ANU 'death threats' – ABC posts a correction

FOI request

Which raises more questions than it answers:

ANU emails

Posted Thu May 24, 2012 4:13pm AEST

News Online: On May 11, the ABC reported on the release under FOI of a number of emails relating to climate change received by staff at the ANU. The story should have made clear that the emails were found to be abusive, but NOT to constitute death threats or clear threats of violence. However, the ANU maintains that staff have received death threats in other communications not released under the FOI action. The story has been clarified and updated. (link)

In particular, this sentence:

“The ANU maintains that staff have received death threats in other communications not released under the FOI action.

So I have sent a further email to the ANU to clarify this statement in a number of ways without having to go through the full FoI procedure. Although why the ANU don’t just simply show us the evidence they have of these alleged “death threats” is a mystery. At least then we could all stop this messing around.

The Australian has another piece on the ABC’s defence of its position, entitled “ABC ‘evidence’ of climate threats old, and wrong” – link to follow.

More intrigue (click to enlarge)



  1. The Loaded Dog says:

    “So I have sent a further email to the ANU to clarify this statement”


    Just following up another lead like any competent investigator should.

    Bet it sh!ts them right off.

    TOO BAD…

  2. agwnonsense says:

    The more I hear the more it smells.IT was a crock last year and it’s a crock now.IF there was a threat it would be in the hands of the AFP, it is not and never will be.

  3. I got this interesting email today, May 28th, from the ABC, after sending an email on May 14th, (posted here as it has some links it it people may find worthwhile)

    Dear Ms ____,

    Thank you for your email of 14 May concerning an ABC News Online story on the release of abusive emails sent to the ANU.

    As your correspondence raised concerns of a lack of accuracy, your email was referred to Audience and Consumer Affairs for consideration and response. The unit is separate and independent from ABC program areas and is responsible for investigating complaints alleging a broadcast or publication was in contravention of the ABC’s editorial standards. In light of your concerns, we have reviewed the story and assessed it against the ABC’s editorial requirements for accuracy, as outlined in section 2.1 of the ABC’s Editorial Policies: In the interests of procedural fairness, we have also sought and considered material from ABC News.

    In its original form the story did not make clear that the emails released by the ANU did not include direct threats to ANU staff and that the reference to a gun threat was an internal ANU email that described an incident which was perceived as a potential gun threat. The headline and two other lines in the story have been modified to make that clear, an editor’s note has been attached to the story and a clarification posted on the Clarifications page. Audience and Consumer Affairs conclude that this aspect of the story was not in keeping with the ABC’s editorial standards for accuracy, section 2.1.

    ABC News apologises for any misunderstanding.

    In relation to the gun issue, a man has come forward to identify himself as the person referred to in the ANU email. His version of what occurred has been added to the story in the form of an update.

    Thank you for taking the time to write; your feedback is appreciated.

    For your reference, the ABC Editorial Policies are available online at

    Yours sincerely

    Mark Maley
    Audience & Consumer Affairs

    [REPLY – Thanks for sharing this. Simon]

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