Earlier this month, ABC was widely condemned for their coverage of King Charles III ‘s Coronation.
The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth and James Madden reported that it was condemned by a number radio personalities.
3AW’s Neil Mitchell said that the ABC of “totally misread the room”. Mitchell also called for ABC’s management to be held accountable.
I really wonder sometimes why we feed these ABC people. I don’t blame the people on air, it’s whomever management decides ‘ah, here’s a good idea, let’s use footage from London while we bag the living daylights out of the monarchy.
2GB’s Ray Hadley condemned the coverage:
They had a token person who represents the monarchy… and then we had the line-up of people wanting to give it, it’s just not a platform for it, there’s no dignity attached to it.
Herald Sun/Outsiders’ Rita Panahi condemned the ABC coverage “nasty” and “spiteful”.
The ABC charter
Many critics of the ABC refer to their Charter. ABC’s Charter requires its presenters to make clear distinctions between reporting and opinion. It also requires reporters to:
Ensure that editorial decisions are not improperly influenced by political, sectional, commercial or personal interests.Differentiating between factual reporting, analysis and opinion – Key Editorial Standards, 1.3
Also ABC are meant to:
Present a diversity of perspectives so that over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionally represented.Differentiating between factual reporting, analysis and opinion, Key Editorial Standards, 4.2
The ABC should reflect the diversity within the Australian population. It’s meant to be “our”, (i.e Australia’s) ABC. However, the public broadcaster is frequently accused of bias. Their coverage of King Charles III was no different.
Presenters focused on British colonisation, people suspected they were pushing the republic debate.
Grant’s take on Queen Elizabeth’s death
King Charles III’s coronation wasn’t the first time Grant had criticised the monarchy.
When Queen Elizabeth II passed away last September, Grant lashed out at his employer for their coverage. He told Radio National’s Patricia Karvelas:
How dare the Queen just die and this country go into mourning, what about my own people who continue to be the most impoverished and imprisoned people.
I felt in my own organisation… a sense of betrayal because the ABC, everyone donned black suits, everyone took on a reverential toneStan Grant to Patricia Karvelas, 19 April 2022
He also slammed Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese:
We know that the Prime Minister said, ‘now is not the time to talk about empire and colonisation, this is not the time to talk about the republic’, well it is always the time.Stan Grant to Patricia Karvelas, Radio National 19 April 2022
ABC is biased, but people should also be able to have their own views
The bias of the ABC is obvious. Their reporters and commentators tend to have similar social and political views.
They’re guests aren’t much different.
Often, panels on shows like Q & A and The Drum predominately lean one way. One panellist may offer a different view, but not surprisingly, they are often howled down.
Update: According to Rita Panahi, ABC a thousand complaints for their coverage of the coronation. This sparked an internal investigation into whether commentators abided by their reporting and editorial standards.
Another update: Stan Grant stood down from hosting Q & A and other commitments. News.com.au reported the reason was the backlash against Grant’s coronation coverage brought on by “grotesque” raciat abuse.
This is so wrong. And it seems to hapoen when someone is excessively shamed in the media.