MEDIA RELEASES

ACMA decision on “Q+A” demonstrates need for new independent, external body to hold ABC to its code of conduct

Apr 20, 2022 | AIJAC

(Screenshot)
(Screenshot)

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) is very disappointed at the decision by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to dismiss complaints from AIJAC and others about the episode of the ABC TV program “Q+A” which aired on May 27, 2021.

The program featured a 12-minute discussion of the recently concluded conflict between Israel and Hamas, with a five-person panel comprising Palestinian activist Randa Abdel-Fattah, Labor MP Ed Husic, human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson, who has participated in legal action against Israel, Liberal MP Dave Sharma, a former Australian Ambassador to Israel, and singer Ed Tambo.

To any objective observer, the program was clearly unbalanced, with two anti-Israel activists on the panel as against no pro-Israel activist, and four of the five panellists taking positions critical of Israel. Yet ACMA found that the ABC did not breach its Code of Conduct requirements to provide impartiality, to not disproportionately represent any perspective and to not unduly favour one perspective over another.

AIJAC Executive Dr Colin Rubenstein said, “AIJAC has long been calling for the ABC to have an independent external complaints procedure rather than the current system where the ABC judges itself. We have often noted that the only appeal from such decisions is to ACMA, which is not fit for the purpose.

“ACMA absurdly accepted the ABC’s contention that Dave Sharma represented an ‘Israeli perspective’ on the conflict, despite his presence on the program being to put the Government’s position on a range of issues, not as an advocate for Israel.

“This determination simply proves that the current system is not satisfactory, and that no-one can have confidence that the ABC will be held to the standards of balance and fairness that the taxpayers who fund it have every right to expect.

“We are also concerned that it took nearly 11 months from the airing of the program to the publication of the ACMA decision, and approximately seven months since our appeal to ACMA – further evidence that ACMA is not up to the job of reviewing complaints to the ABC.

“We note that the ABC is currently undertaking a board-commissioned review of its complaints procedure, and once again call for an independent, external process that can hold the ABC to its Code of Conduct. This is the only way to restore community confidence in the impartiality and objectivity of ABC News and Current Affairs,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.

Dr. Colin Rubenstein
Executive Director
AIJAC

Tags: ,

RELATED ARTICLES


Image: Israel Foreign Ministry Twitter

AIJAC condemns deadly Jerusalem terror attack

Jan 28, 2023 | Featured, Media Releases
NSW premier Dominic Perrottet apologises for wearing a Nazi uniform to his 21st birthday "fancy dress" party (screenshot)

AIJAC’s statement on the Perrottet Nazi uniform controversy

Jan 13, 2023 | Featured, Media Releases
The International Court of Justice in the Hague

UN referral of Israel to International Court of Justice ‘odious’, Australian ‘no’ vote commended

Jan 3, 2023 | Featured, Media Releases
 Likud leader and former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the President's Residence in Jerusalem. Credit: Ilia Yefimovich/dpa/Alamy Live News

AIJAC congratulates Binyamin Netanyahu on formation of new Israeli government

Dec 23, 2022 | Featured, Media Releases
Ralph King (2)

AIJAC welcomes announcement of Ralph King as new Ambassador to Israel

Dec 21, 2022 | Media Releases
(Image: Flickr)

AIJAC welcomes Albanese Government’s new sanctions on Iran, calls for more

Dec 12, 2022 | Featured, Media Releases

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Labor intervenes to protect the IRGC from terror listing

Alexey Milchakov, founder of the neo-Nazi Rusich unit that links Wagner and the Russian Imperial Movement (source: @P_Kallioniemi)

Russia is the Iran of White Supremacy

Image: Shutterstock

Beating antisemitism will help save society

Mahmoud Abbas’ rule has led not only to oppression and corruption for Palestinians, but also prevented progress toward peace, Eid argues (Image: Shutterstock)

19th year of a four-year term

Image: Shutterstock

Europa Europa: Europe’s “Tyranny of Distance” on Iran

Labor intervenes to protect the IRGC from terror listing

Alexey Milchakov, founder of the neo-Nazi Rusich unit that links Wagner and the Russian Imperial Movement (source: @P_Kallioniemi)

Russia is the Iran of White Supremacy

Image: Shutterstock

Beating antisemitism will help save society

Mahmoud Abbas’ rule has led not only to oppression and corruption for Palestinians, but also prevented progress toward peace, Eid argues (Image: Shutterstock)

19th year of a four-year term

Image: Shutterstock

Europa Europa: Europe’s “Tyranny of Distance” on Iran

SORT BY TOPICS