After being regularly accused of bias in news and current affairs stories and political interviews, the ABC has been all but cleared by two independent audits headed up by journalist Gerald Stone and former BBC journalist Andrea Wills.
They found the public broadcaster overwhelmingly meets its professional standards and is fair and impartial with more than 95% of the content attracting no criticism.
Of 97 stories about asylum seekers Stone found one story on 7:30 and four on Lateline required further investigation.
One Lateline story portrayed asylum seekers “as frequently misled as to their real mission and too naïve to understand why they are offered more money for one voyage than the average Indonesian fisherman makes in a year.”
But Wills said of ABC interviews with Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott interviews, “In my professional judgment the ABC did achieve due impartiality across this sample of items.”
Chairman of the ABC Jim Spigelman said, “Consistent with other processes, these reviews have once again demonstrated that against the background of thousands of stories produced over the period reviewed, the error rate is small.
The ABC’s director of news, Kate Torney, said ABC News would attach an editor’s note to the online transcripts of the four stories noted by Stone.
Source: The Guardian