ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has addressed the controversy surrounding stories it published by economics correspondent Emma Alberici.
Speaking at a Senate committee hearing last night, Guthrie placed the blame partly on the ABC’s recent restructure of its content teams for the issues flagged around Alberici’s recent analysis of corporate tax cuts.
The prominent ABC journo’s coverage of the topic came under intense scrutiny from a number of business and government leaders such as federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, forcing Alberici to make significant amendments to her stories.
You can read an updated version of Alberici’s analysis piece here, which originally claimed claimed one in five of Australia’s top companies hadn’t paid any tax in the last three years.
Guthrie admitted that as the ABC’s teams were moving into the new editorial structure, “we made mistakes”, according to The Australian Financial Review.
“Stories were published which hadn’t received the editorial scrutiny they needed, and weren’t up to our standards,” she said.
“This naturally prompted [ABC] News’ leadership to review the internal handling of stories. Today, News employees were briefed on changes to some roles, with a greater focus on editorial standards.”
The Australian reported that the ABC’s second most senior news division executive, Craig McMurtrie, will become executive editor of ABC News.
Guthrie also revealed the ABC is also creating a new digital unit within its existing business reporting team to enhance quality control and increase oversight of daily news coverage.