News programmes criticised for showing NZ gunfire

Viewers were angry that news programmes showed too much of the "live streaming" footage recorded by Christchurch shooter, and they weren't holding back.

News programmes have been slammed for showing footage filmed by an Australian charged with murder following the massacre of 49 people in New Zealand.

Disturbing footage shows a gun firing inside and outside a Christchurch mosque. NZ Police urged media not to give it airtime but it ran on Australian television on Friday and Saturday.

Weekend Today opened yesterday with excerpts of the dramatic scenes at the top of its show, which were uploaded to social media platforms.

Viewers were outraged, with hundreds of comments slamming the show on Facebook.

I’ve just switched onto Today and am disturbed and disgusted that channel 9 would allow and condone showing some of the live footage from yesterday’s massacre. My daughter is confused as to what she just witnessed and I have had to explain exactly what she had watched- needless to say, she is upset that anyone would show that on television and we’ve changed the channel. I will no longer be watching Today, this showing of sensational journalism is demeaning and sick. My thoughts are with family and friends of the victims and anyone else who had the bad luck of tuning in to Today this morning. You should all be ashamed. — feeling disgusted.

I definitely WONT be tuning in if you continue to show that horrendous footage – NZ police and officials and countless others have asked the media to not show it – yet it continues – have some respect for the victims, their families and the wider community-PLEASE TAKE IT DOWN


FFS Take this footage down now FB… We dont need to see this. From a from a family living in Chch!!!

Unbelievable … why is this allowed so disrespectful … take it down!

Why are you showing his coverage!!!!!! ?????Our Prime Minister & all media have urged people not to share or view the coverage. Show some respect!

Why have you put this atrocious vision up of the gunman’s viewpoint??

I live in new Zealand plz take this down u are being so disgusting showing this clip over and over have so respect 4 the lost of life

Was fairly shocked & disgusted to see this footage on my newsfeed this morning. NZ police & Prime Minister have repeatedly urged people not to watch that footage & NZ media have shown the utmost respect for that request & declined to air it. I don’t know how much more of the footage you are going to air but I certainly won’t be tuning in to find out – what you’ve shown in your promo is enough to ensure I won’t be watching your show again & will no longer follow you on fb. Incredibly disrespectful.

TODAY why on earth are you showing the perpetrators own video images, it’s a disgrace that you are are doing so, just what he wanted yet other news channels are showing respect and not airing. Have some common sense and take it down

A Nine spokesperson told TV Tonight, “We elected to show a small segment of the footage but certainly did not show any graphic vision. Our footage stopped well before any violent images.”

Both Seven News and Nine News are understood to have screened elements of the man’s “live streaming” vision on Friday night.

Meanwhile SKY New Zealand also made the decision to remove SKY News Australia from its platform.


A SKY News Australia spokesperson told TV Tonight, “Sky News Australia provides a live feed into New Zealand on the SKY television platform.

“As the live rolling events of the Christchurch shooting unfolded, an editorial decision was made by Sky News Australia to offer sports programming to SKY NZ in place of Sky News Australia’s live feed to ensure any footage or reporting did not compromise the ongoing investigations taking place in New Zealand.

“Sky News Australia acted responsibly and prudently in replacing the service as soon as it was able to early yesterday evening after consulting with SKY NZ management.”

Yet while the vision caused an uproar in NZ, SKY News maintains it ran heavily edited footage that did not show vision inside the mosque, the shootings or the victims “in line with other broadcasters.”

30 Responses

  1. All I’m reading is a bunch of excuses from the media. I was really sickened that channel 9 actually showed a news story about the man’s childhood! I was so angry that I threw my remote at the tv. They are giving him what they want! And it’s not just channel 9 its all of them. They are showing too much of that sick evil man and they should be ashamed of themselves. Just to get the story and to get the ratings.

  2. I concur. There was no “this footage may distress some viewers” I do not play video games, but that is what it felt like! No censorship or respect for viewers who do not wish to see senseless violence, let alone the disrespect for the lives lost or other exposed to similar past traumas!

  3. News programs these days have become Hollywood movies. Moving backgrounds, smack-in-the-eye “Live” transitions, an apparent need to plaster “Live” over everything, even when it’s replayed for the sixth time and is no longer “live”. Then a need to send an autocue reader to NZ to stand outside something, with kids and bogans jumping and waving in the background, “reporting”, or rather reading what’s been written in Sydney. Blurred face on Sat. after his face and identity had been broadcast over and over. Add a need to stake out a house in Grafton, where he apparently lived until some 8 years ago. Who lives in the house now featured all over the media? He’s in court making some sign with his hands so let’s broadcast a close-up. The media gave him all of the notoriety and publicity he was seeking. Disgraceful ‘reporting’ especially by 7 and 9.

