Monday, January 29, 2007

ABC acknowledges errors (or bias?) in covering ME conflict.
ABC acknowledges errors in coverage of mid-east conflict
by Senator Michael Ronaldson
Monday January 29, 2007
from Media Release
Senator Michael Ronaldson, Liberal Senator for Victoria, today welcomed the ABC’s acknowledgement that its coverage of the Israel-Lebanon conflict in 2006 was riven with errors.
In answers to questions placed on notice by Senator Ronaldson at the Senate Supplementary Estimates Hearings in October 2006 the ABC has acknowledged that the news coverage was misleading.
The ABC specifically acknowledged that it had:
- repeatedly incorrectly described the location where Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists;
- used language that portrayed a bias against Israel;
- made references in stories that were inconsistent with its own policies, and
- misled viewers over the history of conflict in the area.
"I welcome the ABC’s admission that its reporting of the lamentable conflict in the middle-east last year did not accurately reflect the truth" Senator Ronaldson said.
At the Supplementary Estimates Hearings on 30 October 2006 Mark Scott, ABC Managing Director described the purpose of the ABC’s new editorial policies as being "really about good journalism – journalism that is fair, accurate, balanced and objective; journalism that lets the facts speak."
"If these recent admissions by the ABC are the first step towards the more fair, balanced, accurate and objective reporting that Mr Scott describes then it is a welcome step forward" Senator Ronaldson said.
"The ABC must learn from its mistakes and prevent such breaches of its own standards in the future"
"I will continue to keep a close watch on the ABC in the hope that its new editorial policy and new Director will ensure that the community does not see a repeat of such errors"
"The Australian community deserves public broadcasting that is balanced and objective. The ABC’s admissions make it appear that this has unfortunately not been the case in 2006"

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