As it works through the archive identifying further examples of syndicated stories published with “inappropriate editing” on its website, RNZ is now promising an external review of editing processes, and that its findings will be made public. At the latest count, the public broadcaster’s audit had turned up 15 examples of articles that had been changed to provide a more Kremlin-sympathetic slant. Fourteen of those originated with the Reuters international wire service, and one with the BBC.
In a statement, an RNZ spokesman said: “RNZ advised yesterday that it had become aware of instances of inappropriate editing of several wire service stories relating to the war in Ukraine published on its website. RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson initiated an immediate investigation and has today announced an external review of RNZ’s processes for the editing of online stories to ensure these are robust. The outcome of the review will be made public. The terms of reference for the review and the external experts will be confirmed as soon as possible.”
He added: “RNZ is continuing with a detailed audit and analysis of all stories with the potential for inappropriate editing of wire service stories on the website. While there is still work to complete, to date it has identified 14 instances of inappropriate editing going back to last year. [One further has been found since.] These stories have been corrected and an explanatory note added to each article. RNZ is checking other stories and continues with a thorough analysis which may take some time. As indicated previously an investigation is under way into the alleged conduct of one employee relating to this matter. That employee is on leave and does not have access to RNZ computer systems.”