ABC moves just a storm in a teacup
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.