Tuesday, June 28, 2011

NPR's KUOW in Hot Seat as WNC Accepts Complaint Filed by Vitae Foundation

NPR's KUOW in Hot Seat as WNC Accepts Complaint Filed by Vitae Foundation

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., June 28, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Washington News Council (WNC) has accepted a complaint filed by the Vitae Foundation about a story NPR Seattle affiliate KUOW ran on April 13. In the story, they took issue with the Vitae Foundation's billboard campaign in Seattle and its website, www.YourOptions.com. The station falsely asserted that each was "misleading." KUOW reporter Meghan Walker never contacted Vitae for comment about the billboards or website. Vitae is asking the WNC to investigate KUOW's violations of its own ethics policy regarding this story.

KUOW continues to stand by its reporting and says the article "was not about the Vitae Foundation." However, Vitae Foundation's billboards are the lead into the story and the reporter and the Planned Parenthood representative critique Vitae's website in the first third of the interview.

"If Vitae is not part of the story, then why did they report how Vitae's billboards and YourOptions.com website are misleading?" Deborah Stokes, Vitae's Chief Operating Officer, stated. "They go straight to Planned Parenthood and have them critique Vitae's website. Then Planned Parenthood misleads the listeners with false statements about what's on the website."

When challenged, the station put a disclaimer at the end of the website transcript several weeks after the story aired.

"Although this cryptic, after-the-fact admission is appreciated, it should not be allowed to gloss over the fundamental bias that permeated the entire coverage. The intentional factual error was just a symptom of a larger problem," Vitae asserts in its complaint. "The story was in essence a Planned Parenthood editorial about Vitae's message. If the propriety of Vitae's message is being critiqued in a public forum, Vitae deserved a seat at this important discussion, and a minor unpublicized correction of one factual error does not address the issue in our complaint."

To read the full complaint, click on this link: www.vitaefoundation.org/statement-complaint-washington-news-council.

Vitae Foundation is a national non-profit organization which uses non-confrontational mass media campaigns to reach women facing unplanned pregnancies. Vitae pioneered the research that provides a results-driven approach in using media to address the abortion issue.


To schedule an interview with Pia de Solenni, Seattle-based Vitae consultant, or for further information, please contact Martha Schieber at 800-393-5791.