Louisa Wall: “The Media have a responsibility to do no harm”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced yesterday that she is is chairing a meeting in Paris next month in a attempt to find a way to prevent terrorists from being able to social media to promote and publicise terrorism.

Labour MP Louisa Wall on Facebook yesterday widened her focus to ‘The Media’:

Kia Ora. The Media and those that transmit their political content and other political content generated for these public mediums, are defined as The Fourth Estate or fourth power that refers to the press and news media both in explicit capacity of advocacy and implicit ability to frame political issues. It is time that it was formally recognized as part of a political system, as it wields significant indirect social influence.

This would impose a Duty of Care on The Media – a formalisation of the social contract, the implicit responsibilities requiring adherence to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others.

The Media have a responsibility to do no harm. Kia Kaha PM Jacinda Ardern for the meeting on May 15 – two months after the Christchurch terror attacks which claimed the lives of 50 people – which aims to see world leaders and tech company bosses agree to the “Christchurch call” – a pledge to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

Linked to NZ Herald: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to lead global attempt to shutdown social media terrorism

This prompted a reaction from some journalists.

Andrea Vance (@avancenz):

Uh, what? Bringing media under control of Parliament … is this govt policy ?

(Facebook post image included)

Liked by SamSachdeva, Hamish McNeilly, Hamish Rutherford, Stacey Kirk, Laura McQuillan, Richard Boock, Paul Harper, Kim Baker Wilson, Tracey Watkins, John Campbell (all media/journalists) plus Chris Bishop (MP).

Two lawyers add their views:

Graeme Edgeler (@GraemeEdgeler):

It sounds bad, but I kind of feel most of these things are already present, certainly for online and broadcast media anyway. Duty of care is not a ridiculous paraphrase of the duties on media in some defamation defences, and under the HDCA.

Stephen Franks (@franks_lawyer):

Without the defences of truth and honest opinion it is completely sinister and as far from the law that protected both freedom and honest public discourse as we could get.

Graeme Edgeler:

I was thinking, for example, of the defamation defence of responsible communication on a matter public interest as provided in Durie v Gardiner [2018] NZCA 278.

Stephen Frank:

I understand that and am very conscious of NZ judges massive indifference to the vital role of liability for lies, as a condition/corollary of free speech, but your comment is still misleading rationalisation of sinister nonsense from Ardern and her fumbling Minister of Justice.

That is widening somewhat from what Wall posted.

Despite the concerns shown by journalists I don’t think Louisa Wall has much sway in Labour let alone in Government. She is ranked 23 (Clare Curran is 22), despite being an MP for 11 years, a term and a bit from 2008 as a list MP, and since 2011 as MP for Manurewa (2017 majority 8,374).

Leave a comment

33 Comments

  1. alloytoo

     /  25th April 2019

    The first responsibility of the news media is to hold the Government to account.

    Social media has no such agenda, and doesn’t have a formal editorial structure.

    It would be very dangerous to confuse the two.

    Sounds like Louisa is tackling the pesky free speech by controlling the editorial content of the news media, and imposing the same on social media.

    Reply
    • Ray

       /  25th April 2019

      I do like Tim Murphy’s idea that the same law require the politicians also have a duty of care and be required to keep their promises!
      We all know how well that would work.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  25th April 2019

        They do have an accountability measure …you may have heard of it – its called elections

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  25th April 2019

          Yes but that’s subject to final decisions being made every 3 years by complete & utter fracking idiots. Or at least, that’s what I gather from reading blogs? 🤔

          Reply
          • Trevors_elbow

             /  25th April 2019

            Yep that Gezza character is a complete…..how does he get to vote!

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  25th April 2019

              The same way the elbow does, I imagine. If the elbow votes & doesn’t just spend the day bending the elbow instead, like several thousand others, it seems?

          • Trevors_elbow

             /  25th April 2019

            The Elbow elbows… what else do elbows do?0

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  25th April 2019

              🤔 Well, if it elbows the wrong person in the right place at the wrong time, it can be the source of considerable agony when it hits the floor before the rest of the body it’s attached to does? 😐

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  25th April 2019

    A Lefty idiot ejaculates.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  25th April 2019

      Only for the community good, Alan. She derives no personal pleasure from her expression.
      Her claim to fame..she’s gay and was a Silver Fern.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  25th April 2019

      at least he’s not…premature…eh..Al!

