When the news of the mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, which claimed at least 49 lives broke on Thursday night, I started watching Twitter. There were two surprising topics: people who urged their social media followers to protect themselves from accidentally watching a highly graphic 17-minute video of the attack – and especially New Zealanders and Australian natives, who hired local broadcaster Sky News Australia 19459003 deliberately condemned] Share parts of the same footage with their viewers.
Sky New Zealand has now taken the drastic step of removing Sky News Australia from aerial waves. "We stand for the support of our New Zealand counterparts and have decided to remove Sky News Australia from our platform until we are confident that the incriminating footage of yesterday's events will not be shared," wrote Sky NZ in one Tweet deleted, archived by BuzzFeed .
Sky NZ later drastically changed its message saying that Sky News Australia's network simply works "with our colleagues". ensuring coverage does not jeopardize ongoing investigations. "And suggests that it was a joint decision with Sky News Australia to pull the news off the air.
We support our New Zealand counterparts and work with our colleagues at @ SkyNewsAust to ensure that coverage does not jeopardize ongoing investigations in New Zealand. We made the decision on Sky News Australia on Friday to replace their live news with sports.
– SKY New Zealand (@SKYNZ) March 16, 2019
However, this does not match the statements of a Sky New Zealand's spokesman for the New Zealand Herald which was similar to the original Tweet: "We have decided to remove Sky News Australia from our platform, while disturbing shootings have been shown to avoid annoyance to our viewers. It will not be sent until we are sure that the footage will not be shared. "
The change in messaging is particularly peculiar, as the two Skys, as far as I can tell, are not exactly colleagues. Sky News Australia has been part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire since 2016 and is listed as such on the brand page of News Corp Australia – whereas News Corp sold its stake in New Zealand's Sky Network Television 2013. Perhaps a later takeover took place but that was not widespread.
The New Zealand police said last night that they had done everything they could to remove the terrorist attack from the Internet – a very difficult task – and reminded citizens today that they were in New Zealand to spread an "offensive publication" is a criminal offense:
We also want to remind the public that it is a crime to spread an objectionable publication and that this can be punished with imprisonment.
Once again I would like to assure the public that a large police presence will remain in the city for the time being.
– New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
A Simple English Guide "to this law shows that it imposes penalties of up to 14 years in prison or up to $ 200,000 penalty for an organization , However, this law probably has nothing to do with Sky NZ's decision to pull Sky News Australia out of the air, because there seems to be a built-in exception for broadcasters. (I am not a lawyer.)
The New Zealand Herald reports that the coverage of Sky News Australia was initially replaced by Fox Sports.