We have all seen the media at its worst over the last few months, falling over themselves, near choking with the news of Kiri Allen and Golriz Ghahraman, something like a feeding frenzy can I suggest.
The question must be asked “when does reporting become harassment”? People make mistakes, and yes, we all must be held to account but why is it we always put people on trial and publicly convict them before the police are even involved.
In the cases of both Kiri and Golriz, both of which cases are before the courts, how can they defend themselves with all the media attention that has been shared everywhere?
Both Golriz and Kiri have the right to choose trial by jury if the matters get that far, but clearly that can’t happen? How could any jury in New Zealand be neutral with all the publicity and coverage freely available on social media or google?
Every other day we see reports of murders and other such crimes, arrests made but the alleged offender is not named, giving them the right to a fair, unbiassed trial, so why should people in the public eye be any different.
I appreciate the media have a job to do, but isn’t it time that they themselves are held to account and told what they can report on?
I am not suggesting for one minute that the media can’t report on the issues of the day, because they should be doing exactly that, but not destroying people’s careers in the process without the facts being known, simply that is a public takedown.
I applaud people who make mistakes for putting their hands up and changing their ways, accepting that they have done wrong and why shouldn’t people be allowed to move on in a good way to create change for the better from their mistakes.
To Kiri and Golriz, I say to you both, go well and thank you for all you both have done for Aotearoa. To the media, I say take a step back, have a look in your own back yard and ask the question when reporting, “is this going to help our country, or is this going to drive a person who really needs support right now to desperate measures.
Jackie Foster, CEO, Social Justice Aotearoa