When Will The Government Do Something About ABC? Never, they don’t think ABC is biased

As a frequent user of Twitter, I see a lot of tweets directed to Craig Emerson, (possibly the most prolific Federal Labor tweeeter) asking for all sorts of things. People think, if they tweet Emmo, he can solve all their problems. Unless he is your local member, there is very little he can do.

A frequent request of Craig Emerson is that he sort of the bias of the ABC. Because everyone knows, if you tweet random politicians, they will act on it.

On 5 June, I took the time to write letters to my senators and the Communications minister. So far, I have had 3 responses, one was to provide me the details of my local MP, a very far right Liberal, the other two were the same letter. Which is only fair, since I sent exactly the same letter to all senators.

This is the response – the Communications minister has no problems with the ABC, sees no bias, and will NOT do anything about it. So perhaps if we on the Left have a problem with the Right wing electioneering from the ABC, we need to get a bit more active than “tweeting Emmo”.


27 Comments to “When Will The Government Do Something About ABC? Never, they don’t think ABC is biased”

  1. PS I’m not questioning what I read in the comments; most of it I agree with. I’m just not sure your strategy is worthwhile.

  2. Sorry but I didn’t see anywhere in that response where the minister believes the ABC is not biased. What the reply said was that those matters are for the ABC board to consider. I’d be more interested in seeing a response from the Board to your complaint.

  3. Sadly the end of the ABC is in sight. Abbott will privatise it and many of the right wing reporters now employed there will be out of a job. Too late they will realise that it was not in their own interests to be so partisan let alone their countries interests. They will be replaced by the likes of akerman, bolt and divine and as they age they will lament an Australia that once had a public broadcaster. That the Labor party has ignored the ABC is either the dumbest thing they have ever done or evidence of their substantial move to the right. Either way the people of Australia are doomed to suffer from a partisan only press for the foreseeable future.

  4. “Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the US media.” — Noam Chomsky

    What on earth would he make of ~Australia’s~ media where there’s even LESS diversity??

  5. I’ve been writing, emailing and phoning government Ministers for more than two years about this problem. Just this week I sent (another) very comprehensive submission to Minister Conroy and a Labor Senator in my state.

    I’m calling on them to hold a full public inquiry into the ABC – How it was it went off the rails, and how it is allowed to remain recalcitrant in its day to day operations. We know what sent if off the rails, of course, the stacking of the Board by Howard with right-wing wreckers. The Australian public deserve to get to the bottom of this: How these wreckers influenced editorial policy, hiring and promotional practices within the organisation, etc. This is very serious. The health of democracy itself is on the line.

    Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, next on the list. Perhaps others could join me?

    • PS: That response you received from the Minister’s office – It reads just like the no-substance spin you get from Audience and Consumer Affairs in response to a complaint. Minister Conroy needs to wake the fuck up.

      • I dont understand how they can think “oh the ABC has a charter, they wouldnt break the rules”, theyre culture warriors, pushing a RW ideology, um…. of course they will break the rules, they think they’re the Chosen Ones

    • Im not sure what to do next, letters get buck-passed, politicians don’t care, and whining about it is getting boring

    • RE ABC…what also has me completely astonished is the union representing the ABC staff are as deaf mutes. As a former union delegate, before taking on my own business, I would have been asking questions of members about the attitudes, the directives, where they are coming from. Obviously many of the News and current affairs staff are on contract and wouldn’t be seen anywhere near a union meeting, but I do not believe there are not loyal Labor Union members on the staff at ABC studios all over the country, who must be appalled at the anti Govt, anti Gillard daily attacks.
      Yes I did contact the Union, there was no one available to discuss the matter. Perhaps there is a staff member who reads these pages who would like to make an anonomous contribution and explain what the hell is going on at the National Broadcaster and what Scott’s real agenda is? At the moment among tens of thousands of your fellow Australians, the ABC’s name is mud

      • Sometimes I think the ABC/ media in Australia is like a cult, you cant see it while youre in it, you say what everyone else says, so your values are being backed up and reaffirmed, and only if you pull yourself out, you realise “what the hell was I thinking?” … if the socalled lefties these days such as Mike Carlton are indistinguishable from Michelle Grattan. So Im not sure anyone in the union would complain, those types were cleared out in the post-Scott-hiring purges

  6. “The drum generally features three panellists in each show who are chosen to present a range of views. Many panellists, such as ABC journalists and commentators from other organisations, do not have any affiliation with or stated allegiances to political parties.”


    They bring on ex-advisors of both parties, and even give them that title on the program. I’m not sure how you can get anymore affiliated with a political party then that, unless you become an actual politician.

  7. I did complain last year – a letter to the PM where I complained of media bias – even in the ABC.Not to mention News Lits and all other MSM. Word choice, intonation- lack of questioning of the Libs.. I eventually got a reply via the Communications dept – virtually identical to the one you got.I had also emailed them, as well and got another letter saying the same. Mind you they were signed by differnt people. I alos contacted Tony Windsor, Rob Oakshott, Adam Bandt,. Andrew Wilkie- all of whom I would have thought has a vested interest in keeping the Gillard goverment in power.

