ABC Says It Didn’t Pull Four Corners Episode About QAnon And Prime Minister

ABC Says It Didn’t Pull Four Corners Episode About QAnon And Prime Minister
SHARE
THIS



After a turbulent few weeks for the relationship between the ABC and the government, the public broadcaster has claimed it did not ‘pull’ an upcoming Four Corners episode from air.

The episode was reportedly focused on the relationship between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the conspiracy group QAnon.

QAnon is a far-right conspiracy group that erupted initially in the US. At the crux of the conspiracy – which has been resoundingly discredited – is a belief that the world is controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshippers who run a pedophile ring.

Many QAnon believers link the supposed cabal explicitly to the Democratic party, and QAnon supporters were seen at the far-right US Capitol riot in January.

The conspiracy gained particular traction last year as QAnon supporters posted COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter disinformation online.

A recent study by the Public Religion Research Insitute has found that 15 per cent of all Americans believed the allegation by QAnon that “the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.”

The Four Corners episode, which was originally scheduled to broadcast this coming Monday, was set to explore the relationship between Scott Morrison and a supporter of QAnon.

It was fronted by Louise Milligan, an ABC journalist at the centre of the furor between the broadcaster and former Attorney General Christian Porter, after Porter dropped his defamation case.

According to The Sydney Herald, sources from the ABC told it (and sister publication The Age) that the episode had been blocked after Gaven Morris, the news director, “upwardly referred” it to managing director David Anderson. The Guardian similarly reported that a senior source told them that the episode had been “upwardly referred”.

According to the ABC’s editorial policies, “those who create, acquire, commission or oversee ABC content are responsible for ensuring that it complies with the Editorial Policies, but they are also required to upwardly refer any editorial matter where they are in doubt.”

“Editorial content that is controversial or likely to have an extraordinary impact should also be upwardly referred, even if there is no doubt, to allow closer consideration of any editorial policy issues.”

The policies also say that if an editorial issue is upwardly referred to the managing director, it must also first be referred to the editorial director for input and advice.

The Herald also reported that their sources claimed the decision not to air the episode came days after Gaven Morris received a call from the PM’s office, which referred to a range of matters including the upcoming episode.

On Thursday, as reported in both the Herald and Guardian, a spokesperson said that “the ABC did not ‘pull’ a story from broadcast.”

“Any suggestion to the contrary is misleading and mischievous. All ABC content is subject to the same rigorous editorial decision-making processes before being published.”

“The decision to publish is only made once all requirements, including editorial and legal requirements, have been met and it is appropriate to do so.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

four corners misinformation QAnon Scott Morrison the abc

Latest News

Eyeota Enhances Reach And Targeting Precision For RDA Research
  • Marketing

Eyeota Enhances Reach And Targeting Precision For RDA Research

Leading Australian market research data brand, RDA Research, provides actionable consumer intelligence to help businesses inform decision making and growth strategies. RDA Research wanted to make its unique consumer data available for addressable digital targeting and required a data onboarding partner to help activate their data in an online environment.

Enthral Strengthens Journalistic DNA By Hiring Channel 7 Reporter Sean Sowerby
  • Media

Enthral Strengthens Journalistic DNA By Hiring Channel 7 Reporter Sean Sowerby

Storytelling agency Enthral has appointed Channel 7 reporter and sports presenter Sean Sowerby as its new senior PR and content manager in Melbourne. Sowerby (pictured) started his award-winning career at 3AW before spending more than 15 years in television. Enthral founder and manager director, Cameron Smith, spoke of the significance of Sowerby joining the agency. […]

Blis Puts Its CEO In The Desert In Clever New “Data Drought” Ad
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Blis Puts Its CEO In The Desert In Clever New “Data Drought” Ad

Ever since Google first announced it would be getting rid of third-party cookies on Chrome, digital advertising businesses have been actively sharing their plans for life after cookies. And now programmatic advertising company Blis might have come up with the most creative way to get the message across, in a new video which sees company […]

Agency Icon Sweeps The SABRE Awards
  • Marketing
  • Media

Agency Icon Sweeps The SABRE Awards

Integrated Melbourne agency Icon has taken top honours in the 2021 SABRE Awards, winning the coveted Australasian Consultancy of the Year for 2021 along with a host of category and craft awards. Icon led a large field of Australian agencies with a total of three major and seven minor awards, including gold in the cause-related […]

Former Agency Execs Launch Car Service Summon
  • Marketing
  • Media

Former Agency Execs Launch Car Service Summon

Former agency executives Tim O’Neill and Tim Fouhy have launched the auto technology startup Summon. Australia’s first full e-commerce service for prestige cars. O’Neill and Fouhy both founded Reactive, a digital agency, which was bought by Accenture in 2016. Following the deal, O’Neill and Fouhy ended up leading the company’s digital marketing arm, Accenture Interactive before […]