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ABC (Australia): Stop the bias towards the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA)



This petition is to hold the ABC accountable to its Editorial Policy, under section 4. "Impartiality and diversity of perspectives", in relation to the overrepresentation of the IPA.


"4.2 Present a diversity of perspectives so that, over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionately represented."


"4.5 Do not unduly favour one perspective over another."





Out of the 9 think tanks represented from June 2011 to June 2012 on the ABC's The Drum, the IPA took up 39 guest spots out of 93. That is 42% of the media coverage.

The other think tanks received considerably less:

Centre for Independent Studies (C) - 17 (18%)
Per Capita (P) - 15 (16%)
Centre for Policy Development (P) - 9 (10%)
Menzies Research Centre (C) - 5 (5%)
Grattan Institute (I) - 3 (3%)
Australia Institute (P) - 2 (3%)
Lowy Institute (I) - 2 (3%)
McKell Institute (P) - 1 (1%)

C = conservative
P = progressive
I = independent

Representation of think tanks by political persuasion:

Conservative = 61 (66%)
Progressive = 27 (29%)
Independent = 5 (5%)

Additional to the IPA's presence on The Drum television show, there is The Drum online where the Institute's Chris Berg churns out pieces on a weekly basis. Fellow stable mates Tim Wilson and James Paterson are published too. Independent Australia's Managing Editor, David Donovan, wrote an in-depth analysis of the guest spots on the popular ABC program QandA, and in his data the IPA is well represented.

Instead of The Drum (and the ABC in general) giving valuable media time to partisan think tanks -- of any political persuasion -- they should give viewers a real cross-section of civil society. Organisations such as the Community Council for Australia, Australian Council of Social Services, or St James Ethics Centre would enrich discussion and likely give commentary divorced of politicisation, corporate interests and that media know-it-all self-importance .

If you think the ABC should be held to account then please sign the petition, and if you have time fill out a formal complaint here as well. Use the information provided to accompany your complaint, and be sure to let us know the response you get back.


Once a decent number of signatures have been collected, they will be officially sent to the ABC in support of action to change this situation.

Thank you


The full stats and charts are located on

The numbers were sourced from

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  • ABC (Australia)

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