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AIJAC makes submission to ABC Complaint Handling Inquiry

Dec 17, 2021 | AIJAC staff

Image: Sarah Lou/ Flickr
Image: Sarah Lou/ Flickr

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today announced it has made a submission to the “Independent Review of ABC Complaint Handling Inquiry” set up by the ABC Board to examine how the public broadcaster deals with editorial complaints.

“We welcome the opportunity to make a submission to what is a serious inquiry under the auspices of Professor John McMillan, who is a former Commonwealth and NSW Ombudsman, and Jim Carroll, who has a wealth of experience as former director of news at SBS, as well as similar roles at Seven and Ten,” AIJAC’s Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said.

The submission is the distillation of AIJAC’s experience gained over many years of lodging complaints against biased and one-sided media coverage of Israel on the ABC. The ABC claims its existing complaints process operates independently from its content makers, but it is in fact run in-house, Dr Rubenstein explained.

“There is widespread dissatisfaction with the current ABC complaints handling system which is tilted too far in favour of the ABC. AIJAC has argued for a long time that a genuinely independent, external complaints system is needed. Accordingly, our submission to this independent review makes broad recommendations outlining those principles that are vital for an effective external, independent complaints process. AIJAC proposes a model that will be fair and balanced for those wishing to make a complaint, as well as those who might be the subject of a complaint,” Dr Rubenstein added.

Dr Rubenstein stressed that “AIJAC is strongly committed to the essential role that public broadcasters play in the Australian media landscape”, adding that “a genuinely independent complaints process where ABC consumers can receive a fair hearing has the potential to improve the standards of news reporting and current affairs across the board and would be a sensible outcome that everyone could support.”

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