Channel Nine has been criticized for its coverage of the Voice to Parliament after it was labeled ‘divisive’ in news bulletins.
Supporters of the ‘Yes’ campaign launched a scathing attack on Channel Nine following a bulletin featuring a story about the referendum on Monday night.
Newsreader Amber Sherlock introduced the story, which was about Prime Minister Anthony Albanese giving a speech advocating support for The Voice at the annual Lowitja O’Donoghue Oration at the University of Adelaide.
“The divisive Voice to Parliament has brought Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Adelaide tonight for a special keynote speech,” Sherlock said on camera.
Channel Nine newsreader Amber Sherlock (pictured) labeled the Voice to Parliament ‘divisive’ when she introduced a story
Footage from the news bulletin was shared on Twitter, where social media users poured into the network.
“So Channel 9 now officially refers to The Voice as ‘The Divisive Voice To Parliament’ in their news reports????” one wrote.
Others joined the discussion and agreed that it was not an appropriate label.
“That is shocking and Channel 9 should apologize (sic) as should the individual newsreader,” said another.
“All media organizations should state their position on the Voice (if they have one) and Ch9 clearly has one so viewers know exactly why they are presenting a particular story.”
A third viewer criticized the networks’ coverage as “shameful” in their post.
“Unacceptable political propaganda on two fronts,” they said.
“The use of the word ‘division’ to describe the referendum, and her surprised tone as she continued, ‘Mike, he was very well received!’ like this was totally unexpected.’
“Don’t these reporters feel any personal shame? No sense of ethics?’ added one more.
However, some felt the description was appropriate given the heated debate over the Voice.
‘A newscaster tells it like it is. Good to hear. It’s divisive,” said one.
Finally someone who speaks the truth. It’s about time the mass media did their job with impartial reporting,” said another.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured) during the Lowitja O’Donoghue speech at the University of Adelaide
Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs Darren Wick issued a statement following the backlash.
“Our news teams have been reminded to use emotional language when reporting news stories,” he said.
Indigenous leader Warren Mundine denounced the ABC for its coverage of The Voice during a fiery TV interview.
Mr Mundine defended Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s criticism of The Voice and his call for NSW Supreme Court Justice Ian Harrison to resign over his comments about ‘No’ campaigner Pat Conaghan.
Dutton had warned that The Voice would have “Orwellian” consequences if “all Australians are equal, but some Australians are more equal than others” – a direct reference to George Orwell’s 1945 satirical novel, Animal Farm.
“I think Peter Dutton is on to something, this is turning into a very divisive, very hateful campaign,” Mundine said.
“I know you like to bully Peter Dutton, but he’s right, this is starting to be a disgraceful campaign and the campaign hasn’t even started yet.
“This referendum divides Australia and you see it in the polls, and you see it in the community.”
Mr Mundine called for Judge Harrison to resign after sending an email from his work account to National MP Conaghan, labeling him ‘disgusting’ and ‘racist’ for opposing The Voice.
Warren Mundine admonished the ABC for not announcing the attacks of Yes supporters of the Voice campaign
He then denounced the ABC for not calling out the attacks of “yes” supporters who had attacked their opponents with hurtful remarks.
“I just find it bizarre that these people who are supposed to be Yes supporters and Yes campaigners watching us were the people who divided this country,” he said.
ABC presenter Madeleine Morris clarified that Mr Mundine’s comments on the judge’s comments were his own opinion and not supported by the ABC.
The disclaimer provoked a fiery response from Mr Mundine.
“Of course you don’t support it. It’s my opinion,” he said.
“I just think it’s funny, if that person came out and did it, and he wasn’t a person, I know where the ABC would be on this whole thing.
“It’s time you take a balanced view and actually address these people who perpetrate these racist attacks.”
Morris tried to change the subject as tensions flared on screen.
“I’ll leave it at that because we invited you and you’re a very prominent member of the No campaign,” she said.
“So I’ll just say, you know, we’re definitely going to be platforms for the No campaign and the Yes campaign and as ABC, we’re going to continue to do that.”
Morris added at the end of the segment, “Just to be clear, those are Warren Mundine’s opinions on that exchange that happened with a NSW judge.”