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On photos, equal footing


Just touching base about the photo and accompanying article about advance voting.

I note that the photo of Tania Tapsell candidate has a no-photo sign behind her and also that the article has quotes from her — albeit brief. But in contrast to the piece on the first day of advance voting and the photo of Kiri Allan and supporters with no quotes included and just a very brief line that voting had opened.

From an editorial perspective — during the last week of an election campaign — this is unbalanced at a time when stories, especially about candidates casting votes, should be incredibly similar and not be seen to favour one candidate over another, which this appears to.

I'll also be taking it up with the Electoral Commission because, although not your issue directly, we were told explicitly three times not to take photos at the polling booth — from outside the door. I am unsure of your photographer's experience there, but they were very forceful about it — so we are a bit perplexed as to how the photographer could get this image.

We do hope this will be taken into account in the days leading up to the election.

Margaret Takoko

Footnote from Ed: Approval to take a photo in the polling booth was granted beforehand by the returning officer, subject to several conditions, and Tania Tapsell provided some comments to go with the photo. The photo of Kiri Allan and supporters when advance voting opened was arranged just before it was taken, and no comments were provided. On fairness grounds, Ms Tapsell is disadvantaged by the fact about half of all votes had already been cast by the time her voting photo appeared in yesterday's paper.