ABC News presenter switch avoids conflict of interest

2013-05-06_1624The ABC switched their staffing for its Sydney News bulletin on Friday because of a perceived conflict of interest involving presenter  Juanita Phillips  reading a story involving her partner, Minister for Climate Change, Greg Combet.

On Friday Combet was called to appear before the Independent Commission Against Corruption and asked questions about his involvement with former CFMEU boss John Maitland.

A spokeswoman for the ABC told Mumbrella: “As with any situation involving ABC editorial staff, we consider and manage conflicts on a common sense, case by case basis.”

“In this case ABC News decided that to address any perceived conflict of interest it was appropriate to reallocate staff for Friday night’s bulletin.”

It’s not clear what the conflict of interest entailed.

Last month News Limited reported Combet took Phillips on a first-class visit to Europe, but he said the trip met ministerial rules for travelling with spouses.

Scott Bevan presented the bulletin on Friday after a late afternoon change.

11 Comments:

  1. Dalmanic, “member of the left”? You make it sound like I have to sign up for it to get their card.

    But I guess a balanced ABC would look left-wing compared to your mates at Limited News. Btw, you’d never see this kind of action taken over there.

  2. The ABC will be in trouble if they have to avoid all journalists or newsreaders who are not either a member of the left, or the partner of one of them!

  3. Sadly but a wise move by the ABC, and is it now mostly sour grapes by those who would have quickly cried foul, ABC bias and innuendo, if the same report had been read by Juanita Phillips?, but because of the ABC’s decision, they have been denied an opportunity of discrediting Mr Combet by innuendo and association etc, as per usual when ignoring the facts when trying to spoil someones reputation by character assasination.

  4. Amazing. Have TV news editors now started to believe their own myths about news readers somehow qualifying as journalists? What was she going to do: substitute the written story with her own improvised white-wash?!

  5. jezza the first original one

    For me Mr Combet is one of the worst pollies around. IMO if he was cast in House of Cards, no acting would be required. IMO he is puching way above his weight with such a fine attractive, intelligent journalist. Which brings us back to HOC…

  6. Count me in as another person who had no idea Juanita Phillips and Greg Combet were a couple. I understand why the ABC did this, being a public broadcaster and all, but I wish every media outlet in Australia was so strict about conflict of interest.

  7. … Then she couldn’t have gone out with a more inconvenient person. When isn’t Combet in the news? Maybe ABC management will set her up on a blind date with Seal. 😉

  8. Conflicts of interest, relationships, and past employment need to be considered with everyone who does political reporting in Australia. Rules need to be consistent and well known. Failing that disclosures made with every broadcast

  9. Don’t get it. Just have someone else write the story for her to read, as was probably the case anyway. Guessing this relates to Combet’s attendance at the ICAC in Sydney.

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