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  25th April 2019

        Careful. Your pronouns can get you arrested in some places

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  25th April 2019

          She has done more than be gay and play basketball, as anyone with an interest in politics would know.

          Reply
  3. adamsmith1922

     /  25th April 2019

    Another illiberal progressive seeking to dictate what we see,hear,think and speak cloaked as usual in a figleaf of concern.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  25th April 2019

      Rubbish . Its already happened , the suppression of the news for 5 years that a NZ Red Cross nurse was held captive by ISIS.
      On a similar situation courts supress the publication of information all the time. Both before ,during and after cases and thats only where the court has been ‘open’ Other times the courts act secretly where no media is permitted.

      In UK they have a similar thing called the D notices which is used more often for ‘security’ reasons.legally they have no status but its very rare for them to be ignored by ‘national media’

      Amazing to see the fools who think this is a ‘new thing’

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  25th April 2019

        More amazing to see fools who think it is a good thing.

        Reply
      • David

         /  25th April 2019

        You miss the point and your analogies totally miss it. The nurses life could have been ended spectacularly if her identity was made widespread and the media voluntarily kept it secret not a government demanding nothing was published or the media would be prosecuted.
        Courts suppression has never reached to the point of someones honestly held opinion is considered injurious to public safety to a degree more restrictive than current hate speech laws and suppressed as a backdoor way of the state shutting down free speech.
        D notices in the UK need to be genuine or their very robust media would spray it all over the front pages and they certainly wouldnt obide by one that was free speech restricting as opposed to a genuine threat to safety.

        Reply
        • Missing the point is Duker’s specialty.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  25th April 2019

            Someone’s right to life is greater than our need to know who and where she is.

            As I remember it, the UK press broadcast Prince Harry’s whereabouts when he was in the army, making him and his regiment a target.

            Reply
  4. Trevors_Elbow

     /  25th April 2019

    Louisa… the CCCP fell decades ago, you missed your time to shine…

    the 4th Estate: ‘It is time that it was formally recognized as part of a political system’. Its bad enough as it is – but Ms Wall wants total control and suppression of anything she deems unworthy it would seem by that statement of making the Media PART of the political system … Stalin would be so proud and doubtless the CCP leadership are smiling when they see statements like that from a politician in the so called free West…

    Statist and borderline Communist

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  25th April 2019

      really?
      have you lived in a bubble, newspapers never were open slather. Talkback has the delete button . Social media deletes tons of stuff that are outside its own guildelines.

      Reply
      • Trevors_elbow

         /  25th April 2019

        Ever thought you miss the point all the time Duker? Why do you bother with the pointless redirection attempts…..

        Reply
  5. Blazer

     /  25th April 2019

    first and foremost the media wants to make profits.

    Ask Rupert Murdoch about ‘winning the hearts and minds’.

    Reply
  6. Gezza

     /  25th April 2019

    Excellent gif from Andrea Vance 😀

    Reply
  7. Pink David

     /  25th April 2019

    “The Media have a responsibility to do no harm”

    The media have a responsibility to tell the truth and the truth will often do harm. They, of course, completely fail in this responsibility, but non the less, the idea the media is not to do harm is completely asinine.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  25th April 2019

      She did not say that that was their only duty. I agree that they should not do harm; this seems reasonable.

      Reply
  8. Pink David

     /  25th April 2019

    I very much like the quote on Tim Murphy’s twitter page:

    You can strangle the rooster but the dawn will still come’ (KYS)

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  25th April 2019

      That’s a bit dicey. The way things are, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if that tweet’s already been fired off to the SPCA with a request for them to check him out. 😳

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  25th April 2019

      Raro has the world’s worst rooster timekeepers. They start announcing dawn from approx 11:30pm. Worst is when they go off right outside your bedroom.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  25th April 2019

        There’s one near me who should have gone to Specsavers; he goes on and off all day.

        Reply
  9. sorethumb

     /  25th April 2019

    Who is going to do the BSA complaint. TV 2 has Crocodile Dundee 1 and 2. Is homophobic and transphobic?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  25th April 2019

      Garn. Give it a bash, thumbsta. Report back?

      Reply
      • sorethumb

         /  26th April 2019

        Public decency – wouldn’t have made the grade
        Denigration and discrimination – If a comedy not likely to make the grade either.

        Reply

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