Oz org finds 4 bias breaches

ABC's Balding challenges basis for findings

SYDNEY– After a 13-month investigation, the Australian Broadcasting Authority has confirmed its findings that reports on ABC radio’s “AM” programs on the Iraq war breached the pubcaster’s code of practice.

However, it found only four breaches — not the 43 instances of “biased and anti-American” remarks in “AM” programs reported by former Communications Minister Richard Alston between March and April 2003.

ABC managing director Russell Balding said Tuesday the breaches “related to a few minutes out of many hours of coverage of the war.”

However, Balding restated the ABC’s view that the basis on which the ABA sought to justify its findings was flawed.

” ‘AM’s’ extensive coverage of the war in Iraq was professional, comprehensive and balanced,” he said.

The ABC’s code requires the org to ensure programs are balanced and impartial and the ABA suggested that the code should “more clearly differentiate between news programs and current affairs programs,” when it is reviewed soon.

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