Newshub ‘recklessly misleading’ Pike River video

It’s unusual to see media criticising each other for news coverage like this.

Audrey Young (NZH): Clumsy airing of Pike River video recklessly misleading

The Sunday night airing of footage of a robot in the Piker River Mine drift along with two Mines Rescue personnel was recklessly misleading.

It has almost certainly led to further distress for Pike River families who may have believed something had happened in the drift that had never happened before.

The sequence of footage and commentary left the clear impression that rescuers had gone deep into the drift safely.

It showed a robot going 1.57km into the tunnel, passing a couple of obstacles at least 800m in, breaking down and then being fixed by Mines Rescue personnel deep inside the mine until it came upon a loader and could go no further.

It is possible those running the footage on Newshub didn’t know what they were looking at, and either made assumptions or decided to create an impression.

News media always try to create an impression, especially when they have exclusive material.

Those running the footage on Newshub should have made sure they knew exactly what they were looking at. Their misleading portrayal of the video was either deliberate (and reckless) or incompetent (and reckless).

That worked very well. It left a false impression that Mines Rescue had been far deeper into the mine than anybody had ever known.

But unless the police have lied to Prime Minister Bill English, the devastating truth is that Mines Rescue personnel were only a couple of metres inside the tunnel, working on the robot before setting it off.

As English was able to show at his post-Cabinet press conference, the fact that men had been down the drift before had been widely reported — on November 9, 2012, Newshub (then TV3) along with other media reported experts commissioned by the families had gone down the drift 170m.

But Sunday’s story implied others may have gone as far as 1km down.

That’s the impression I got when I saw that news item.

And it sparked some very emotional and at times inflammatory coverage.

Stuff: Why did the latest Pike River mine footage cause such an uproar?

Since explosions ripped through the Pike River mine on November 19, 2010, families of the 29 men killed have questioned the transparency of investigations into the disaster.

So when NewsHub aired a story on Sunday night showing two Mine Rescue workers allegedly repairing a robot deep inside Pike River mine, north of Greymouth, tempers became flared.

Sonya Rockhouse​, whose son Ben remains in the mine, said the footage was leaked to the families weeks ago. It was the first time she had seen it and families “sifted through it to find this actual footage”.

I have seen claims over the last day or two that families hadn’t seen the footage until Newshub showed it, but this shows that they had already seen the video.

Richard Raymond QC, who represented the families during a Royal Commission into Pike River in October 2012, said he never saw the footage.

The family was told much of the footage “wasn’t terribly different to the extracts they’d been shown” – shots of long dark tunnels, no human activity, Raymond said.

Despite being offered a chance to see all the footage, both Raymond and Smith said no family members took up the offer.

“To receive an extract now, which on the face may be relevant, causes the family concern,” Raymond said.

The mine disaster and events since will have been very difficult for families of dead miners.

This sort of misleading coverage kicked off by Newshub was reckless indeed.

Dead people and grieving families are being used by media for headlines and ratings.

And also by some politicians – Winston Peters has been trying to stir up cover up conspiracy theories in a barely coherent fashion (I heard him speaking on RNZ yesterday).

In many ways Pike River has been a disaster.

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Advances in unmanned technology meant a new entry was on the cards, Smith said.

A meeting last week between families’ representatives, WorkSafe, and Solid Energy was “constructive”, he said.

The Government maintained that manned entry was “too risky”, Smith said.

Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said transparency was important to avoid “conspiracy theories”.

“Coasters want closure.” A re-entry timeframe needed to be set, he said.

Sonya Rockhouse said she felt “very confident” an entry would be made.

“I think we’re in the best position we’ve been in, in six-and-a-half years and I think we’re putting enormous pressure on the Government,” she said.

“This is just the beginning, this is the tip of the iceberg and if they don’t start listening to us and try to meet us somewhere in the middle then this won’t be the last they hear of us on this sort of thing.”

Some families, politicians and media seem intent on continuing this disaster at least until the election – at times recklessly.

Leave a comment

30 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  3rd May 2017

    Of all people Audrey Young knows that there is nothing unusual about the media ‘misleading’. She obviously knows the business she is in always tries to create impressions, especially when they have exclusive material.

    I’m sure she accepts that usually their portrayals are deliberate, usually competent but sometimes incompetent. Is her point of difference or novelty that in this case the media work was ‘reckless’?

    I heard an interview where Richard Raymond stated that families accepted the view of the Police that the total footage they saw “wasn’t terribly different to the extracts they’d been shown.” That’s why what Newshub showed was a surprise.

    Were the families reckless to not view all the footage? Were they reckless to believe the Police views which implied that there was nothing really worth seeing in the rest of the footage?

    Maybe Young is just posturing, all to do with the big media merger. Or is it reckless to suggest that.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd May 2017

      What was reckless was their creating the misleading impression workers with breathing apparatus had gone some considerable distance into the mine & been quite relaxed & able to work on the robot inside it. That was the impression they gave me too.

      Reply
      • Quite so Gezza. Newshub seems happy to chase ratings, at the expense of the feelings of the Pike River families, and at the expense of the truth (in this instance). I would not be surprised if they face a number of BSA complaints for a grossly misleading story, and at the very least apologies should be forthcoming to the families, the Police and the PM.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd May 2017

          Well, either we are all dimwits (and I don’t think that we are) or they gave that impression-I was certainly under the impression that the men had gone a reasonable way in and was surprised that they hadn’t. I suppose that we should have wondered why they bothered to send the robot in as well..

