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Statement on Danby/ABC controversy

Statement on Danby/ABC controversy

Media Release


October 9, 2017

The following is AIJAC’s statement on the recent controversy over ads placed by Michael Danby MP critical of aspects of the reporting of ABC Middle East Correspondent Sophie McNeill:

Dr Colin Rubenstein, Executive Director of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council said today, “In a public document we issued in 2015, AIJAC submitted that Sophie McNeill – who had described herself and has been described by the ABC as an ‘activist’ filmmaker associated with the Palestinian cause, and who had spoken at an event promoting boycotts against Israel – was an inappropriate choice for Middle East correspondent for the taxpayer funded ABC, with its statutory obligations of impartiality. We believe that aspects of McNeill’s reporting on Israeli-Palestinian issues since then have borne out our concerns.”

“Precisely because it is an important national statutory body, the ABC, like all public institutions, must be subject to appropriate scrutiny and accountability, as well as public criticism where warranted – even if some of its supporters and employees seem to feel that it needs to be protected from, and has immunity from, all such criticism and scrutiny. AIJAC therefore believes it is completely appropriate and justifiable for Michael Danby MP – or anyone else – to call attention to any shortcomings of the ABC, including reporting by Ms. McNeill.”

For additional information, contact AIJAC on (03)-9681-6660