TEN News cleared over impartiality complaint

ACMA rejects viewer complaint a news item carried editorial comment.

Media watchdog ACMA has cleared TEN News over a complaint that a story on NAB staff cuts was introduced with editorial comment.

A viewer complained to the Australian Communications and Media Authority that the report in November introduced by Sandra Sully was out of place in a News report.

“[The presenter], in reading the news about the NAB staff reduction, asserted that the NAB announced that reduction then ‘celebrated’ by announcing the six billion dollar profit, or perhaps the other way round, but either way it was an astonishing case of personal or channel editorial attitude that does not sit well with any kind of claim of objectivity. If it was only a case of flippancy, I’m not sure that has any place in a TV news program either,” they complained.

TEN defended that “The brief comment by the news presenter was clearly commentary and distinguishable from factual material in the news report, in accordance with Clause 3.4.1(b) of the Code.”

ACMA found that Sandra Sully framed the report by stating that the NAB ‘celebrated’ its ‘breathtaking’ profit by ‘axing’ 6000 jobs.

“The presenter then explained that the ‘entire workforce’ was ‘upset’ because the bank hadn’t identified who was on the ‘hit list’, using language that implied all NAB employees were feeling a level of threat or uncertainty as a result of the job cuts announcement,” it said.

However, that was not the only perspective presented by TEN.

“As the report progressed, the reporter, using predominantly neutral language, offered an alternate perspective on the jobs cuts-that the decision was part of a considered, longer-term restructure tied to technological enhancements, that 2000 extra jobs would be created and that affected staff will be helped by the NAB to transition.

“Although the report was framed around the actions of a successful bank in cutting a large number of jobs, the framing reflected the NAB’s results announcement. Considered as a whole, the report was not partial and contained content which achieved fairness in spite of a negative style and choice of language.”

ACMA found TEN did not breach the Code of Practice.

8 Responses

  1. The challenge would be to find a news introduction or story that doesn’t selectively pick facts to create a narrative that reflects the presenter’s opinion, even when it is blatant fake news like this. When the target is a perceived as worthy victim the ACMA will uphold the complaint, when it’s a bank they will argue that a few facts later will make it article good journalism. Thus the ACMAs approval or rejection is just the bias of the ACMA staffer writing it. This is what Critical Theory claims, and that is what everyone is taught to believe and thus do. The major newspapers are even worse, every story is just op-ed and you have to read many articles on a topic to find all the relevant facts and make up your own mind.

  2. Obviously ACMA is not a regular viewer of TEN news. For years the news stories are presented with left biased editorial content. The NSW Labor parties are regular participants and whenever the Premier appears there is always a negative comment added. The media owner or CEO is obviously a Labor supporter. News should be presented without editorial comments. The ABC is also guilty of this as the recent obsession with Barnaby Joyce illustrates..

  3. Well done to the complainant for taking the time to call out what the rest of us are too lazy to complain about. Channel 10 is purely the worst of the three commercial channels for using sensationalist (and inaccurate) news reporting, consistently distorting stories to imply wrongdoing and linking doubtful facts to create false causality.

    Most of us have just come to expect that poor level of reporting.

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