Media watchdog clears 7:30 of bias

2012-08-22_2129Media 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 forย Broadcast and Online Interviewing,ย including for the Abbott interview.


  1. @ tex – exactly right.

    The most shocking thing bout this decision, to me, is how quickly it was arrived at. Didn’t this interview (an excellent one, to say the least) only occur this very year!

    My goodness, ACMA may have set themselves too high a bar ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. @Kenny,I don’t agree with any “leaning” but seriously why shouldn’t there just be one right wing programme on TV?
    Problem seems to be that most left wing protagonists can not even entertain the thought of balance and to reply to Jenny,seriously apart from good natured Joe Hockey how many to the right do The Project entertain in their little left wing utopia.
    You will find that Bolt at least does ask Labor MP’s they have just been instructed not to.

  3. Of course there was no bias,bias implies that at some stage there had to be balance otherwise no standard of balance could have been formed.
    7.30 report and “Left wing central” The Project could never be accused of bias as no conservative views has ever been entertained.

  4. prankster: “Except we all know that the ABC is very left leaning.”

    Do we? I know it’s often claimed, and allegedly ‘common knowledge’ – but everytime someone has tried to measure it they’ve found the opposite.

    Even when the Coalition has set the terms of reference, chosen the committee members, told them exactly what to look for, and provided their own definition of ‘bias’, the outcome has been they’ve found ABC news & current affairs shows a slight bias towards the right.

  5. The difference is that the ABC is meant to be balanced…as it’s funded by you and I, the taxpayers. Except we all know that the ABC is very left leaning. Queue Q&A.

  6. I don’t think Sales is biased. At least not on her show. When Labour defended Slipper in a vote, Sales interviewed a Labour minister. Was it Albanese? I felt sorry for him. Sales cut through the party line and asked the tough questions. Kudos to Sales!

  7. @jenny- From what I’ve seen, while waiting for TEN News at 5, Bolt is more a fawning LNP love-in rather than a real “interview” show. I did see Anthony Albanese once, but every answer from Albanese was cut short by Bolt. I don’t know how many Labor MPs have appeared as I usually only catch the last few minutes. Who, deservedly, won the Walkley Award for interviewing?

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