Both News and Fairfax newspapers are pointing to problems at the ABC.
If there has been a consistent theme in multiple conversations in recent months with Coalition figures, from senior ministers down, it is that the ABC promotes a worldview inimical to conservative viewpoints on issues like climate change and asylum-seeker policy.
It would be hard to exaggerate the depths of displeasure among Liberal National Party representatives with the national broadcaster, fair or not. The conservative critique, including objections to a weighting against conservative voices on opinion programs like Insiders and Q&A, would seem to have some validity.
On the other hand, criticism that the ABC and Fairfax are part of a giant left-wing conspiracy is nonsense. Neither organisation has a monolithic worldview, this newspaper being one example.
THE CASE FOR PUBLIC FUNDING
But the ABC does have a case to answer when it comes to the use of $1.2 billion a year in public funding. It will have an opportunity to do so when the government institutes an “efficiency study” later this month.
THE art of good reporting is to let the facts speak for themselves. First, however, the facts must be discovered. It is the ABC’s inability to accomplish this most basic task that is compromising the integrity of its news service.
There is a recognition within the government that previous attempts to change the culture of the ABC have failed. But there is also a recognition and frustration that through a lack of normal and proper editorial and management processes, the ABC seemed determined to ignore the reality of a change of government and has not taken real steps to ensure its guidelines on impartiality and accuracy were enforced.
Inaccurate and unaccountable for $1.2 billion of taxpayer funds.
As it turns out tomorrow morning Roger Franklin and I will be talking to Jonathan Green about these very issues on Radio National at about 9.30.
Jonathan Green is the subject of an article in the Australian too.