ABC double standards for political interviews and a sudden collapse in transparency

Margo Kingston

Margo Kingston

Co-publisher & editor-in-chief at No Fibs

Margo Kingston is an Australian journalist, author, and commentator. She is best known for her work at The Sydney Morning Herald and her weblog, Webdiary. Since 2012, Kingston has been a citizen journalist, reporting and commenting on Australian politics via Twitter and No Fibs.

Margo Kingston

@margokingston1

Recovered journalist uncovered in 2013. #frightbat Queen in 2014.

Gosford’s @FrBower on #Racism, the fair go underbelly http://t.co/bOEkHoRvry Thanks to @NoFibs reporter @Jansant http://t.co/uKkRcZCOOM – 44 mins ago

Margo Kingston

by Margo Kingston
February 5th, 2013

917024-sa-treasurer-kevin-foley

Former South Australian deputy premier Kevin Foley

An ABC deep throat has provided AFHP with the following statement:

In December 2011 the ABC was found by the ACMA to have breached the impartiality codes of the ABC Code of Practice.

The broadcast session involved was an interview with former SA Deputy Premier, Kevin Foley (Labor), on the breakfast timeslot of ABC Local Radio Adelaide.

The ACMA found:

…that the presenters displayed fixed prejudgment on the topics discussed, asked loaded questions and used disparaging language.

http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_410263

The ABC released a statement saying:

“The ABC acknowledges the ACMA’s ruling following a lengthy and highlycomplex investigation

“The ABC has vigorously defended the broadcast throughout the ACMA’s deliberations and is surprised at the outcome.

[...]

“Our interpretation of the ABC’s Code of Practice in this instance differs from that of ACMA, and we continue to disagree

“Matthew Abraham and David Bevan are experienced broadcasters, with a reputation for asking tough questions in a robust political environment.

“This approach will continue in line with the ABC’s editorial policies.”

Adelaide Now: ABC radio presenters Matthew Abraham and David Bevan found guilty of bias


Now, isn’t that all Jon Faine did: “[ask] tough questions in a robust political environment”?

Seems a double-standard from the ABC.

Former Shockjock Mike Smith

Former Shockjock Mike Smith

I note that in 2011 the ABC released a statement and reported the ACMA finding
(Watchdog rules Foley interview not impartial’)

This year, the ABC issued no statement, did not report the matter and, as revealed by Peter Clarke in ‘Who is wearing the Kafka mask at the ABC?’ has refused to release its reasons for reprimanding Faine and apologising to complainants. I have referred this material to Peter Clarke for analysis.


Footnote
:  Mark Scott has yet to reply to my letter about Jon Faine .


Further references for 2011 case

Matthew Abraham and David Bevan Interview

Audio: please specify correct url

ACMA – ABC Radio investigation Report 2582

ACMA finds 891 ABC lacked impartiality

ABC Friends criticise 891 over bias

Media watchers turn on ABC

First ABC impartiality breach since 2004

Smartarse journos leave democracy better off, not worse

Comments


  1. I note that that in ‘Media watchers turn on the ABC’ in 2011 the Oz defended the ABC broadcasters on free speech grounds. Look forward to Andrew Bolt and the Oz stepping up for Jon Faine now.


  2. Margo,

    The Oz is always hotfoot in defending free speech when it is criticised for its tendentious opinions but it will be a cold day in hell before the Oz earnestly defends those who express opinions which are contrary its political sympathies.

  3. Markie mark says:

    Margo
    I have just had the unfortunate experience of witnessing Lyndal Curtis having a friendly chat ( as opposed to an interview) with Mathias Cormann it makes me sick the bias the ABC has towards the LNP. Lyndal led Cormann into an anti Labor rant. The ABC may as well be part of the Murdoch empire. All they have to do after every so called interview is run the rider ” this interview was authorized by the LNP”.

  4. Catching up says:

    Just witness Lydnal Curtis having a very friendly, interview with Mirabela. Now that takes some doing.

    Must admit, Lyndal did get some good sugar laden questions in, and I suspect that they were laced with vinegar.

    Mirabella left, very please with herself.

    At the end of the day,. It matters how the questions are asked, as long as they are. We the viewr can make up our own minds, as to the value of the answers.


  5. Correct me if I am wrong but the ACMA seems to have no real powers at all.
    They find issue with A Current Affair quite regularly and as mentioned here the ABC et al from time to time. BUT what are the investigations supposed to resolve and improve ?
    Not a lot apparently, its tantamount to nonsense isnt it ? a waste of govt funds, they dont have the ability to correct any wrong doing by anyone.
    A Current Affair constantly gets away with slanderous and defamatory content which is investigated ( over many months ) and the outcome is a big ‘tut tut’ to ACA ?
    Are you people serious ? ACA operate the way they do because most everyone they target does not have the funds to sue them for defamation.
    Furthermore, ACMA doesnt have the ability to fine the producer of ACA or Channel 9 and give the proceeds to the unfortunate victim.
    ACA and Today Tonight might cover some stories well, but ACA is often treading a fine line with their allegations and often proven to be not only negligent in their research but deficient in morals and ethics.
    If the sensational allegations are driven by (‘s effort to bolster advertising space around ACA then surely ALL advertising dollars related to the program should be forfeited to compensate the victim should the allegations be proven untrue or misleading.

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