Sunday, February 11, 2007


Conservation Minister Chris Carter and his partner Peter Kaiser were joined in a civil union yesterday. Both major news websites in New Zealand reported this, but with different slants. Consider the lead paragraphs of the two stories:

Sunday Star-Times (via Stuff):

New Zealand's first openly gay MP, Cabinet Minister Chris Carter, yesterday tied the knot with his long term partner Peter Kaiser in a civil union ceremony in Auckland.

Herald on Sunday (the Sunday edition of the New Zealand Herald):

Floral Ties, purple suits and ever-so-slightly pink champagne all came to the party at Chris Carter's civil union ceremony last night – but a kiss was deemed a little too extravagant.

In general, the Sunday Star-Times coverage was matter-of-fact, while the Herald seemed to cover it more as a spectacle, probably in keeping with the more tabloid-style of its Sunday edition. There are probably sound reasons of “news judgement” for the different approaches, but it’s very easy in such situations to move from being “light-hearted and fun” to being mocking. To me, facts are always the important part and I stick to news sources that think so, too.

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