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Good On You, TV3 -- Stephen Franks

Good On You, TV3

Wednesday 4 Jun 2003 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Other

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today congratulated TV3 news for having the courage to name convicted paedophile Lloyd Alexander McIntosh, when the wider media would not.

"When `Mr X' Bill Trotter's name suppression was lifted, the media leapt upon the case, and his was a household name within the day. Yet most media organisations have refused to name McIntosh, although there is no legal reason not to," Mr Franks said.

"Here are two men - one an innocent victim who feels he and his family are entitled to stay out of the media spotlight. The other is a predator of the worst kind, who is about to be released into a community filled with children. While Mr Trotter's name may have been of public interest to a few Wellingtonians, McIntosh's identity is most certainly in the public interest - to parents everywhere.

"Many media outlets have said they are refusing to name McIntosh in order to protect a victim that shares a blood relationship with him. But those news organisations are failing to admit that they had a decision: name the predator, or identify the relationship between McIntosh and that victim. In choosing the second option, most media outlets censored themselves - and it is disingenuous for them to blame `legal reasons' for the outcome of their decision.

"And it is a cop-out for the Minister of Justice to allow this charade to continue. Mr Goff made his name by identifying offenders McIntosh and Barry Ryder.

"McIntosh's record of offending is far wider than the crime against a relative. There was never any public interest in knowing of the type of relationship he had with one victim. But it is in the public interest to know McIntosh's name. Media have acknowledged that fact for 10 years - in the past decade, no media outlet has shown any hesitation in using McIntosh's name. He was even identified in Parliament just three months ago.

"I am sympathetic with news producers and editors who faced a tough decision. But I believe that most media organisations made the wrong call. TV3 has championed the public's right to know what kind of monster is in their midst.

"TV3 has certainly lived up to its advertisements: that it is not state-owned, and is not afraid to report the truth," Mr Franks said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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