ABC moves just a storm in a teacup

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS -

THE Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment in­sists a push to leg­is­late that the ABC must be “fair and bal­anced” will not change any­thing about the public broad­caster’s ex­ist­ing editorial poli­cies.

The change to the ABC Act — yet to be brought to Par­lia­ment — is part of a deal the Gov­ern­ment did with One Na­tion for pass­ing its over­haul of me­dia laws.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Min­is­ter Mitch Fi­field says ABC editorial poli­cies talk about the im­por­tance of fair treat­ment.

“There’s been a bit of up­roar about that (pro­posed change), but there shouldn’t be,” Sen­a­tor Fi­field told ABC TV yes­ter­day.

“These are not new or strange jour­nal­is­tic con­cepts.”

One Na­tion se­na­tors have of­fered ex­am­ples where they think ABC cov­er­age has not been bal­anced, in­clud­ing cli­mate change and giv­ing equal time to views of anti-vaxxers.

Other el­e­ments of the deal with One Na­tion include forc­ing the ABC and SBS to pub­lish the salaries of em­ploy­ees earn­ing more than $200,000 and have the na­tional broad­cast­ers face an in­quiry into “com­pet­i­tive neu­tral­ity”.

How­ever, other par­ties, in­clud­ing the Nick Xenophon Team, have said they will not back the changes, mean­ing they may be doomed.

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