ABC Defends Its Coronation Coverage Despite 1800 Complaints & Stan Grant’s Departure

ABC Defends Its Coronation Coverage Despite 1800 Complaints & Stan Grant’s Departure

ABC bosses were in Canberra yesterday for a Senate Estimates hearing with the controversy surrounding the public broadcaster’s coverage of the Coronation front and centre.

As background, presenter Stand Grant used the coverage to highlight that the crown represented the invasion and theft of Aboriginal land.

Grant’s comments and the reporting generally has led to 1800 complaints from the public. Grant sensationally quit the broadcaster last week, blaming a racist backlash.

Yesterday, ABC managing director David Anderson told his Canberra chiefs that he stood by the broadcaster’s reporting.

“Some people thought it wasn’t appropriate to have that discussion at that moment in time,” Anderson said.

“There are other people who would say it is appropriate to have the discussion, it just was not what they were expecting -really reflecting that we hadn’t set the audience expectation about this well enough.

“But like (news director Justin Stevens), I stand by that discussion having happened. It was necessary. I’ve had people suggest to me, perhaps it should have been another day. Well, I think that it’s entirely appropriate to have it on that day.

“As Mr Stevens said, it was a long coverage. It was over eight hours. And across those eight hours, diversity of perspectives was reflected that is held across the Australian community.”

Anderson added he was worried about the ABC’s public facing staff and flagged a review of whether the organisation was doing enough to support its employees.

“There is absolutely zero tolerance for racism of any kind and we want to be able to protect them,” he said.

Anderson added he was especially worried about first nations staff as the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum approaches.

Stevens confirmed that Grant is presently on eight weeks leave but there are hopes he will return. It isn’t clear if Grant remains on full pay.

Stevens also added that Grant had been subjected to relentless racism for a long period of time for doing his job and the Coronation coverage saw a spike in racial vitriol on social media.

“We’re talking about a really large volume and torrent of racial abuse and threats to Stan and his family over the course of a number of days,” he said.

 

 




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