in the way this story was handled. It was one-sided. In correspondence with the NZTR the Chronicle acknowledged it failed to seek balance but undermined claims to transparency by failing to advise readers of mistakes in the way it reported this article.

Media Council Principle 1 states that publications should be bound at all times by accuracy, fairness and balance and should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers by commission or omission. In articles of controversy or disagreement, a fair voice must be given to the opposition view.

The full Media Council decision is at www.mediacouncil.org.nz.

Why is the Herald even allowed to operate then

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