The ABC will be investigated by its own ombudsman after the taxpayer-funded organization was swamped with complaints about its “extremely biased” coverage of the coronation, it has been reported.
The national broadcaster reportedly received more than 1,000 complaints for its “disrespectful” reporting, which focused heavily on the impact the monarchy and colonization have had on Indigenous Australians and people of colour.
The two-hour special, hosted by The Drum’s Julia Baird and Jeremy Fernandez, featured a discussion panel consisting of Q&A presenter Stan Grant, Australian Republic Movement co-chair Craig Foster, Liberal MP and monarchist Julian Leeser, and Wiradjuri and Wailwan wife Teela. Reed.
Coverage of the ABC’s coronation (pictured) featured only one monarchist Liberal MP Julian Lesser (second from left) who later claimed the national broadcaster had ‘got the balance wrong’
The company reportedly received more than 1,000 complaints, some of which specifically accused it of violating its own editorial guidelines.
Mr Foster called for accountability from the royal family, claiming at one point: ‘The core of the wound in this country is the crown. And yet the Crown has been blameless.’
The program aired at 5pm, just three hours before the coronation of King Charles III was broadcast in Australia.
While most of the objections came from viewers simply wanting to express their “dissatisfaction” with the coverage, some were specifically accused of violating the ABC’s editorial guidelines. The Australian.
An ABC spokesperson declined to comment on the 1,000 figure, advising Daily Mail Australia to treat the report as ‘speculative’.
All formal complaints of editorial deficiencies are investigated by the ABC Ombudsman’s Office, which will report its findings to the Board, chaired by Ita Buttrose.
Liberal MP Julian Leeser, who was on the panel and the only monarchist on the programme, claimed the ABC had ‘got the balance wrong’.
“Because only one of the four panellists supported our existing constitutional arrangements, there was little opportunity for a panel discussion that reflected the warmth and respect Australians have for King Charles,” he said.
Last week, a monarchist group threatened legal action over the national broadcaster’s coverage of the event.
The ABC previously defended its coverage of the event, reiterating its role of facilitating “conversations that reflect the diversity of views in the community” in a statement (pictured, Julia Baird and Jeremy Fernandez of The Drum)
The Australian Monarchist League (AML) has released a statement revealing that it is preparing to file a legal complaint with ABC’s board.
Philip Benwell, AML’s national president, described the show as an “extremely biased pre-coronation program designed specifically to attack the Constitution and the Crown.”
“Their attacks on the king, the monarchy, the British settlement and everything that came after are so vicious that they forget that they are the very people who want our vote for their vote in parliament,” Benwell wrote.
Melbourne’s 3AW radio broadcaster Neil Mitchell criticized the public service broadcaster.
He said ABC management should be “responsible” for the coverage that “misinterpreted the vote.”
“Sometimes I really wonder why we feed these ABC people, I don’t blame the people on the air, it’s the one in management who decides, ‘Ah, here’s a good idea, let’s put footage out Using London while we get the living daylights out of the monarchy,” he said.
“Someone in the ABC must be responsible for this, as the national broadcaster it should have been the place you go to see coverage of the coronation, instead you see all this bitterness about our Indigenous history.”
Recently departed ABC board member Joe Gersh told The Australian he appreciated why people were concerned about the timing and tone of the coverage.
“Management handles complaints and criticism,” he said.
“But yes, I understand the concerns about timing appropriateness.”