The editor of a Sunday newspaper has defended their use of a dubious headline in their reportage of a landmark court case which has seen a child conceived via sperm donation given three legal guardians. While newspapers in Australia saw fit to headline the story with “Boy gets three parents” and “Victory for sperm donor”, the Sunday Star-Times used the headline “Gay men win fight for toddler” when the story was actually about a lesbian couple and a gay male friend who is the child's biological father. Media group GayWatch was concerned at the sensationalist and misleading nature of the headline, but Sunday Star-Times editor Cate Brett disagreed. “From my reading of the story it seems perfectly clear that the custody dispute and earlier arrangements involved two gay couples,” Brett told GayNZ.com via email. “I see no problem with the headline.” She ignored questions about how the headline was chosen and did not comment on the fact that no other news media headlined their story in a similar fashion. She also did not confirm or deny whether the headline was an indication of anti-gay bias emerging at the Star-Times. Last year, the Star-Times ran a feature article on “ex-gays” which is currently being investigated by the Press Council after complaints about balance and accuracy. The article was reprinted, with permission, on a Catholic website which equates gays with child molesters.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Wednesday, 21st April 2004 - 12:00pm
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