    ABC to investigate itself? we know that self regualtion is laughable. To his credit Tony Windsor replied.,Rob Oakshott emailed he was aware of my comments, Nothing from the others. ACMA a joke- Teeth? My goodness it would need FANGS!!

    If Julia Gillard is doing so badly why are they eager to remove her? Surely it would be in their interest to keep her and walk away with the election? I am suspicious of the polls there were never this many that I can recall.Also if they only can phone landlines- wont that mean an older ( more conservative) co-hort who are answering the polls?

    • Good point – if Gillard is so bad, you would think the Libs would want her around as long as possible. The ABC is become a tool of the LNP propaganda machine, and the Govt doesnt care.

    • Sue you have it in one..the polls are no indication of the overall indications of voting intent for the reasons you mentioned. Another point to remember, particularly about News Poll, conducted on behalf of Murdochs News Ltd. The areas phoned are selected for a particular voting pattern and age demographic. I have no doubt the polls are slanted.
      The last polling I saw from Labor sources, some 6 months ago, it was close to a 50/50 split 2PP.
      The only poll that counts is the General Election.
      Now lets wait for the Lib trolls to have a go and try and defend the indefensible

  8. I do know how government works and I reckon they are aware of just how much the ABC has shifted away from fair and balanced.
    I can only conclude that a decision has been made to radically change the operation of our public broadcaster. This (as yet unannounced decision) must be to merge public and commercial mainstream media into some sort of hybrid model (pressure coming from the steady decline of commercial media and the internet).
    Just look at how many former News Ltd journalists now work at the ABC (or as political staff for that matter)

    • Run down the ABC then sell it off to Murdoch, why not, News Limited is practically running it anyway, then the govt will have a completely independent (of government) media and like all other assets they sell off, no way to control anything – whoo hoo, love living in a Neo-Liberal society, where money is the only thing that counts

  9. I agree the Govt cannot direct and cannot influence the day to day running of the ABC. However the Govt can do something about Mark Scott, that is within their powers. I have written to Conroy 3 times, the PM twice plus many twitter posts re Scott. Conroy never replies, his staff do, same response each time using same standard form. Saying the same as the attached.
    There have been petitions organised, one very successfully to the GetUp Organisation which managed over a thousand signatures. GetUp declined to take it on and Conroy was made very aware of it.
    In my opiniion, the Govt will not take Scott on as they will seem to be attempting to interfere with the running of the ABC, a fact Scott is very aware of. It is no secret he has hired journalists who have the same political right leaning as himself, never forgetting he has at no time denied his links to the Liberal Party.
    I have come to the conclusion the ABC will continue on their Govt bashing way, safe in the knowledge there is nothing the Minister can do to stop them.
    What did someone say about complete power corrupting?

  10. This is an unbelievable response from the government, it means they will lose the next election. Once, when I called a ministers office about the ABC, the staffer said they did not see it as they were watching FOXTEL (Sky News).

    Don’t they bother to read the research from Independent Australia (complete with statistics, not opinion).

    Next time the Government spokesperson is asked “Why can’t the government get it’s message across?” the correct answer will be: “We don’t see any problem, everyone is well informed and loves the Gillard Government”.

    • The govt don’t care, and when I see people bitching to Craig Emerson “oh, but Emmo, do something”, I feel like shaking them and asking ‘do you even know how government operates? make a noise, do something’ maybe letters arent effective, but I tried, and I now know the government does not care what the ABC says, they think everything is perfectly fine, balanced and unbiased

      • Precisely my thinking. Its like they either dont know what is being broadcast by the likes of Fran Kelly on RN Breakfast, even though most senior Ministers have been on that programme with Kellys attempts at Gotcha’s. Plus don’t listen to her chats with the decrepid Grattan, now there is a pro Abbott scenario., or if they do just brush it aside as a couple of jurnos chewing the fat.and harmless!!!!
        There are literally hundreds of examples every week. Someone in the Govts research bureau should be listening and watching all major current affairs and news programmes.
        Why it is left to us supporters and antI LNP types to bring it to the various Ministers attention and then be ignored anyway, its not good enough.
        Unless the PM and her advisors have some ingenious master plan waiting to be launched then I fear they are indeed heading for defeat regardless of the many great pieces of legislation they introduce.
        The msm have a serious intention to ensure the Govt is beaten and Abbott is installed as PM. God, whoever and whatever that is,then help us. Someone will have to.

      • They don’t care. If they do act, they’ll be criticised – oh like they’re not already? The Govt don’t need to care, because as you say, their supporters – we are out here day in day out, spending hours and hours a week, doing what they should be paying a PR company to do, we are free labour in the blog mines and social network cubicles, getting the govts message out, because they don’t SEEM to care.

        News Limited and LNP (but I repeat myself) run the ABC, and most of the media in this country, the Govt refuses to have a Leveson style inquiry, then moan they can’t get their message out – um, perhaps those two things are connected…. maybe

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: