PLYMOUTH BRETHREN CHRISTIAN CHURCH AGAINST MANAWATU STANDARD

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LadyKiwi
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:16 am

PLYMOUTH BRETHREN CHRISTIAN CHURCH AGAINST MANAWATU STANDARD

Post by LadyKiwi » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:39 am

PLYMOUTH BRETHREN CHRISTIAN CHURCH AGAINST MANAWATU STANDARD

ASE NUMBER:2694
COUNCIL MEETING:JULY 2018
VERDICT:NOT UPHELD
PUBLICATION:MANAWATU EVENING STANDARD
RULING CATEGORIES:ACCURACY
DISCRIMINATION
HEADLINES AND CAPTIONS
MISLEADING
UNFAIR COVERAGE


Overview
1. Plymouth Brethren Christian Church have lodged a complaint that relates to a number of headlines appearing in theManawatu Standard and Stuff, and an alleged breach of Principle 6.It is also said that there is a breach of Principle 7, discrimination and diversity.

Background

2. The complainant (PBCC) is generally known as the Exclusive Brethren Church.A member of that church faced trial and retrial in the Palmerston North District Court for the historic rape of his son. By the time of the trial it appears he had left the Church.He was ultimately convicted on all charges.As a matter of background, but of relevance, the accused had also been convicted for the marital rape of his former wife.

The Complaint
3. The headline used the phrase “Exclusive Brethren Rape Trial”.In a complaint lodged on behalf of the complainant by the law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, it is said this headline conveyed the misleading impression that the PBCC, rather than the individual perpetrator, was “on trial or culpable for the unlawful and abhorrent conduct in question”.The author of the letter states that the headline cannot be said to “accurately and fairly convey the substance” of the articles.
4. In the same letter of complaint to the Council, it is said the misleading headlines place gratuitous emphasis on the involvement of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church that is not justified in the body of the articles.
The Response
5. There is a lengthy response from the Manawatu Standard/Stuff.It supplies the Council with links to a series of articles dealing with the trial and the earlier conviction involving the rape of his wife. The articles also speak of the family’s involvement with the church and the impact that had on the family and individual members.

6. It also points out the both prosecution and defence counsel made religious references in the course of the trial.

The Decision
7. No issue was taken with the content of the stories by PBCC.It is the headline that is complained of, as both a breach of that principle and the discrimination and diversity principle.

8. It is quite clear in the extensive material provided to us by both the PCBB andStuff/Manawatu Standard that both counsel for the prosecution and the defence made significant reference to the accused and the family’s membership of, and relationship with the PCBB.It is unnecessary to repeat all of those references here.But clearly they played a significant part in the trial, and as we have noted, no issue is taken with the reporting.

9. The point that Exclusive Brethren is the common name for the PBCC, and ‘brethren’ is plural is pedantic.Equally, a single member of the church could be described as an Exclusive Brethren if he is a member of that church.The accused, at the time of the offending, was.There seems to be no issue regarding that. In any event even a quick glance at the story would show it is referring to a member. As well rape is not a corporate offence a fact that would be in the knowledge of any reader.

10. Given the matters that were raised and explored at trial, we are quite satisfied that the headline accurately conveys the substance of a key element of the trial.That is, that the accused was a member of the complainant church at the relevant time and the impact of that membership on the accused.There is no breach of Principle 6.

11. We do not consider that the reporting of this trial, based as it is on statements by both prosecution and defence counsel, is placing gratuitous emphasis on the matter of the accused’s previous membership of the Exclusive Brethren church.Rather, it explored what membership of that church meant, and how it impacted on this family and its relevance to the offending.There is no breach of Principle 7.

12. Furthermore, reading the articles complained of, and all of the other material as a series of reports, (which is common in the case of reporting of lengthy trials), it is clear to us that there is no breach of Principle 1, Accuracy, Fairness and Balance.

13. The complaint is not upheld.

Media Council members considering the complaint were Sir John Hansen, Liz Brown, Jo Cribb, Chris Darlow, Tiumalu Peter Fa’afiu, Jenny Farrell, Hank Schouten, Christina Tay, Tim Watkin and Tracy Watkins.
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1. Plymouth Brethren Christian Church have lodged a complaint that relates to a number of headlines appearing in theManawatu Standard and Stuff, and an alleged breach of Principle 6.It is also said that there is a breach of Principle 7, discrimination and diversity.

Background

2. The complainant (PBCC) is generally known as the Exclusive Brethren Church.A member of that church faced trial and retrial in the Palmerston North District Court for the historic rape of his son. By the time of the trial it appears he had left the Church.He was ultimately convicted on all charges.As a matter of background, but of relevance, the accused had also been convicted for the marital rape of his former wife.

