Mistaken identity—UPDATED

There are times when pop cultural knowledge comes in handy. And The Herald is no doubt wishing some of its staff had watched a bit more Jackass after an embarrassing blunder on the front page of today’s paper. 

21-year-old sergeant Guy Boyland, who was born in Taupo and moved to Israel at the age of five, was killed on Friday by Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip. But the paper used a photo of Jackass star Ryan Dunn, who died in a car crash in 2011, as the main picture

The paper apologised to Boyland’s family via Twitter and added a message to the top of the story: “An incorrect photo was used to illustrate this article in the print edition of today’s Herald. The photo used on the front page was of late actor Ryan Dunn. The Herald apologises to the Boyland family and to our readers for the error.”

According to TVNZ, the photo of Dunn was taken from Boyland’s Facebook page.    

Editor Shayne Currie posted a story on the website later in the day: 

The New Zealand Herald apologises unreservedly to the family and friends of Guy Boyland following the incorrect use of two images in today’s paper and on the New Zealand Herald website. As Editor I take responsibility for the errors that should never have occurred.

I have personally spoken to members of Guy’s family this morning, as has the CEO of APN, Jane Hastings. The family members have been remarkably forgiving, particularly in the circumstances. I have apologised for adding to their grief and I will keep them fully updated on how this happened as obviously it is unacceptable.

We are currently looking into what checks were made regarding the two images, with a view to ensuring procedures are reviewed to ensure that there is no repeat of this error in the future.

Guy Boyland was a fan of comedian Ryan Dunn and had posted the photo we used on his Facebook page when the comedian died in 2011. The New Zealand Herald incorrectly sourced the image of Ryan Dunn from Guy’s page, along with several other images, believing them to be of Guy.

I would like to reiterate how seriously we are taking this error and apologise again. I would also like to apologise to our readers – the public trust us to get it right, and we must make sure that this does not happen again.

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