Thursday, March 18, 2010

MEDIA: Janet finds reds under her television set ...?

Resident cultural researcher at The Australian's opinion page, Janet Albrechtsen, complains yet again about the left wing bias allegedly evident in the products of a Broadcasting Corporation on whose Board she once sat.

Her five years as ABC director seems to have softened her stance.

Having just completed a five-year term on the board, I am the first to cheer about what is best about the ABC, an organisation filled with many first-rate professionals. From its inception in 1932, it has provided a stellar range of services. Indeed, its rural and regional network of radio stations are filled with local presenters and producers who have a real sense of the cross-section of people who listen.

Her inevitable criticism was preceded by this reasonable remark:

But there is a difference between cheering and cheerleading for the ABC. The former means being honest enough to suggest constructive ways to make the ABC better.

Fair enough. But then she makes this rather unusual remark, while praising the independence of one ABC reporter Chris Uhlmann:

Anyone who writes about balance at the ABC mentions Uhlmann as a standout from the rest of the crowd. It should not be like this at the public broadcaster. There should be plenty of Uhlmanns and others, too, with different perspectives. I know of only one. An ABC reporter once introduced herself to me at a gathering by whispering in my ear that she was secretly a conservative. Why whisper it?

Is Janet suggesting that a balanced journo must, of necessity, be of conservative bent? Is she suggesting there is only one openly conervative journo working for the ABC? What about Dai Le, the State Liberal Candidate for Cabramatta? What about at least one host of the radio show Counterpoint? And what about the articles published by Helen Coonan, Marise Payne, Tony Abbott etc on ABC Unleashed?

Perhaps Janet has the ABC confused with genuinely biased publications such as the Monthly and the opinion page of The Australian ...

Words © 2010 Irfan Yusuf

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