to think BBC Newsnight no longer does objective journalism

(1 Post)
retrorobot Wed 22-Jul-15 01:10:04

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b063cpxm/newsnight-21072015

From 21 minutes 30 seconds to 26 minutes 22 seconds.

Report on the story about the America/Spanish gay couple in Thailand who used a gestational surrogate whose refusing to sign papers allowing them to take the child out of Thailand.
Balanced report in Guardian here:
www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/20/gay-parents-fight-to-leave-thailand-with-surrogate-baby-daughter

The Newsnight "report" simply amounts to allowing the gay couple, or rather the American half of the gay couple, to advocate their position. The surrogate's name is not even used even though she had made public statements and it has been given in newspaper reporting. Every characterisation given to the situation seems calculated to marginalise her position.

At no point is any sort of difficult question put to the American guy. He's not asked why he and his husband went to Thailand rather than using commercial surrogacy in the U.S. - where it is legal in about a quarter of U.S. states - rather than going to Thailand. He's not asked why he's trying to push to force the surrogate to do something that she's not prepared to do - surely if her signature is required on the papers then it's her entitlement to refuse it.

Under U.K. law (see here on website of gay lobby group Stonewall: www.stonewall.org.uk/at_home/parenting/3558.asp):

- The woman who carries and gives birth to a child is the child‟s legal mother, regardless of whether conception involved medical treatment and regardless of whether she is the biological mother.

- For the parental rights of the surrogate be extinguished, application needs to be made to court and for the court to grant the order it must be satisfied that, amongst other things, the surrogate mother consents fully and freely to the order being made. That consent must be given not less than 6 weeks after the child is born.

Inasmuch as U.K. law is a reflection of British values, why is Newsnight advocating a position that is contrary to U.K. law?

Furthermore, I was very uncomfortable with how much of the Newsnight report comprised pictures and videos of the child (and older brother). I don't see that any of those pictures and videos were necessary for reporting the story.

Finally, at the end of the report the presenter mentions that the gay couple are currently fundraising online for funds to support their legal proceedings in Thailand. Although the presenter stopped short of flashing the website address for making donations, it didn't seem necessary to me to mention it at all.

I wonder why I am paying a licence fee if this sort of "reporting" is what I am going to get as a result.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now