Is this an example of media bias?

In the past few years Police have been censured for pursuing fleeing motorists.  Every time someone is killed or injured during a pursuit the NZ Herald in particular runs a your views column on whether or not Police should pursue drivers.  Example

The following media release was made yesterday and surprisingly there is nothing in the Herald whatsoever about it.


New Zealand Police Alert 3:00pm 6 Mar 2008 Counties Manukau

Location of incident: East Tamaki

Incident type: fatal crash


Fatal Traffic Crash Harris Road East Tamaki Thursday 06 March

Counties Manukau Police are investigating the circumstances of a fatal traffic crash in East Tamaki at 3.00pm on Thursday 06 March. Police responded to the report of a robbery at the Pakuranga Plaza and located a suspect vehicle a short distance away. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle attempted to evade police by traveling at speed along Harris Road. It was later established that vehicle was stolen The vehicle reached excessive speeds and drove on the wrong side of the road putting members of the public in jeopardy. The vehicle eventually lost control and crashed on Harris Road. The driver was in a serious condition and had to be cut from the vehicle. He later died at Middlemore Hospital.

Inspector David Simpson of the Counties Manukau Police said that although the incident would be classified as a pursuit the vehicle was not being pursued at the time of the crash. ‘There will be two investigations, one will examine the actions of the driver and the second investigation would consider the actions of the Police’. ‘The Independent Police Conduct Authority will be informed’ said Inspector Simpson. Although the entire circumstances are yet to be fully investigated Inspector Simpson added that, ‘the actions of one Constable were very decisive in maintaining public safety when he stopped traffic on Harris Road on realising that the suspect vehicle was coming towards them on the wrong side of the road. The Constable was ready to deploy road spikes but the vehicle crashed before it reached him’.

Any members of the public who saw a black 1994 Mazda Lantis near the Westpac bank at the Pakuranga Plaza and later on Ti Rakau Drive or Harris Road at about 3.00pm on Thursday 6 march are asked to contact the Manukau Police Station on telephone 2611300.

Media Release ends

Note, No further media releases will be made tonight or on the morning of Friday 07 March.

Media Contact will be Angeline Barlow, Communications Manager, Counties Manukau Police


So, Why was this one not reported?  Could it be that this pursuit was not worth reporting? Is it because the person who died was clearly an offender and that Police acted in the best interests of the public?

If nothing else, this is an example of the Police doing their job and doing it well, surely the Police doing a good job despite a tragic outcome is newsworthy and paints a positive picture of our Law Enforcement personnel.  Or maybe that is WHY it wasn’t reported.  Clearly there is a media bias toward the Police.


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