Action to keep NZ media balanced is commended

5 November 2014
Glyn Carpenter

Action to keep NZ media balanced is commended

by | Nov 5, 2014

NZ Christian Network commends Family First’s effort in keeping the media balanced.

Their recent mid-week update contained an example where our state broadcaster TVNZ made what Family First called a “highly derogatory and unjustified headline for a story on same-sex ‘marriage'”.

The story related to an invitation from the Australian Christian Lobby to the leader of the Australian Labour Opposition to their annual conference. The ACL and the leader disagree on the issue of redefining marriage but the fact the invitation was extended indicates an openness to dialogue.

Groups supportive of redefining marriage pressured the leader not to attend, and then mounted a campaign against the hotel that was hosting the conference.

The TVNZ headline for this story was “Aussie Labor leader takes aim at religious bigots”.

It is disappointing that this kind of sensational and unwarranted headline is used in any media, let alone New Zealand’s state owned broadcaster.

To TVNZ’s credit, after a complaint was made by Family First and possibly others, the headline was changed to “Aussie Labor leader backs gay marriage”.

NZ Christian Network does not agree with everything we’ve seen coming out of ACL, just as we hold different positions on some matters to Family First.

But we do want to thank Family First for their action on this matter. We also thank TVNZ for taking corrective action so quickly.

Free speech is important in an open free democracy, and a media that reports relevant news stories with accuracy and fairness is an indispensable part of that process.

Glyn Carpenter
Author: Glyn Carpenter

Glyn Carpenter was National Director of New Zealand Christian Network from March 2003 to 2017. He attends Northcote Baptist Church in Auckland, is married to Christine (married in 1981), and they have three sons – two working as doctors and one in computer science.

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