Four Corners has defended its recent episode Inside the Canberra Bubble following 15 questions from Communications Minister Paul Fletcher to ABC chair Ita Buttrose.
Fletcher yesterday posted a copy of his “Dear Ita” letter onto Twitter, but disabled comments.
Four Corners executive producer Sally Neighbour reposted the letter insisting, “There were NO errors in the #4Corners program.”
“Why does the board consider it is appropriate that the privacy of the Attorney General and Minister Tudge should be compromised by the way in which the program deals extensively with aspects of their personal lives?” Fletcher asked.
“How is this consistent with the stated importance of respect for privacy in the code of practice, including whether intrusion into private lives was proportionate in the circumstances?”
Fletcher also repeated an earlier criticism that the program investigated only one political party.
“Why should an objective observer not conclude that the program evidenced clear bias against the Liberal party, with this bias evident in the choice of persons interviewed, the making of specific allegations in the face of clear factual denials, and the fact that the program failed to investigate or report on conduct engaged in by Labor, Greens or independent politicians?” he asked.
He continued, “How is it consistent with the code of practice’s reference to fair treatment and impartiality for the ABC to include in the program extensive materials regarding conduct over a quarter of a century ago by someone who was then a university student and even a school student?”
Fletcher has given the ABC board 14 days to respond.
ABC said in a statement it posted, “We invite the public to watch the story and decide for themselves on the import of the issues it raises. The ABC stands by its journalistic independence and right to report without fear or favour on matters Australians have a right to know about.”