UK tabloids including the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail initially published and then deleted propaganda from the accused attacker who killed at least 50 people at two New Zealand mosques last week.
Press regulators in Australia and the UK have received complaints about coverage as well, iMediaEthics has learned.
UK press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation received at least 40 complaints over UK press coverage of the attacks, an IPSO spokesperson told iMediaEthics. IPSO provided iMediaEthics with the breakdown:
DailyMail.com – 15/03/2019 – At least 49 people are killed and 48 injured in multiple Christchurch mosque massacres involving an Australian terrorist, 28, who live-streamed himself opening fire on worshippers – as a man in his 20s is charged with murder – 20 complaints
DailyMail.com – 15/03/2019 – Evil terrorist’s twisted manifesto: Right-wing mosque shooter posted 73-page rant foreshadowing massacre just hours before the bloodbath and said he was ‘inspired’ by Norway mass murderer Anders Breivik – 2 complaints
DailyMail.com – 15/03/2019 – ‘Let’s get this party started’: Chilling 17-minute video shows Australian white supremacist mosque shooter, 28, dressed in combat fatigues calmly shoot dozens of defenceless worshippers during Friday prayers – 8 complaints
Thesun.co.uk – 15/03/2019 – LIVESTREAM TERROR New Zealand mosque shootings – White supremacist gunmen video live murder of 49 at two Christchurch mosques – 3 complaints
mirror.co.uk – 15/03/2019 – Christchurch mosque shootings: First picture of ‘gunman’ Brenton Tarrant – 4 complaints
mirror.co.uk – 15/03/2019 – New Zealand gunman paid sick homage to mass killers who targeted Muslim worshippers – 3 complaints
An Australian Press Council spokesperson told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “The Press Council has received a small number of complaints about use of livestream images and video from the recent tragic events in Christchurch.”
The Daily Mirror published a video of the shooting recorded by the gunman, but then its publisher’s group editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley tweeted “we should not have carried this” because it breaks “our policy relating to terrorist propaganda videos.”
The Daily Mirror also published a front-page photo of the shooter as a child and called him an “angelic boy who grew into an evil far-right mass killer” in a large font headline. (Press Gazette noted that later editions of the print Daily Mirror changed the word “angelic” to “little.”) iMediaEthics has written to the Mirror to ask why and when it changed the headline, how long the video was published, and how many complaints it has received.
Al Jazeera noted two Australian news outlets depicted the gunman as “working class.” According to Al Jazeera:
“The front page of the West Australian showed images of the attack and reported Tarrant’s description of himself as: ‘Just an ordinary White man, 28 years old. Born in Australia to a working class, low income family.’
The page was shared in a now-deleted tweet by the paper’s senior editor Anthony De Ceglie, reported the Guardian.
Similarly, the Australian Courier Mail called the suspect a ‘working class madman’, while the Herald Sun‘s front page read: ‘Livestream slaughter’. “
The Daily Mail published the manifesto by the gunman but then removed it and said it was posted “in error,” NBC News reported.
Sky News New Zealand temporarily stopped broadcasting Sky News Australia because it was broadcasting video of attack posted by the shooter, the Guardian reported.