TVNZ Busted For Bias In Marriage Debate

Media Release 7 Oct 2013
Family First NZ is welcoming a Broadcasting Standards Authority decision which has upheld a complaint from Pompallier Catholic College about a Close Up item based on a school newsletter objecting to the redefinition of marriage.

The College complained that the Close Up item was misleading and unfair, and that it was inaccurate to claim that the students were threatened. The BSA said “The failure to provide context around the reasons for his suspension created an unfair impression of the Principal and the College.” The BSA also found that the item was misleading in stating unequivocally that students were threatened in relation to setting up a Facebook page, and criticised the fact that the Principal was not given any opportunity to rebut the claims.

“It is disappointing that the state broadcaster saw fit to misrepresent the facts and to show bias against people that were opposed to the redefinition of marriage – but this was not the first time, and not the only current events programme. Unfortunately much of the debate in sections of the media was slanted towards the pro-same sex marriage side. Fortunately the general public were able to see the bias in the media, and the campaign opposing redefinition gained more and more support as the debate proceeded. This explains why the supporters of redefining marriage didn’t want to go anywhere near a referendum because they knew they would lose. Ironically those same people are now demanding a referendum on state asset sales,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The public should be able to trust the state broadcaster to give fair and balanced coverage of such an important social issue. Unfortunately TVNZ, amongst others, scored a Fail in the recent debate on the redefinition of marriage.”

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