ABC: Unfortunate it’s reported we’re working on Four Corners story
David Anderson denies pulling a Four Corners episode and backs editorial team.
ABC managing director David Anderson has denied ‘pulling’ an episode of Four Corners and backed the current affairs team.
Last week media reports suggested Anderson had pulled an episode alleging links between PM Scott Morrison and a QAnon member. The episode was due to air last night, but yesterday the ABC boss expanded on the editorial outcome to a Senate Estimates committee.
He confirmed the episode had been upwardly referred to him by News boss Gaven Morris.
“As editor in chief I independently reviewed that story and wrote a note back suggesting that I felt there were concerns about a couple of areas, and was looking for other things to be strengthened within the story. But otherwise to proceed on. So it would be incorrect to say that I pulled the story. I didn’t pull the story. The story is still underway and look it very well may go to air,” he said.
He added, “I will add there are many other things that are important at the ABC, but I do have absolute faith and the utmost respect for the Four Corners team. They’re an outstanding award-winning team and I think they’ll take on board my feedback and I look forward to reading it.”
Asked if the story was in the public interest he replied, “Senator with respect, that’s for us to judge and something that I will continue to look at and make a decision on prior to publication, rather than discuss the merits of the story before it’s aired.”
Anderson also added, “I can’t tell you how unfortunate it is that somehow it’s reported in the media that we’re working on this story, to be in the situation that we’re discussing the merits of a story before its publication. Other than, whatever we publish, when we do publish it, we do believe that it’s in the public interest. At the moment we haven’t published yet.”
Separately he also confirmed telling Morris that a tweet by executive producer Sally Neighbour on the Christian Porter defamation case was incorrect and addressed.
ABC was grilled over staff using personal Twitter accounts to comment on government matters. Anderson indicated it was an evolving matter and staff were last reminded of policy in March.