ABC chairman James Spigelman defended the ABC’s expansion in digital media, and told the National Press Club that ABC was always bound to clash with other broadcasters.
“In 1933, I think it was, when the ABC first announced that it was intending to provide a news service, the campaign was launched to cut the funding of the ABC,” he said.
“That campaign was run by the then CEO of the Herald Times, Keith Murdoch. Some things change very little over the generations. News Limited runs an extraordinary suite of newspapers. The Australian itself – we’re lucky to have it in terms of depth and range.”
Four external audits a year will be conducted. The first being headed by the BBC’s former chief editorial policy advisor, Andrea Wills, is nearly completed.
“Her report will assess the impartiality of all of the interviews on ABC radio of the then Prime Minister and the then Leader of the Opposition during the recent election campaign,” he said.
“The second audit, we haven’t appointed anyone yet, will concern the treatment of the debate about asylum seekers.
Audits will be in addition to the ongoing program of internal reviews of ABC programs and their editorial content.