I have to admit I read Mark Scott’s piece in The Australian last week with increasing bewilderment. Comments such as this:
The panel [on Q&A] includes some of the most outstanding political correspondents in the nation: Phil Coorey, Annabel Crabb, George Megalogenis, Lenore Taylor, Mark Kenny, Malcolm Farr. They are employed by News Limited and Fairfax, broadsheets and tabloids, and by media outlets across the country. And their task is to provide analysis on the events of the week. Which they do, carrying no ideological badge and pushing no line
Not everyone will agree with all his remarks, but I believe [Barrie Cassidy – host of ABC’s Insiders] works in a way that embodies journalistic standards of fairness, balance and impartiality
left me utterly dumbfounded. Is Scott really that blinded by his own organisation’s groupthink, or is he just dense? It has to be one or the other.
Andrew McIntyre responds today:
THE response by the managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corp, Mark Scott, to Janet Albrechtsen’s piece on ABC bias, almost defies belief. It is not the first time he has argued this case, even as he presented figures to a senate inquiry on the biased make-up of the panellists on Insiders.
Somehow, Scott trusts his “outstanding” commentators, by claiming that they are “carrying no ideological badge and pushing no line”. Well that settles it, doesn’t it?
If there is one lesson to be learned and many of us in Australia have been saying it for years it is about the selectivity of issues, the bias that is formed by the things that are not reported, and in interviews, by the people who are not interviewed.
This is an exquisitely refined technique on the ABC. Presenters tend to interview only those experts who agree with their own opinions, thus transforming news from factual content into a point of view without appearing to express the view of the presenter. On a panel on Insiders or Q&A, one simply gets the false impression that there is a consensus.
I guess if you stand on a platform that leans to the left for long enough, it begins to seem level again.