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RNZ Mediawatch: Distressing death dressed up as clickbait


Colin Peacock reported on this at Mediawatch

A tragedy involving a Kiwi who died in Peru recently was reported sensitively. The tragic deaths of a Peruvian couple there was turned into morbid clickbait.

‘Work Deaths Spike’ was the headline on The New Zealand Herald’s front page last Thursday above a worrying story about record numbers of deaths and injuries in the construction industry. 

It began with a call for changes from a 17 year-old Auckland apprentice who was crushed by timber but – unlike victims of recent accidents – lived to tell the tale. 

The same day under the headline ‘Dishonoured in Death’ the Herald website reported that previously confidential details of 33,000 deaths investigated by coroners had been made public in a huge and unforeseen breach of privacy. MORE AT LINK

A key issue raised was how one set of deaths were covered appropriately, whilst another death was not.

Indeed the website article concludes scathingly as follows:

This was voyeuristic content posted for clicks.

While it didn’t show the actual moment of death after the couple fell from the bridge, it shows their final terrifying moments alive in a clearly accidental fall

It was inappropriate for all viewers of a mainstream news website, especially one currently trying to convert readers into customers for it premium content.  

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