Monday 17 August 2015
ABC’s Media Watch anchor Paul Barry is asking, “Whatever happened to freedom of speech” when it comes to the debate on same-sex marriage.
On the weekly programme that aired tonight, Media Watch examined the spate of ads both for and against same-sex marriage, and the media activities of spokespeople fronting those campaigns, including a recent Marriage Alliance campaign against same-sex marriage launched earlier this month.
The Marriage Alliance ad was refused airing on Channel 7, Channel 10 and some radio stations, but Foxtel and Channel 9 ran with them, and were “bombarded” by complaints.
“Yes, some Foxtel viewers don’t just dislike the ads, they think the network shouldn’t be running them,” said Paul Barry.
Here’s some more of the programme’s transcript:
But aside from the ads being banned, are opponents of marriage equality getting an equal run in the media?
Or at least a fair hearing. We don’t think they are.
When Canberra Airport lit up in rainbow lights last Sunday to support same sex marriage, it was front page in The Age and The Canberra Times next morning and also big news in the Sydney Morning Herald. And it scored almost fifty mentions on radio and TV.
But on Monday, when opponents of gay marriage piled flowers on the lawn at Parliament House it got just 14 mentions on radio and TV, one story on News.com.au, and this brief report on page 6 of the Adelaide Advertiser.
Sure, the airport was a better story. But the overall media coverage of the debate has also been skewed.