3. The headline used the phrase “Exclusive Brethren Rape Trial”.In a complaint lodged on behalf of the complainant by the law firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, it is said this headline conveyed the misleading impression that the PBCC, rather than the individual perpetrator, was “on trial or culpable for the unlawful and abhorrent conduct in question”.The author of the letter states that the headline cannot be said to “accurately and fairly convey the substance” of the articles.

4. In the same letter of complaint to the Council, it is said the misleading headlines place gratuitous emphasis on the involvement of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church that is not justified in the body of the articles.

5. There is a lengthy response from the Manawatu Standard/Stuff.It supplies the Council with links to a series of articles dealing with the trial and the earlier conviction involving the rape of his wife. The articles also speak of the family’s involvement with the church and the impact that had on the family and individual members.

6. It also points out the both prosecution and defence counsel made religious references in the course of the trial.

7. No issue was taken with the content of the stories by PBCC.It is the headline that is complained of, as both a breach of that principle and the discrimination and diversity principle.

8. It is quite clear in the extensive material provided to us by both the PCBB andStuff/Manawatu Standard that both counsel for the prosecution and the defence made significant reference to the accused and the family’s membership of, and relationship with the PCBB.It is unnecessary to repeat all of those references here.But clearly they played a significant part in the trial, and as we have noted, no issue is taken with the reporting.

9. The point that Exclusive Brethren is the common name for the PBCC, and ‘brethren’ is plural is pedantic.Equally, a single member of the church could be described as an Exclusive Brethren if he is a member of that church.The accused, at the time of the offending, was.There seems to be no issue regarding that. In any event even a quick glance at the story would show it is referring to a member. As well rape is not a corporate offence a fact that would be in the knowledge of any reader.

10. Given the matters that were raised and explored at trial, we are quite satisfied that the headline accurately conveys the substance of a key element of the trial.That is, that the accused was a member of the complainant church at the relevant time and the impact of that membership on the accused.There is no breach of Principle 6.

11. We do not consider that the reporting of this trial, based as it is on statements by both prosecution and defence counsel, is placing gratuitous emphasis on the matter of the accused’s previous membership of the Exclusive Brethren church.Rather, it explored what membership of that church meant, and how it impacted on this family and its relevance to the offending.There is no breach of Principle 7.

12. Furthermore, reading the articles complained of, and all of the other material as a series of reports, (which is common in the case of reporting of lengthy trials), it is clear to us that there is no breach of Principle 1, Accuracy, Fairness and Balance.

13. The complaint is not upheld.

Media Council members considering the complaint were Sir John Hansen, Liz Brown, Jo Cribb, Chris Darlow, Tiumalu Peter Fa’afiu, Jenny Farrell, Hank Schouten, Christina Tay, Tim Watkin and Tracy Watkins.

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twotimothytwo
Posts: 1645
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:16 pm

Re: PLYMOUTH BRETHREN CHRISTIAN CHURCH AGAINST MANAWATU STANDARD

Post by twotimothytwo » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:56 pm

Polishing a turd
To fix, repair, repaint, shine or do other things to something that isn't worthy - but you have to do it for one reason or another. Because the basic fact is no matter what you do to a turd - polish it, paint it, give it bling - it's still a turd, and there is nothing you can do about that underlying fact.
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define. ... 20a%20turd

fisherman
Posts: 2858
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:22 pm

Re: PLYMOUTH BRETHREN CHRISTIAN CHURCH AGAINST MANAWATU STANDARD

Post by fisherman » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:17 pm

All this sounds very familiar to me, we have had the same issues here in the pacific north west involving the RC church and Residential Schools where First Nation children were sexually and physically abused by priests.The Church tried the same tactics ,first ignoring,then denying and finally when proven in court,trying to say it was ‘nothing to do with the church’ it was the individuals responsibility ( individual exercise?)

Eventually after decades of denial they capitulated and were forced to accept responsibility and now offer funds for counselling.What started out as a trickle turned into a landslide .. A Cost them millions ,some parishes were forced to sell properties to settle legal bills but no amount of money can make up for what they did in breaking up families and ruining lives...sound familiar?

Maybe this ruling denying the brethrens claim opens the door to a class action lawsuit over allegations of decades of not only abuse but the brethren’s not reporting allegations of criminal behaviour to the authorities for THEM to investigate.I suspect EB closets hold a lot of skeletons and hanging the name from ‘EB’ to ‘PBCC’ neither expunged the record or gives them a clean slate to start again.Sorry about that...

Leah Remini in her expose on both Scientology and the JWs said it takes decades of concerted effort to force these cults to accept responsibility because they all stonewall any effort by victims to be heard ...( ‘we welcome scrutiny’ rings a bit hollow,doesn't It?’ It will be interesting if the media picks up on this ruling and makes it front page news ,time to lower the radar they brag they fly under..nothing cults hate more than anything to be dragged into the light of day and be exposed as charlatans- they are so used to having it all their own way.


As our blub brother reminded us, ‘You can’t pick up a turd by the clean end...”

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