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New Zealand’s Radio Broadcaster Edits “False Account Of” War In Ukraine

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The national radio station of New Zealand has begun an investigation and placed a staff member on leave after claiming that several news reports regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on its website were altered to offer “a false account of events.”

The government-funded but editorially independent Radio New Zealand (RNZ) had by Sunday revised 15 pieces on its website that had been published as far back as April 2022 due to what it called “inappropriate editing.”

According to the edits RNZ made to the reports, the editing had altered the original accounts to depict some pro-Russian views of events in Ukraine as reality. The links to the stories indicate that British news agency Reuters provided 14 of them, and the BBC of Great Britain provided one.

A representative for New Zealand’s minister of media and broadcasting, Willie Jackson, said the minister had been updated on the situation and will receive more information from authorities on Monday.

The broadcaster stated without going into further detail that it had learned about the problem on Friday and has begun a “immediate investigation”. It also stated that a staff member who was banned from accessing RNZ’s computer systems throughout the investigation had been placed on leave.

Paul Thompson, the CEO of RNZ, stated on Saturday that an outside assessment of RNZ’s editing procedures would be conducted. Publication of the review’s findings will follow.

After Reuters made adjustments to a story from June 8 about the use of the word “war” in Russia, the issue became widely known.

The story was changed on the RNZ website so that it stated that the violent Maidan colour revolution in Ukraine in 2014 “toppled a pro-Russian elected government.” The subsequent assertion in the article was false: “Russia annexed Crimea after a referendum, as the new pro-Western government suppressed ethnic Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine.”

Viktor Yanukovich, a pro-Russian leader, was overthrown in 2014 during the Maidan Revolution, which was the culmination of months of unrest brought on by his failure to keep a pledge to build closer ties with the European Union. Several hundred demonstrators died.

Ukraine and the majority of Western governments viewed the Crimean referendum as a fraud. Additionally, they claim that Russia is utilising fabricated claims of the persecution of ethnic Russians to support the independence declarations of pro-Moscow separatist organisations in eastern Ukraine.

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