In the space of a fortnight recently, 33 articles appeared in Irish national newspapers pushing hard for more abortion. In the same period, only 1 pro-life article was published. Pro-life campaigners in Ireland are now expected to take this level of bias as normal. That’s just not acceptable.
It is a waste of time complaining about the media and then doing nothing practical to address the problem. That’s why the Pro-Life Campaign is holding an event outside the Dáil (Irish National Parliament buildings) on 11th March to challenge the media on their bias. It will be the start of a campaign to take the message of media bias to every corner of the country. But the size of the turnout on 11th March is critical to the future success of this initiative.
The event will be positive in focus not negative. It will be respectful while resolutely calling the media to account. It is being held from 7-8pm on a Wednesday at a time when politicians and journalists are in the Dail.
The media avoids stories about the pain and heartbreak of abortion. They run a mile from scandals like the recent tragic death of a woman from Ireland after an abortion in a Marie Stopes clinic in London. And they go to extraordinary lengths to leave the unborn child out of the picture.
It’s not just the newspapers; the radio and TV are just as bad. In RTÉ, (the national, tax-funded broadcaster), current affairs programmes recently discussed the Clare Daly abortion Bill with panels consisting entirely of pro-abortion advocates. An RTÉ Sunday morning radio programme recently spent 20 minutes without interruption attacking the 8th Amendment, which provides the only remaining legal protection to the unborn. Again, there was not even one pro-life voice on the panel. And the presenter of an RTÉ afternoon show featured stories about abortion on 5 separate occasions during the first fortnight of February, all from a stridently pro-choice perspective. These examples represent only a fraction of the recent bias.
The event tomorrow will be positive in focus, not negative, respectful but resolute, calling the media to account. It’s being held at a time when politicians and journalists will be in the Parliament Building, so they will see that pro-life supporters are not prepared to put up with this bias anymore.
Large sections of the media would be very happy if pro-life people gave up the fight, leaving them with a freer hand to go on propagandising for abortion. The very brazenness of their bias leaves them vulnerable. When it is exposed, the case they have been making will be undermined. Ten years ago, it was next to impossible to challenge media bias. The arrival of social media has changed all that and the Pro Life Campaign intends to take full advantage of the new opportunities that are now on offer.