Media Watch last night covered the broadcasts of NZ news events, suggesting some networks went too far in the vision they broadcast.
Broadcasts have attracted hefty commentary and are now the subject of an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
Several networks responded to questions raised by ABC.
Craig McMurtrie, Executive Editor, ABC News:
We decided we could report this shocking story effectively without providing a platform for the
graphic video or manifesto.
Craig McPherson, Director of News & Public Affairs:
Our teams have been meticulous in treating this heinous act with care and sensitivity while at the
same time giving our viewers the information required. The greater media issue here is the
cleaning up of the cesspits that can be Youtube and Facebook where anyone can put anything
unchallenged, unfiltered. No-one appears accountable or responsible for allowing this lunatic the
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.
Paul Whittaker, Sky News Australia CEO:
I would firstly, and most importantly, like to extend my deepest sympathy to the victims, their
families and all New Zealanders following the appalling and tragic events that took place in
Christchurch on Friday.
At this time of great sadness, I am disappointed that we are compelled to correct mistruths
surrounding our coverage of the events.
Some media reports wrongly state that SKY in NZ has withdrawn our live news feed because of
This is not correct.
Sky News Australia provides a live simulcast into New Zealand on the SKY television platform.
On Friday as the live events began to unfold, we contacted our colleagues at SKY in NZ to alert
them to the risks of broadcasting coverage from Australia and its potential to compromise the NZ
investigations and legal process.
With SKY NZ’s agreement, we took the pre-emptive and precautionary step to switch our live news feed to sports coverage early Friday evening to ensure any live coverage or commentary taking place in Australia, outside of the NZ jurisdiction, does not impact the unfolding events in NZ.
On Friday, in line with other Australian broadcasters, we ran heavily-edited and carefully selected video that featured no vision from inside the mosque, no shootings and no victims. At no stage did we feature the live vision.
Contrary to some reports, we ceased running any vision on Sky News Live from early Saturday
morning, unlike other networks who continued to do so.
Sky News Australia acted responsibly and prudently to replace the live news service in NZ as soon as we were able to.