Complaints Over ABC Bias Are Up Thanks To Stories Covering Russia, Palestine & The Voice

Sydney, Australia - March 24, 2015: People entering and leaving the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Centre in Ultimo.

The number of complaints about bias or a lack of balance received by the ABC regarding its coverage has jumped from 40 per cent of total complaints in 2021 to 49 per cent in 2022.

However, the overall number of complaints regarding the ABC’s coverage declined by almost 300 to 3,264 — an almost 10 per cent reduction. Of those complaints, just 90 were upheld and 244 were resolved.

A report by the ABC’s newly appointed independent ombudsman, Fiona Cameron, said that the increase in content complaints about bias was “primarily due to multiple complaints about three pieces of content.”

One ABC News tweet received 40 complaints for alleged racism towards Palestinians or displaying an anti-Palestinian bias. A Landline story about the live export trade received 86 complaints about being inherently pro-industry biased and a 7.30 interview received 51 complaints about a perceived anti-Russian bias.

However, the ABC also received 102 complaints across all of its platforms alleging bias or a lack of balance in its coverage of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. “Many of these complaints go to presenter or interview styles and no investigation has been upheld,” said Cameron in her report.

The most complained about platforms and programs for Aunty were News Online, 7pm TV News, 7.30, News Breakfast and Q + A, which Cannes in Cairns speaker Stan Grant stepped down from following racist abuse after the ABC’s coverage of the Coronation of King Charles II. Incidentally, the ABC ombudsman received 66 complaints of the 1,996 written complaints sent to the network about the coverage.

Of the 394 complaints about the ABC’s News Online directed to the Ombudsman, 72 per cent were either claims of inaccuracies or allegations of bias on a “wide variety of topics.”




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