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ABC acknowledges errors in coverage of mid-east conflict

Senator Michael Ronaldson, Liberal Senator for Victoria, today welcomed the ABC’s acknowledgement that its coverage of the Israel-Lebanon conflict in 2006 was riven with errors.

In answers to questions placed on notice by Senator Ronaldson at the Senate Supplementary Estimates Hearings in October 2006 the ABC has acknowledged that the news coverage was misleading.

The ABC specifically acknowledged that it had:

-       repeatedly incorrectly described the location where Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists;
-       used language that portrayed a bias against Israel;
-       made references in stories that were inconsistent with its own policies, and
-       misled viewers over the history of conflict in the area.

“I welcome the ABC’s admission that its reporting of the lamentable conflict in the middle-east last year did not accurately reflect the truth” Senator Ronaldson said.

At the Supplementary Estimates Hearings on 30 October 2006 Mark Scott, ABC Managing Director described the purpose of the ABC’s new editorial policies as being “really about good journalism – journalism that is fair, accurate, balanced and objective; journalism that lets the facts speak.”

“If these recent admissions by the ABC are the first step towards the more fair, balanced, accurate and objective reporting that Mr Scott describes then it is a welcome step forward” Senator Ronaldson said.

“The ABC must learn from its mistakes and prevent such breaches of its own standards in the future”

“I will continue to keep a close watch on the ABC in the hope that its new editorial policy and new Director will ensure that the community does not see a repeat of such errors”

“The Australian community deserves public broadcasting that is balanced and objective. The ABC’s admissions make it appear that this has unfortunately not been the case in 2006”


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The person who wrote the previous post is most confused. The rednecks are those bigots who have always tried to stiffle Jewish opinion. My advice to that person is to wear a big brimmed hat when you go out in the sun next time.

Posted by Wazza on 2007-02-07 13:17:01 GMT

We will welcome honest reporting from ABC - if it actually occurs. To set the record straight is what is now required, though so much damage has been done. ABC should tell the public the truth and the real factsl

Posted by R.E.D. on 2007-02-01 01:17:48 GMT

One of the consequences of the spreading of misinformation on the events taking place in the Middle East by the media can be seen in malevolent outpourings and lies such as those contained in the letter of Dora McPhee of Melbourne published by the Age today. And I thought the Age refrained from publishing propaganda rants!

Posted by Jack Chrapot on 2007-01-30 21:44:50 GMT

Arik, before you have a joke...try to comprehend correctly what you are reading. The joke is on you!

Posted on 2007-01-30 21:21:55 GMT

Stop nit picking Arik (is that your real name?). The good Senator didn't get it wrong. It was the ABC which made the acknowledgement about the Israeli soldiers who were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. Why do you have a problem with truthful reporting?

Posted by Wilbur Post on 2007-01-29 21:11:16 GMT

Congratulations and thank you Senator Ronaldson for your tireless work in ensuring a fair and balanced ABC. Lets hope that this admission by the ABC's management of anti Israel bias and their promises to provide REAL journalism -informative, factual, accurate, balanced and objective reporting - will bring some change to the current culture of opinionated journalists driving their own political agenda. What about SBS? It's time that SBS, which is also a public-funded broadcasting service be put on notice too. There is ample evidence which shows anti Israel bias, inaccurate and unbalanced reporting and use of language inappropriately. I'm also concerned as to whether there is any monitoring of SBS foreign language programs to ensure adherence to the code of practice.

Posted by Rachel on 2007-01-29 09:24:25 GMT

Acknowledgement is a positive step, but what is the ABC intending to do in order to rectify the anti-Israel sentiment it created through its misleading and defamatory reporting about the war between Israel and Hezbollah?

Posted by Dina on 2007-01-29 09:13:17 GMT

It's OK, and we all together must to act more to defence the truth. As a member of Russian Speaking "Shalom" Association I have received a letter from SBS TV where the administrtion have agreed that the the coverage of the Israel-Lebanon conflict had some errors.I informed Senator Ronaldson about. May be it's a reason to organise a joint meeting with him. Leonid Shvartsman, member of "Shalom" committee. Ph: 95769818

Posted by Leonid Shvartsman on 2007-01-29 05:25:22 GMT

Well done ICJS and Senator Ronaldson! It is about time that the ABC was exposed for their extreme bias.

Posted by Wazza of Oz on 2007-01-29 00:53:25 GMT