Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

Sunday paper defends dubious headline

Wed 21 Apr 2004 In: New Zealand Daily News

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 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: News Staff

First published: Wednesday, 21st April 2004 - 12:00pm

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us