ABC cleared over Fight for Planet A imbalance

ACMA rejects complaint noting that impartiality does not mean every perspective must have equal airtime.

ABC documentary series Fight for Planet A: Our Climate Challenge has been cleared of a complaint to media watchdog ACMA that it was not impartial and failed to include other perspectives.

The 3 part doco, which screened last August, saw host Craig Reucassel exploring how individual and collective carbon emissions can be reduced.

But a complaint to the Australian Communications & Media Authority alleged it was produced in a manner that unfairly and inaccurately depicted Australian cattle producers and the beef industry. They objected to an imbalance in perspectives with information from the Wilderness Society and WWF whilst excluding data provided by the Cattle Council of Australia.

The complainant also pointed to the inclusion of outdated data on land clearing.

But ACMA ruled no breach had occurred. Under the ABC Code, impartiality does not require that every perspective receives equal time, nor that every facet of every argument is presented within a single program.

The Point of View style by Reucassel also allowed for a more informal interaction with participants, compared to a traditional style of documentary.

ACMA stated that the Program’s premise was not an investigative report on land clearing or vegetation but an exploration of how ordinary Australians could experiment with changes to their diet in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

As the complainant was also not a participant nor an organisation against whom allegations were made a complaint into fair and honest dealing was not investigated.

You can read the findings in full here.

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