ADVISORY NOTICE: Terrorist Attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand

Case Ref: 208/2019
Friday, 15 March 2019

Publishers are advised to take care when reporting on today’s terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand and to note the statement issued by New Zealand Police this morning.

Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.

IMPRESS advises regulated publishers to take particular note of the public interest, accuracy, children and privacy provisions of the Standards Code when reporting on the incident.

Clause 1: Accuracy
Publishers must take all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy (1.1)
Publishers must always distinguish clearly between statements of fact, conjecture and opinion. (1.2)
Whilst free to be partisan, publishers must not misrepresent or distort the facts (1.4)

Clause 3: Children
Except where there is an exceptional public interest, publishers must only interview, photograph, or otherwise record or publish the words, actions or images of a child under the age of 16 years with the consent of the child or a responsible adult and where this is not detrimental to the safety and well being of the child (3.1)

Clause 7: Privacy
Except where justified by the public interest, publishers must take all reasonable steps not to exacerbate grief or distress through intrusive newsgathering or reporting (7.2)

Publishers are reminded that IMPRESS has powers to take into account failure by a publisher to respect an Advisory Notice in any subsequent investigation or adjudication by IMPRESS.
Please contact IMPRESS if you have any questions regarding this advisory notice at or telephone 020 3325 4288

Ed Procter
Chief Operating Officer