Champion of independent journalism censoring Pro Life views

independent journalism

Pro-life group Right to Life claims its submissions to the champion of independent journalism, Scoop Media, are being muzzled.

Visiting Right to Life’s media release page on Scoop reveals the independent journalism champion has published just one media release in 2021 and 2022.

Right to Life estimates in this year alone they have sent Scoop twenty news releases.

Scoop’s “Submit News” criteria say that not every story can be published and they “reserve the right to refuse any material for publication, and also to remove material at any time without notification.

However, Scoop’s guidelines claim it is rare for them to exercise their right to refuse publication and they do not do it very often, and as a financial supporter of Scoop, Right to Life understands that ScoopPro member submissions are given priority consideration.

Right to Life is puzzled by Scoop’s approach to them because Scoop proudly claims it will achieve access to public interest news and foster media literacy by “enhancing the ability of a diverse range of citizens to interpret, understand and use this information to inform robust debate, democratic choices and meaningful participation in society and the economy.”

The pro-life group recognises the important contribution that Scoop can make to an informed debate.

It is however questioning how all New Zealanders can participate in the democratic process and how society can have an informed debate when Scoop is apparently censoring information it does not agree with.

In its latest media release Right to Life challenges Scoop’s coverage of the US Supreme Court leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s decision on Roe v Wade.

“The community can’t have an informed debate on the leaked opinion if the information is censored,” says Right to Life.

If Scoop is repeatedly censoring information to suit a particular worldview, it is contradicting its own statement about its aims of independent journalism.

A look at Scoop’s coverage of the Roe v. Wade leak shows a distinctly partial leaning in favour of the pro-abortion lobby.

On 4 May Scoop published a media release from Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ). The pro-choice advocacy group used the opportunity to firmly condemn the Supreme Court opinion.

Scoop’s Political Editor, Gordon Campbell, was next to express a view.

On 5 May, his opinion piece condemned the five Justices who signed the draft opinion.

On the 8th and 11th May Right to Life sent media releases to Scoop supporting the draft opinion of the Supreme Court and explaining the legal implications of the opinion.

Both media releases have gone unpublished.

Then on 13 May Scoop published a media release from Auckland Feminist Action. Their press release also condemned the majority of Justices’ draft opinion.

Right to Life says it is disappointed that recently Scoop has frustrated an informed public debate.

It is particularly disappointed that Scoop has chosen to stifle Right to Life’s contribution to the public debate on the issue of the leaked opinion of the United States Supreme Court and possible overthrow of  Roe v Wade.

In response to its silencing, Right to Life says it is considering laying a formal complaint with Scoop for breach of Media Council principles.

The pro-life organisation is also having a second look at its contract with Scoop.

“Scoop’s policy on the publication of press releases and associated material is simple. If it’s a press release issued in New Zealand, is legible, legal, sane, not hateful and not defamatory we will most probably publish it.”

Scoop Media Limited is part of the Scoop Media Cartel.



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