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Sky New Zealand pulls Sky News Australia off air over Christchurch massacre coverage Sky New Zealand stops airing Sky News Australia after Christchurch massacre coverage
(3 days later)
Sky New Zealand has pulled fellow broadcaster Sky News Australia off air until the channel stops broadcasting clips from the Christchurch mosque shooter’s Facebook live stream. Sky New Zealand stopped airing fellow broadcaster Sky News Australia in the wake of the Christchurch mosque massacre.
In a tweet posted on Saturday morning, Sky New Zealand, an independently-owned broadcaster, said it had decided to remove the Australian 24-hour news channel from its platform because of the distressing footage. In a tweet posted on Saturday morning, Sky New Zealand, an independently-owned broadcaster, said it had decided to remove the Australian 24-hour news channel from its platform because it was airing distressing footage from the shooter’s Facebook live stream.
“We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and have made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform until we are confident that the distressing footage from yesterday’s events will not be shared.” But Sky NZ subsequently deleted the tweet, and on Sunday the Sky Australia chief executive, Paul Whittaker, said the decision had been taken jointly by the two stations “to ensure any live coverage or commentary taking place in Australia, outside of the NZ jurisdiction, does not impact the unfolding events in NZ”.
Despite a plea from New Zealand police, Rupert Murdoch’s Australian pay-TV channel was among the broadcasters that chose to screen Go Pro footage shot by a man who slaughtered 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday. Sky NZ initially declined to confirm why the feed had been changed. But on Wednesday evening, in response to repeated requests from Guardian Australia, it said in a statement the decision was taken “in consultation” with Sky News Australia, and the feed had subsequently been restored.
“The decision to replace the channel on Sky NZ was done in consultation with Sky News Australia on Friday night to ensure any live coverage or commentary taking place in Australia, outside of the NZ jurisdiction, did not compromise the NZ investigations and legal process,” the statement said.
“We amended our public statements on Saturday when we realised our comments were being interpreted as SKY [NZ] having acted unilaterally, and we clarified that the reason for the removal was to not compromise police investigations and the legal process in NZ.
“We have been working closely with Sky News Australia to address these matters, and we were pleased to be in a position to put the channel back up today.”
The statement did not explain why the initial tweet was posted on Saturday, if the two broadcasters had agreed to replace the channel on Friday.
Despite a plea from New Zealand police, Rupert Murdoch’s Australian pay-TV channel was among the broadcasters that chose to screen Go Pro footage shot by the man who slaughtered 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.
“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” the police said in a statement. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” the police said in a statement. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”
Brenton Tarrant was alleged to have filmed a 17-minute Facebook video which included his drive to the mosque, his arsenal of weapons and graphic scenes of his murderous rampage. Media organisations that have used the film stopped the video as he entered the mosque.Brenton Tarrant was alleged to have filmed a 17-minute Facebook video which included his drive to the mosque, his arsenal of weapons and graphic scenes of his murderous rampage. Media organisations that have used the film stopped the video as he entered the mosque.
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have removed the footage but new copies are constantly being uploaded.Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have removed the footage but new copies are constantly being uploaded.
Sky News Australia has been broadcasting the footage repeatedly, sparking anger on social media. It was also shown via Sky News Australia on screens in Qantas airways lounges at airports. Qantas has been approached for comment. Sky News Australia broadcast the footage repeatedly in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, sparking anger on social media.It was also shown via Sky News Australia on screens in Qantas airways lounges at airports. Qantas has been approached for comment.
A spokeswoman for Sky New Zealand told Guardian Australia the company was in negotiations with Sky News Australia as to when the channel would be restored to the platform. A spokeswoman for Sky New Zealand told Guardian Australia on Saturday the channel had been removed because it did not want the footage aired.
“We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and do not wish to show the distressing footage that has been shared at this time. We will resume service when available,” a social media spokeswoman said on Twitter.“We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and do not wish to show the distressing footage that has been shared at this time. We will resume service when available,” a social media spokeswoman said on Twitter.
