Many of you would be aware of the recent media coverage of Philip Jensen’s talks in the UK. It started with a report in The Guardian, with the headline “Evangelicals call Williams a prostitute” (13 Oct), which formed the basis for a spate of media reports throughout the world, for example this article in the SMH.

Since his return from the UK, Philip has given his own perspective on the events during a speech at the Sydney Anglican Synod.

Last night this story was featured on ABC TV’s Media Watch program. However, it seems that even this self-appointed media watchdog is not without its own bias.

It was perhaps reasonable for David Marr to say to Philip that he “hasn’t produced a shred of evidence that you were misreported by the Guardian”, since transcripts of the talk have not been published. Yet, viewers were left with the impression that this absence of evidence damned Philip and exonerated the journalist. Indeed, David Marr ended his piece by saying to Philip: “to get yourself out of a pickle, you defamed the journalist, denounced the Australian media and set out to bamboozle synod.”

Clearly, the Media Watch was biased against Philip and towards the journalist. The fair and balanced way to end the piece would have been to acknowledge that the lack of a transcript leaves the truth inconclusive. Yet, unfortunately, the journalist was treated as innocent until proven guilty, whilst the priest was considered guilty until proven innocent.

For further reading, view the discussion on here

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