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Herald Taken to Press Council for criticising show

_Press Release – For Immediate Release 17 April 2008

NZ Herald Taken to Press Council for criticising cultural show

The New Zealand Herald (Herald) is under fire for its coverage of the cultural show, the Chinese Spectacular, premièring in Auckland this Thursday.

The organisers of the show say they intend to make a complaint to the Press Council about the coverage. They say an article written by Herald reporter Lincoln Tan was unbalanced and contained factual errors that gave a misleading impression of the show, despite Mr Tan having had the opportunity to obtain correct information.

Show organisers have instructed their lawyers to draft and file a complaint with the New Zealand Press Council.

Lincoln Tan's two articles: 'VIPs again steering clear of Falun Gong-linked show' and the subsequent “clarification” article, 'Green MP supports show with links to Falun Gong' have stirred up controversy. Show organisers feel that the Herald and Mr Tan have not shown proper journalistic independence and integrity.

Among many alleged errors in both articles, Tan did not mention a letter sent to the North Shore City Mayor's office by the Chinese Consulate in Auckland. Show organisers believe Mr Tan was aware of this letter. They have obtained a copy of the letter which is apparently designed to discourage the Mayor from having contact with the Divine Performing Arts Chinese Spectacular.

The Chinese regime has been caught out pressuring public figures and organisations in the United States, Australia, Sweden, Belgium, Malaysia, Korea, Germany, Czech Republic, and Denmark.

Officials have been threatened that trade and relations, and even the recipient’s reputation, will be affected if they support or attend the show.

The Chinese Consulate in New Zealand also has connections with a man who was caught stealing 800 Craccum magazines from Auckland University two weeks ago.

After failed attempts to rectify the situation with the Herald, show organisers New Tang Dynasty Culture & Arts Exchange, will now take the matter to the NZ Press Council.


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