New Zealand’s largest news site, Stuff, and its sister newspaper, The Press, broke press guidelines because they have used the same old photograph to illustrate three recent stories about an alcohol ban at rugby football matches.
The rugby team, Linwood Rugby League Rugby Football Club, complained to the New Zealand Media Council about the repeated use of the photo showing fans drinking to accompany stories about the planned ban of alcohol at Christchurch parks. Stuff used the same photo with stories April 11, April 3 and November 2018.
Stuff Canterbury/Press editor Kamala Hayman defended the use of the photograph by noting its caption identified it as a file photo from 2009. However, the Media Council rejected that argument.
iMediaEthics has written to Stuff and the football club. Stuff declined to comment. Our e-mail to the football club bounced back.
The media council noted that the photo was clearly identified as having been taken in 2009, but found “its repeated use could be regarded as an unfair stigmitisation of the club and its supporters.”
“Using the same old file photo to illustrate three different iterations of the same story in such a short time shows little regard was given to the club’s reasonable objection,” the council ruled.