POLICE and grieving families are “appalled” at blatant errors in the national media, following the fatal car crash in Gisborne on Saturday night.
Two media organisations have been told by police to “get their facts right”.
Mistakes in both TV One News and on the front page of the Dominion Post yesterday have left the families involved distraught, says Senior Sergeant Maui Aben.
In yesterday’s Dominion Post, one of the front page photographs of those killed used a photo of the wrong person.
A photograph captioned as 27-year-old Peter Bunyan was actually a good friend.
His friend is out of the country and away from phone contact.
To make matters worse, he learned of Peter’s death only after the paper was published.
A correction appeared in today’s Dominion Post but a thumbnail photograph of the wrong person remained on their online version of the story today.
It is believed the picture was sourced from a social networking site.
Senior Sergeant Aben says the Bunyan family are distraught over the mistake.
“I’m sure his friend’s family are also distraught.”
TV One has come under fire after inaccuracies in relation to one of the other crash victims, 28-year-old Dylan Kingi.
It was incorrectly reported on the 6pm news yesterday that he had been in jail for aggravated robbery and had problems with alcohol and drugs, says Detective Sergeant Kevin Ford of Gisborne CIB.
“Gisborne police can confirm that Dylan had never been to jail and it would appear the information might have been taken from a Google search,” he says.
“The information is from a man with the same name, living in the South Island.
“We contacted TV One News last night and as a result they removed the inaccuracy from their evening news.
“We have also put in a request for TV One to put the issue right on tonight’s news.”
Police and the Kingi family are appalled by the error, says Mr Ford.
“It’s important that sensitivity is shown around these sort of stories and that the facts are reported accurately,” he says.
“All it would have taken in both cases was a quick telephone call to police.”