The number of ABC’s audience who believe it is providing a valuable service or is accurate and impartial when reporting news and current affairs, has slipped in recent years.
ABC’s Corporate Tracking Program is conducted three times per year among a nationally representative sample of people aged 18-75 years, via an online methodology.
According to its Annual Report 2020 the results of the program show support for ABC is ahead of Commercial TV on several fronts, but also indicates a downward trend for the public broadcaster.
78% of people who value the ABC and its services to the community -but the same question was 86% in 2016.
72% of people believe the ABC is accurate and impartial when reporting news and current affairs -down from 77% in 2016.
There were also downward trends on the following Charter points compared to 2016:
- 77% of people regard the ABC to be distinctively Australian and contributing to Australia’s national identity.
- 76% of people believe the ABC reflects the cultural diversity of the Australian community.
- 74% of people consider the ABC encourages and promotes Australian performing arts such as music and drama.
- 72% of people consider the ABC provides programs of an educational nature.
- 73% of people consider the ABC achieves a good balance between programs of wide appeal and specialised interest.
- 69% of people perceive the ABC to be innovative.
66% of people believe the ABC is efficient and well managed, also down from 69% in 2016.
But the results were stable for 78% of people who believe the ABC provides quality programming in Television (it was 69% for Commercial TV) and improved for the 92% of people who believe the ABC provides quality programming Online.
78% of Australian adults aged 18-75 years trust the information that the ABC provides: significantly higher than the levels of trust recorded for internet search engines such as Google (70%), Commercial Radio (60%), Commercial TV (59%), Newspaper publishers (58%) and Facebook (35%).
The Annual Report also outlined editorial complaint issues across 2019-20
Factual inaccuracy 922 26.6%
Bias (other than party political)* 819 23.7%
Inappropriate content 657 19.0%
Party political bias 360 10.4%
Lack of balance 293 8.5%
Unfair treatment 253 7.3%
Other 157 4.5%
Total 3461 100.0%
* Includes claims of bias in relation to issues such as international coverage, sport and religion.