Media watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority has cleared ABC’s 7:30, including host Leigh Sales, of any political bias during an interview with Tony Abbott in August.
Sales was widely praised for landing several “punches” with Abbott but ACMA received complaints about bias.
But ACMA ruled that Sales employed “a robust questioning style” and gave the Opposition Leader several opportunities to answer her questions at length.
Her questions, it concluded permitted “viewers to evaluate the issues raised having regard to both the presenter’s questions and Mr. Abbott’s answers.”
In a statement ACMA said, “The ACMA has found that the ABC did not breach the ABC Code of Practice 2011 (the Code) requirement to gather and present news and information with due impartiality during an interview with the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, broadcast during the program, 7:30 on 22 August 2012.”
Sales also won for a Walkley Award for Broadcast and Online Interviewing, including for the Abbott interview.