          This is probably why the footage wasn’t made known-it was showing nothing that hadn’t been seen before except the men putting a little roof on the robot with duck tape, which is totally irrelevant to anything. .

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  3rd May 2017

            (*duct tape)

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  3rd May 2017

              I know 😀 But many people say duck tape and that sounds much funnier than duct tape. I thought for years that it WAS called duck tape 😀 After all, sticking plaster is no longer made of plaster.

              I found out what the mystery sound was-a mouse moving a jam jar in the airing cupboard, which made it tap against something and make a metallic sound like water plopping onto metal.

            • Nelly Smickers

               /  3rd May 2017

              Wayne keeps his *duck tape* in the Ute…… at full noise with the doors open, it sucks them in from miles away ❗

            • Gezza

               /  3rd May 2017

              I see mama duck’s just pooped on the flagstone. That’s why I make mine stay over the other side of the fence.

            • Nelly Smickers

               /  3rd May 2017

              You don’t miss much G…..can you see Wayne crouching down behind the *Box Hedge* ❓

            • Gezza

               /  3rd May 2017

              Nup. And I’ve enlarged it too. The green face paint, camo gear, balaclava, & green teeth, are all working well for him – but don’t you get phone calls from curious neighbours & the odd visit from the police checking out reports of a hooded man scting suspiciously on your property?

            • Gezza

               /  3rd May 2017

              The s is too close to the a on my iPad keyboard, imo.

            • Nelly Smickers

               /  3rd May 2017

              They can’t see him either, silly ❗ He’s even given the Mossberg a coat of camo.

              And I know what you mean about the s being too close to the a 😛

            • Gezza

               /  3rd May 2017

              If you’ve got a mossberg he”d be better of cleaning the pool more frequently rather than trying to hide it. How often is he chlorinating the blimmin thing?

  2. George

     /  3rd May 2017

    Our fake news media is working well to run their own agenda.
    Time to wind them up.
    And retrain the lot before the media is allowed to start up again

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  3rd May 2017

      It wasn’t fake in one way, the men and robot were there, but either their interpretation was the result of sloppy thinking or deliberate sensationalism.

      It’s hard to believe that it was a total fabrication, as 3 would know the consequences of doing this.

      But either way, they have at best wasted a lot of people’s time and at worst played on the emotions of those involved for sensationalism and a ‘breaking’ story.

      Reply
  3. artcroft

     /  3rd May 2017

    The media will push for a re-entry as its great for ratings. Of course they’ll demand front row seats to the drama, all the while berating the govt over the cost of the re-entry lobbied for.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd May 2017

      Reply
      • Brown

         /  3rd May 2017

        Step daughter said he doesn’t have a TV face and should be on radio. Wife said his voice is awful so maybe not. I said nothing because if you can’t say anything nice you shouldn’t say anything.

        I find the selective bagging of Trump every day and night on much of NZ media more annoying. ZB was crappy again this morning with the awful Smalley prattling on about all sorts of childish old rubbish with guests. Every bloody day it goes on and on.

        Reply
        • artcroft

           /  3rd May 2017

          You have to admit Trump is a dork. “Honoured to meet Kim Jun Un” can’t decide what provisions he wants in the new Trumpcare bill, but still expects congressmen/women to vote for a bill he may not support himself. Its a joke

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  3rd May 2017

            You need to be careful with your accusations, Arty. Otherwise you and I are heading for conflict resolution at high noon.

            Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd May 2017

      If the government doesn’t want to front foot reentry into Pike River, they must accept the consequences of others setting the agenda. They had their chance.

      Reply
      • But it’s not for the Government to decide on or do the re-entry. Politicians are best kept well away from it all.

        Reply
        • Anonymous Coward

           /  3rd May 2017

          The mine-owners aren’t going to let anyone in there, they may find something that incriminates them.

          Reply
          • I don’t think the mine owners are responsible for the explosions that killed the miners. They only became the owners afterwards.

            Reply
        • Corky

           /  3rd May 2017

          Yes, but the government will have to suspend safety legislation for mine re-entry to proceed They haven’t offered that help.

          Reply
  4. Artcroft, have you been to the USA? In my experience many US people from tthe South in particular use pompous expressions such as “Honoured to meet…” when they don’t actually know the person but arettrying to be formally polite. It is in the idiom! I can recall watching a film of HM The Queen receiving the credentials of the new US Ambassador dressed in tails and carrying top hat whose flowery speech and obvious determination to be accurate in his every statement came over as pompous as all hell. When he was finished and backed off down the red carpet and bowing several times he went out the double doors to the throne room which closed. Where-apon QE2, Prince Phillip and the other Royals broke down with giggles and laughter! I will never forget the lesson, ever!

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd May 2017

      Tbh, that’s rather poor form, don’t you think Bj❓ Poor peasant was obviously just trying to observe the proper decorum.

      Reply
    • artcroft

       /  3rd May 2017

      But Trump isn’t from the south. He’s from Dorkville and thinks a tyrant who kept power by executing his uncle with an anti-aircraft weapon is deserving of respect and esteem.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  3rd May 2017

        Patrick Gower can’t help his face-he was born with that-but he CAN and SHOULD help his expressions and face-pulling (as well as his sour and smugly know-all ways of speaking) . I bet that I am not alone in wanting to smack his face, He has the oddest teeth-very obviously capped-they look as if he’s glued them onto his own teeth.

        He looks even worse in real life. I will always regret not knocking him off the chair that he was standing on….

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  3rd May 2017

          Wrong place, too bad.

          I am very surprised at the Royal family being so rude, especially on camera-they must have encountered pomposity before. Bad form, indeed,

          Reply

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