ABC’s science program Catalyst is set to return in 2017 following a major review after it breached editorial standards twice.
On Monday the network revealed the show would be part of the new year’s line-up, however per reports from The Guardian, the ABC is planning to replace the weekly half-hour show with 17 one-hour specials, largely produced by the independent production sector.
“After more than 15 years ABC Television is reviewing Catalyst’s format and production model,” the ABC said in a statement on Monday. “ABC management will respond to that review in due course.
“The ABC can confirm Catalyst will be part of the ABC schedule in 2017 and acknowledges the importance of the program for the scientific community and audiences in general,” he said.
“The ABC consistently reviews programs at the end of each year to ensure it maintains its commitment to audience needs and expectations.”
The ABC’s Audience and consumer Affairs unit found two stories, one on the safety of Wi-Fi and the other which questioned the benefit of cholesterol-reducing medication, breached editorial policies on accuracy and impartiality, with the former resulting in the suspension of reporter Maryanne Demasi from on-air assignments.
Following reports on Monday which suggested the program’s 11 staff would be fired, including Demasi who has been suspended since February, the ABC denied anything of the sort.
— Media Watch (@ABCmediawatch) October 31, 2016
“The A & CA Report found several inaccuracies within the program that had favoured the unorthodox view that mobile phones and Wi-Fi caused health impacts including brain tumours,” the ABC said in a statement in July regarding Demasi’s story.
“ABC TV is reviewing the strategy and direction for Catalyst with a view to strengthening this very important and popular program.”