My complaint submitted to ABC about the article:
BY ARIEL BOGLE, MICHAEL WORKMAN AND STEPHEN HUTCHEON, posted on abc.net.au on SUN 31 May 2020
From the ridiculous, inaccurate and overly dramatic opening line: “as humanity waits impatiently for a vaccine”… one can tell instantly this is NOT an article by a professional journalist, attempting to remain unbiased, report fairly and accurately, or bother to dig deeper into the many and varied viewpoints in the discussions that should be allowed around any health issues (In a so-called democracy).
ABC, as a public broadcaster, claims to be making an effort to include many varied and minority viewpoints- not just the mainstream, dogmatic, and propaganda…
Instead this article is just the worst example of many lately that have been obviously one-sided, ignorant, dismissive and even insulting!
Possibly these articles and so-called journalists are simply ignorant, incompetent, misdirected… but they are more likely being influenced directly – via payments (any good investigative journalist could find traces of in these journalists personal accounts); or indirectly- via the undue influence of huge advertising revenue received from pharmaceuticals by commercial media (but I thought ABC immune to this)!
I seriously wonder which? Or what is actually going on here? Government mandates? Truth and good journalism the first casualties in this faux war?
Whatever happened to the role of media as the watchdog of government? Public broadcasters as guardians of public interest rather than beholden to commercial interests?
Would anybody in ABC with any remnants of integrity look into this please? Many others would like answers to these, by no means new, questions!
Also, look into additional training for journalists and editors alike on including non-mainstream viewpoints in a much more respectful and well- researched manner! For example, principles of peace journalism, which is my background and reason for writing to you.
Articles like this one; and editorial policies like the current tone overall is so clearly exposing; are disappointing from a public broadcaster claiming to represent all Australians as fairly and accountably as possible.
Much worse, the obvious departure from accuracy, integrity or professionalism by the ABC contributes to the feelings of alienation and fear many sectors of the community are already feeling in this time.
In other words, your journalists and editors are feeding the fear and division in our country- rather than contributing to healthy discourse, democratic inclusion of many voices, peace-building and innovative problem-solving.
Does this make you feel proud of your role in fanning the flames of division, fear and hatred in our communities?
No, ABC- you can do so much better than this! Australians deserve so much better too!
What is needed in anxious and uncertain times like these is a truly democratic, inclusive and respectful public broadcaster!
Some intentional steps are required to ensure broader inclusion of concerns; better standards of research and accuracy; deeper respect and integrity; more comprehensive standards and policies; and far more effort to consistently adhere to even the existing policies… !!
If, however, cuts to funding have made the ABC incapable of anything like professional journalism or accurate and fair reporting, then perhaps it is time to shut the doors and leave it to the commercial media.
After all, there is no longer any need for a public broadcaster, if it loses its “saltiness”- its usefulness- which is entirely dependent on its ability to truthfully, respectfully and thoughtfully reflect all sectors of our society.
I urge all who feel offended by one-sided, inaccurate, biased, insulting, disrespectful and even hateful reporting on any issues, to lodge complaints via the ABC website. If enough people register their disapproval of this poor journalism and the general tone nowadays, they will need to address it- if they want to claim any sort of respect or trustworthiness as a public broadcaster!