New Zealand bans video game glorifying Christchurch mosque shooting

New Zealand’s chief censor said the creators will try to dress these games as ‘satire.’ (Shutterstock)
Updated 31 October 2019

New Zealand bans video game glorifying Christchurch mosque shooting

  • The attacker broadcasted the shooting live on Facebook
  • New Zealand’s chief censor said these games are ‘no joke’

WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s Chief Censor said on Thursday he had banned a video game that appeared to glorify the mass shooting in Christchurch earlier this year that killed 51 Muslim worshippers.
In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons targeted Muslims attending prayers in two Christchurch mosques on March 15, killing 51 people and wounding dozens.
Australian Brenton Tarrant, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with the attack and faces trial next year.
Chief Censor David Shanks said a video game that celebrated the livestream of the mass shooting has been classified as objectionable.
“The creators of this game set out to produce and sell a game designed to place the player in the role of a white supremacist terrorist killer,” Shanks said in a statement.
“In this game, anyone who isn’t a white heterosexual male is a target for simply existing.”
Shanks previously outlawed the livestreamed video of Christchurch attack, and a manifesto linked to the alleged shooter.
Earlier this month, the censor board also outlawed a 35 minute long video of another attack by an anti-Semitic gunman who killed two people in Halle, Germany.
A document said to have been sharedby the gunman in Germany has now also been banned, Shanks said.
Some game producers appear intent on producing a ‘family’ of white extremist games, and have established a revenue stream from it, with customers in New Zealand and around the world able to purchase the games from the producer’s website, Shanks said.
“The games producers will try to dress their work up as satire but this game is no joke. It crosses the line.”


Lebanese journalist Roula Khalaf becomes first female editor of Financial Times

Updated 12 November 2019

Lebanese journalist Roula Khalaf becomes first female editor of Financial Times

  • Khalaf has served as deputy editor, foreign editor and Middle East editor during her more than two decades at FT
  • Khalaf will join Katharine Viner at the Guardian as one of the few women to edit major newspapers in Britain

LONDON: Lebanese journalist Roula Khalaf will become the first woman to edit the Financial Times in its 131-year history after Lionel Barber, Britain’s most senior financial journalist, said he would step down.
Barber said on Tuesday he would leave in January after 14 years as editor and 34 years at the Nikkei-owned newspaper, which had one million paying readers in 2019, with digital subscribers accounting for more than 75% of total circulation.
Khalaf has served as deputy editor, foreign editor and Middle East editor during her more than two decades at the salmon-pink FT and in recent years has sought to increase diversity in the newsroom and attract more female readers, while also becoming the publication’s first Arab editor.
“It’s a great honor to be appointed editor of the FT, the greatest news organization in the world.
“I look forward to building on Lionel Barber’s extraordinary achievements,” said Khalaf, whose earlier writing for Forbes magazine had earned her a small role in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.
Her article described the leading character Jordan Belfort as sounding like a twisted version of Robin Hood who takes from the rich and gives to himself and his merry band of brokers.
Khalaf will join Katharine Viner at the Guardian as one of the few women to edit major newspapers in Britain and one of few leading female editors in the world after Jill Abramson left the New York Times.
Before joining the FT in 1995, Khalaf worked at Forbes in New York and earned a master’s at Columbia University and graduated from Syracuse University.
Tsuneo Kita, chairman of Japan’s Nikkei which bought the FT from Pearson in 2015, said in a statement Khalaf was chosen for her sound judgment and integrity.
“We look forward to working closely with her to deepen our global media alliance.”
Nikkei’s Kita described Barber as a strategic thinker and true internationalist, adding he was very sad to see him leave.
“However, both of us agree it is time to open a new chapter,” he said.
During his time as editor, Barber engineered a successful push into online subscription that protected the title as others battled an unprecedented collapse in advertising revenue, as well as managing the move to a new owner.