  4. I am of the view that this type of footage should not be censored. These events are confronting and distressing. People should be confronted and distressed by it, that emotional response can fuel the response to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I don’t see any good from an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ response.
    Faces can be blurred out of respect to the victims, but I think there are some families of victims that would be prepared to release confronting vision of their relatives if if helped the community be confronted by the impact of hate and racism. That is a common understanding in other issues like road safety and drug issues.
    The real damage is done when the media shows the terorists face, name, gives us their whole life story. People that perform these acts are motivated by the notoriety, why does the media serve it to them on a platter every time? Keep their identity covered…

    1. I would like to respectfully disagree, because what the shooter wanted was to install fear and hate into everyone, thats why he himself live streamed it. The fact is this was the act of one person, and we shouldn’t let his extreme actions cause fear for everyone, because thats just what he wants. I also think it is just out of respect to the victims to censor the footage, especially before you have a chance to obtain their permission (but regardless, I think its inappropriate to show).

    2. That is not your decision to make from the comfort of your loungeroom right now.

      The whole of NZ has pleaded for the footage not to be broadcast. That should be respected.

      Future documentaries can wrestle with the ethics of showing clips after the families have had time to heal.

  5. Thank you for calling out these news organisations. It is appalling that they totally disrespected the victims and their families and the NZ Police and Government. For what purpose do they see this as being newsworthy and in the public’s interest? I fear a lot of the Australian media are becoming more like News of the World. Very few ethics and all for as much sensationalism as they can muster. We in Chch do not want this vision viewed. It just enables the enablers.

  6. Something has gone very wrong when Sky in NZ is yanking its Australian stablemate.
    Just a deplorable action to show it against the express wishes of the NZ police (and against just general decency and good taste). There’s a broader debate to be had about our media’s involvement in normalising extreme right wing views leading up to this tragedy, but this clearly isn’t the forum.

    1. Actually the article says that Sky Australia removed the coverage from Sky NZ……“As the live rolling events of the Christchurch shooting unfolded, an editorial decision was made by Sky News Australia to offer sports programming to SKY NZ in place of Sky News Australia’s live feed to ensure any footage or reporting did not compromise the ongoing investigations taking place in New Zealand. Sky News Australia acted responsibly and prudently in replacing the service as soon as it was able to early yesterday evening after consulting with SKY NZ management.”

  7. In my mind why are the media showing this kind of footage, it is only giving more cred to the people who do this.
    It may be argued by the media that the Australian public need to be informed, inform but do not make it a sensational piece of footage. I turned off everything and listened to the radio.

    1. With respect I’m not sure you have thought this through. Screening it signals to the next terrorist that if they film it they will be given airtime. In the case of SKY News in NZ it is not only disrespectful to grieving families, but it is legally dangerous. Police asked it not to be distributed.

      1. I remember a very long time ago such vision would only be allowed to screened as frozen stills, if at all. Being the vision would not ordinarily be given classification by the old censorship board as it contains actual killing. This vision would therefore not even screen as a scheduled program, what gives News the right to screen it whether in full or edited? Screening even edited vision just gives publicity and satisfaction to the perpetrator and hate mongers out there. It should never have been screened in the first place.

    1. They also shows footage of him joking about what he was going to do and firing on the street in the 6pm news, at which point I turned the TV off. This where the act needs to be changed. The ACMA can either tear up their licence (which will never happen) or give them a token fine, which Nine doesn’t care about. Nine’s broadcast licence should be suspend for the month of April, that would make them pay attention.

  8. I didn’t see it on any news broadcasts but a Facebook “friend” had it on his timeline. It was covered but I clicked on it (in retrospect I shouldn’t have) – it looked just like a first person shooter video game until I realised what it was and shut it down. It has since been removed and I have blocked him, he has always put up anti-Muslim posts but this was the last straw.

    1. I saw the same thing, and it was so regrettable. Even yesterday I was still disturbed by the footage. Social Media companies need to have strategies in place to instantly un-broadcast ‘live’ footage like this one. Thank goodness, I haven’t seen any of the main news service show the full horrific scenes. Also to point out, I saw Anna Coren interviewed on CNN and was describing the streams of footage, her anger and emotion describing it all I thought was something to highlight.

  9. I’m of the belief that we shouldn’t show any of this stuff… or do any ”profiles” on the terrorists and their backgrounds… or any of their manifestos/thoughts, etc… I don’t even think we should repeat their names… do not make them famous or amplify their ideas… that’s exactly what they feed upon…
    Make them nameless and faceless and take away the attention from them

    1. You can’t make them nameless, it is a matter of public record important for the public debate about what happened and what to do in response. But they certainly shouldn’t show any video and give him the celebrity he was craving and make him a hero in the dark corners of the the internet. Profiting from it was sick.

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