Media council will assess KUOW/antiabortion dispute

A media-ethics forum in Seattle will hold a hearing later this month to consider an antiabortion group’s charge that all-news KUOW-FM aired an inaccurate report about the group last year and fell short of correcting its missteps. The complaint by the Vitae Foundation centers on an April 2011 story by reporter Meghan Walker about Vitae’s billboard campaign publicizing, a website that discusses what women can do about unplanned pregnancies. The story began with remarks by a Planned Parenthood rep but, as Vitae official Deborah Stokes objected, the reporter didn’t contact Vitae for comment. Walker said she regretted not contacting Vitae but stood by the story as accurate and balanced. Stokes pressed her complaint with News Director Guy Nelson.

Abortion issue heats dispute over WDUQ underwriting

Pittsburgh jazz/news station WDUQ finds itself in the middle of an abortion-politics hardball contest between its licensee, Catholic-run Duquesne University, and Planned Parenthood. Soon after WDUQ began running Planned Parenthood underwriting spots Oct. 8 [2007], the university ordered the station to stop accepting money from a group “not aligned with our Catholic identity,” even though the underwriting went solely to the station. Though abortion is one of the reproductive health services offered by the local Planned Parenthood affiliate, the word wasn’t used in the spots. The text for one spot said: “Support for WDUQ comes from Planned Parenthood—reducing unintended pregnancy by improving access to contraception.” Another spot mentioned optional abstinence training.