Fairfax reports Turnbull said the ABC was accountable to its board of directors and not politicians.
”What’s the alternative? The [ABC] editor-in-chief becomes the prime minister?” he said.
”Politicians, whether prime ministers or communications ministers, will often be unhappy with the ABC … but you can’t tell them what to write.”
He also noted that the ABC was more constrained by rules around editorial fairness than its competitors.
”The ABC has to play it straight down the middle. The ABC has a bargain with the Australian people. They have to be rigorously balanced in their coverage. Remember, if it wasn’t for the ABC and Fairfax we might not know of the latest round of union corruption.”
Former ABC managing director David Hill said the prime minister’s comments suggested the ABC should censor and withhold information from the Australian public.
ABC managing director Mark Scott is yet to comment on the Prime Minister’s remarks.