“Trusting the ABC was a rookie mistake”

An interesting article about the hysterics at the ABC and their fellow hysteric our interim Prime Minister: Four Corners stopped truth from ruining its ripping yarn. It’s about how nothing has come of the Royal Commission after “the ABC’s Four Corners announced to the world that the Northern Territory ‘tortured children’, and engaged in ‘barbarism’ in facilities such as Don Dale”. Here’s how the article ends.

During conversations with Four Corners, I sought and repeatedly was given assurances that the highest ethical standards were being applied. In the opinion of other news outlets, trusting the ABC was a rookie mistake. That trust was why it was given the ­extraordinary access.

Those ethical standards can be found in the ABC’s Code of Practice under the heading Impartiality and Diversity of Perspectives. I believe Four Corners failed all five guidelines.

The ABC is a federally funded public service organisation. It withheld information from a Prime Minister and based on partial information the Prime Minister made a call to spend $50m. Since that time, the ABC has declared its footage unavailable; attempted to suppress evidence before a royal commission; and, when asked, has refused to investigate itself. Even an ABC journalist referred to it as a “hatchet job”.

If the royal commission report does not deliver scalps or, worse still, fails to even recommend criminal investigations and prosecutions, it will be because the information that led to its establishment was deeply flawed and misleading.

“Deeply flawed and misleading” – given the way it operates I thought that was already the first item on the ABC’s Code of Practice in how it presents the news.

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