Oz panel: ABC’s Iraq coverage not biased

Gov't official's criticism not supported by complaint org

SYDNEY– Relations between the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the government have reached a new low after the ABC’s independent review body rejected complaints that its Iraq war coverage was biased and anti-American.

In May, Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston criticized the way the conflict was reported on the pubcaster’s daily current affairs radio program “AM.”

Alston, who is at odds with the ABC over funding and the axing of its digital channels, cited numerous examples of what he described as “one-sided and tendentious commentary” by program hosts and reporters.

The ABC referred the complaints to the Complaints Review Executive, an independent office set up last year.

Complaints rejected

The CRE rejected 66 of Alston’s 68 complaints. It found the remaining two were cases of speculative reporting but neither amounted to “evidence of systemic anti-American” or anti-Oz government reporting.

“I am satisfied with the process and outcome of this investigation,” ABC managing director Russell Balding said Monday. “It vindicates the ‘AM’ program and its staff. The ABC’s war coverage was second to none, and I stand firmly behind the ABC’s programs.

“Overall, I believe our coverage of the conflict was balanced and delivered in a professional manner upholding the standards of objective journalism.”

Alston was clearly unhappy with the ABC’s response. “I remain concerned that ‘AM’s’ coverage did not meet the journalistic standards that one would expect from a national broadcaster that is fully committed to accuracy and impartiality,” he said Monday.

Alston added he would decide whether to take his complaints to the Australian Broadcasting Authority or the Independent Complaints Review Panel once he had assessed the ABC response.

More TV

  • THE EXPANSE -- "Intransigence" Episode 309

    'The Expanse' Moves to Amazon for Season 4

    SYDNEY– Relations between the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the government have reached a new low after the ABC’s independent review body rejected complaints that its Iraq war coverage was biased and anti-American. In May, Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston criticized the way the conflict was reported on the pubcaster’s daily current affairs radio program “AM.” […]

  • Arrested Development Season 5 review

    TV Review: 'Arrested Development' Season 5 on Netflix

    SYDNEY– Relations between the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the government have reached a new low after the ABC’s independent review body rejected complaints that its Iraq war coverage was biased and anti-American. In May, Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston criticized the way the conflict was reported on the pubcaster’s daily current affairs radio program “AM.” […]

  • Showtime Executive, Gary Garfinkle.Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS©2012

    Gary Garfinkel, Co-Head of Content Acquisitions at Showtime, Dies at 55

    SYDNEY– Relations between the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the government have reached a new low after the ABC’s independent review body rejected complaints that its Iraq war coverage was biased and anti-American. In May, Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston criticized the way the conflict was reported on the pubcaster’s daily current affairs radio program “AM.” […]

  • KIM POSSIBLE - The cast of

    'Kim Possible' Disney Channel Movie Casts Its Dr. Drakken, Shego, Other Key Characters

    SYDNEY– Relations between the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the government have reached a new low after the ABC’s independent review body rejected complaints that its Iraq war coverage was biased and anti-American. In May, Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston criticized the way the conflict was reported on the pubcaster’s daily current affairs radio program “AM.” […]

  • Ted Danson Remote Controlled Podcast

    Remote Controlled: 'The Good Place' Star Ted Danson on His 'Delicious' Role

    SYDNEY– Relations between the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the government have reached a new low after the ABC’s independent review body rejected complaints that its Iraq war coverage was biased and anti-American. In May, Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston criticized the way the conflict was reported on the pubcaster’s daily current affairs radio program “AM.” […]

  • Josh Holloway Colony

    Josh Holloway on Season 3 of 'Colony' in Trump Era: 'It's Scary, the Parallels of This Show'

    SYDNEY– Relations between the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the government have reached a new low after the ABC’s independent review body rejected complaints that its Iraq war coverage was biased and anti-American. In May, Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston criticized the way the conflict was reported on the pubcaster’s daily current affairs radio program “AM.” […]

  • Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class'

    Mick Betancourt Joins Syfy's 'Deadly Class' in Showrunner Switch

    SYDNEY– Relations between the Australian Broadcasting Corp. and the government have reached a new low after the ABC’s independent review body rejected complaints that its Iraq war coverage was biased and anti-American. In May, Communications Minister Sen. Richard Alston criticized the way the conflict was reported on the pubcaster’s daily current affairs radio program “AM.” […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content