ABC Misconduct in Wentworth Byelection.

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This petition calls for (1) a senate inquiry into the ABC’s conduct in the Wentworth Byelection and (2) a wider review of the ABC Charter.

The ABC’s misconduct in a Byelection where the government has a one seat majority is a clear breach of Section 8 of the ABC act which calls for reporting that is “accurate and impartial according to the recognised standards of objective reporting”. 

The ABC made innacurate claims, in relation to the leaking of the Ruddock Review, that faith based schools expel gay children. There is zero evidence of this occurring in Australia. The ABC has failed to investigate the matter responsibly and accordingly failed to issue a retraction. In a Byelection with a very narrow result the ABC’s misconduct is an appalling abuse of its own charter.

In light of the ABC’s inaccurate reporting that breaches section 38 of the ABC Act and the ABC’s subsequent failure to fact check the reasonable conclusion is that the ABC has in fact chosen sides in the Wentworth Byelection. This lack of impartiality is another breach of Sectiom 38 of the ABC Act.

Furthermore, the early calling of the result 90 minutes after poll booths closed was clearly a bad mistake. 

Given its less than one month since the resignation of ABC Chairman Justin Milne for interfering in editorial matters following complaints from former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull the ABC has clearly lost its way and a thorough review is needed.

A year ago the Australian Communications and Media Authority found the ABC to be in breach of impartiality guidelines for a separate incident (Sept 2017).

This petition calls on the Australian Senate to review (1) the ABC’s coverage of the Wentworth Byelection and (2) a wider review of its charter.