“All other news channels are still available. BBC World and CNN are available on SKY GO.”“All other news channels are still available. BBC World and CNN are available on SKY GO.”
We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and have made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform until we are confident that the distressing footage from yesterday’s events will not be shared #KiaKahaChristchurch https://t.co/Srh5E9Oilm
Sky New Zealand attempted to calm anger over Sky’s repeated use of the footage by assuring the public it was a separate company owned by New Zealanders and was not affiliated with News Corp.Sky New Zealand attempted to calm anger over Sky’s repeated use of the footage by assuring the public it was a separate company owned by New Zealanders and was not affiliated with News Corp.
We're a different business. Here's more about us - https://t.co/ncQ1KpUlNF :-) ^SophieWe're a different business. Here's more about us - https://t.co/ncQ1KpUlNF :-) ^Sophie
Sky News Australia said later on Saturday it “provides a live feed into New Zealand on the SKY television platform”.Sky News Australia said later on Saturday it “provides a live feed into New Zealand on the SKY television platform”.
“As the live rolling events of the Christchurch shooting unfolded, an editorial decision was made by Sky News Australia to offer sports programming to SKY NZ in place of Sky News Australia’s live feed to ensure any footage or reporting did not compromise the ongoing investigations taking place in New Zealand.“As the live rolling events of the Christchurch shooting unfolded, an editorial decision was made by Sky News Australia to offer sports programming to SKY NZ in place of Sky News Australia’s live feed to ensure any footage or reporting did not compromise the ongoing investigations taking place in New Zealand.
“Sky News Australia acted responsibly and prudently in replacing the service as soon as it was able to early yesterday evening after consulting with SKY NZ management.”“Sky News Australia acted responsibly and prudently in replacing the service as soon as it was able to early yesterday evening after consulting with SKY NZ management.”
On Friday a Sky News Australia spokesman had said: “Sky News in line with other broadcasters ran heavily edited footage that did not show the shootings or the victims.” Another Australian channel, Network 10, defended its decision to embed parts of the video on its 10 Daily platform as part of its news coverage on Friday.On Friday a Sky News Australia spokesman had said: “Sky News in line with other broadcasters ran heavily edited footage that did not show the shootings or the victims.” Another Australian channel, Network 10, defended its decision to embed parts of the video on its 10 Daily platform as part of its news coverage on Friday.
“We are appalled and deeply saddened by the tragic events in Christchurch today,” a spokeswoman said. “Like other media outlets, 10 Daily showed footage of the gunman walking towards the door of the mosque. We warned about the nature of the vision in the accompanying story. We did not show any vision from inside the mosque.”“We are appalled and deeply saddened by the tragic events in Christchurch today,” a spokeswoman said. “Like other media outlets, 10 Daily showed footage of the gunman walking towards the door of the mosque. We warned about the nature of the vision in the accompanying story. We did not show any vision from inside the mosque.”
The public broadcaster ABC did not use the audio or the footage from the Go Pro camera but did show images on air and online.The public broadcaster ABC did not use the audio or the footage from the Go Pro camera but did show images on air and online.
The edited video was heavily promoted on all News Corp websites, with warnings about distressing content.The edited video was heavily promoted on all News Corp websites, with warnings about distressing content.
This story was amended on 21 March 2019 to take account of Sky NZ’s latest statement on the reason for replacing Sky News Australia.
This story was amended on 21 March 2019 to take account of Sky NZ’s latest statement on the reason for replacing Sky News Australia.
• Crisis support services can be reached 24 hours a day. In New Zealand, the crisis support service Lifeline can be reached on 0800 543 354. In Australia, Lifeline is 13 11 14. In the UK and Irish Republic, contact Samaritans on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.• Crisis support services can be reached 24 hours a day. In New Zealand, the crisis support service Lifeline can be reached on 0800 543 354. In Australia, Lifeline is 13 11 14. In the UK and Irish Republic, contact Samaritans on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
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