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Newshub fake news ‘anti-vax grandpa’ story complaint upheld

Newshub news

The Media Council has upheld a complaint against state-subsidized legacy media outlet Newshub for spreading fake news about an ‘anti-vax grandpa’.

A Newshub story with the headline, ‘Anti-vax bride’s grandpa dies after she and Covid-positive groom continue with wedding despite ‘textbook symptoms‘, was published in the ‘Health’ section of its website on 26 July.

The story claimed the grandpa had died following an outbreak of COVID at the wedding. The story was based on a Reddit by a person claiming to have close connections with the newlyweds. The Reddit also claimed the family were likely to be anti-vax, racist and Trump supporters. Official Ministry of Health COVID guidelines were also included in the original Newshub article.

A member of the public complained about the story.

The Media Council decision found Newshub failed to adhere to professional or ethical standards by taking a dubious story off a website and simply repeating it. Newshub did nothing to establish if the Reddit was true or that it was accurate, fair and balanced:

It is not uncommon for news organisations to write stories based on social media posts but usually the facts are not in doubt and are able to be verified. This was not the case with this story. The writer has taken a social media post of dubious origins and effectively reverse engineered what they claim is a news story out of it. The piece was run in Newshub’s Health section alongside robust health stories which throws the flimsy nature of this story into stark relief. The Media Council is bound to maintain the highest professional standards. Many readers casually reading this story will have been misled into thinking it was a genuine item of health news, which plainly it was not.’

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Irrespective of future decisions the Media Council makes it is great to see Newshub getting a slapping over that nonsense. Let’s just chalk it up as a result for the good guys. 😁

  2. Lol, thanks a lot there MEDIA COUNCIL 👍

    Pretending to throw us some actual ethics every once in a while in order to maintain that air of legitimacy.

    Where are you on the other 10-12 fake stories each day that site false and algorithmically manipulated social media posts and snarky New York Times hit pieces? Where are you on the utterly laughable, far left political propaganda that always seems to be quietly walked back a few days later? Where are you on the near-religious promotion of a medical product that is now PROVEN to fill people’s hearts and veins with blood clots and their organs with cancer? Of all the despicable things Newshub journalists have done and lied about over the past three years, a reddit post hardly even warrants a chuckle.

    Maybe just shut up and go away, you complete and utter con artists.You’re like an absurd council of twits from some discarded Monty Python skit.

  3. Don’t forget ‘Stuffed’ ‘Media’…and TVNZ / RNZ.
    And-don’t forget who and what owns the media outlets. (hint; they wear small skull caps and demand vast sums of money under Holocaust guilt transferrence!

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