After ABC Chair Ita Buttrose criticized her lack of input into ABC Board appointments, PM Scott Morrison has confirmed the three new additions to the Board.
Two of the appointments were picked based on recommendations by an independent nomination panel, while Fiona Balfour, who has extensive experience in IT and telecommunications, was chosen by Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications.
The other two appointments were Peter Tonagh, former CEO of Foxtel, and Mario D’Orazio, former Channel 7 Managing Director.
In a statement, Buttrose said, “I would like to welcome them. We are looking forward to their contribution and the benefits of their combined experience to ensure the ABC remains the valued and trusted public broadcaster Australians expect it to be.”
The ABC is also doubling down on senior staff members who criticise the Morrison government on social media.
As reported by The Australian, managing director David Anderson confirmed internal disciplinary measures against one of the network’s in-house lawyers, Sebastien Maury.
Maury had described the Morrison government as ‘fascist’ in now-deleted tweets.
Liberal senator Andrew Bragg questioned whether ABC staff calling the government ‘fascist’ was indicative of the ABC’s code of conduct failing.
Anderson wrote in response that, “Mr Maury’s tweeted comments were inappropriate and not in compliance with the ABC’s guidelines for personal use on social media.”
The national broadcaster is also seeking corrections to a claim made by right-wing think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs to a parliamentary committee.
In a submission to the Senate’s media diversity enquiry, the IPA alleged that only 15.4 per cent of Australians, and that it was not the country’s most trusted media organisation.
The number cited by the IPA refers only to ABC’s TV audiences, not their digital or radio networks.
According to a Reuters survey, the ABC, along with SBS, are the country’s most trusted media brands.
In the IPA’s submission, they said that “a media organisation owned and operated by the government that every taxpayer is forced to fund through their taxes is incompatible with a free society.”
The ABC has described the submission as “erroneous and misleading.”
They said, “the IPA has a responsibility to the federal parliament, and in particular, the Senate committee, to make sure their submissions are accurate.”