When the news about the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left at least 49 people dead on Thursday night came to light, I started watching Twitter. Two surprising themes were highlighted: people urged their social media followers to protect themselves from accidentally watching an extremely graphic 17 minute video of the attack, and separately, locals from New Zealand and Australia condemned the local channel Sky News Australia from intentionally sharing parts of that same video with its viewers.
Now, Sky New Zealand has taken a drastic step to eliminate Sky News Australia from its over-the-air transmissions. "We support our New Zealand compatriots and have made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform until we are confident that the distressing images of yesterday's events will not be shared," Sky NZ wrote in a post since. . The deleted tweet archived by BuzzFeed .
Later, Sky NZ changed its message drastically indicating that the network is simply "working with our colleagues" on Sky News Australia "to ensure coverage does not compromise ongoing investigations", and suggested which was a joint decision with Sky News Australia to withdraw air coverage.
We support our New Zealand colleagues and are working with our colleagues at @SkyNewsAust to ensure that the coverage does not compromise ongoing research in New Zealand. We made the decision on Friday with Sky News Australia to replace their live news with the sport.
– SKY New Zealand (@SKYNZ) March 16, 2019
But that does not match the statements of a Sky New Zealand spokesperson for the New Zealand Herald in the Original tweet line: "We made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform while displaying disturbing images of the shots to avoid causing any anguish to our viewers, it will stay out of the air until we are sure that the images will not be shared "
The change in messaging is especially strange because, as far as I can tell, the two Skys are not exactly colleagues. Sky News Australia was part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire from 2016, and still appears as such on the News Corp Australia brands page, while News Corp sold its stake in New Zealand's Sky Network Television in 2013. There was a subsequent one However, an acquisition that was not widely covered?
New Zealand police said last night that they had been doing everything possible to eliminate images of the terrorist attack from the Internet, a very difficult task, and reminded citizens today that in New Zealand Zeeland, the distribution of a "objectionable publication" is a crime:
We would also like to remind the public that it is a crime to distribute a reprehensible publication and that it can be punishable by imprisonment.
Once again, I want to assure the public that a large police presence remains in the city for the time being.
– New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
The guide "to that law shows that it carries fines of up to 14 years in prison or a fine of up to $ 200,000 for an organization. But that law probably has nothing to do with Sky NZ's decision to get Sky News Australia out of the air, because there seems to be a built-in exception for broadcasters. (I'm not a lawyer.)
The New Zealand Herald reports that news coverage of Sky News Australia has been replaced, for now, with Fox Sports instead.