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What about bias at the ABC?

By housebound 27 September 2012 22

So we heard about the alleged bias of the Canberra Times.

Is the ABC biased too? More than a few Labor stories are tagged so that a string of Labor promises appear with many of the new announcements (not all). But the Libs don’t do so well, until you get a negative Liberal story.

Recent Labor article, another recent Labor article
Recent Liberal article, and another recent Liberal article
Negative Liberal article

Interesting, if predictable, times.


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What about bias at the ABC?
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breda 10:57 pm 28 Sep 12

The ABC’s bias isn’t so much in party political terms (although there is some of that), but in terms of its overall worldview.

They are overwhelmingly earnest believers in deep green environmentalism, and against economic development as a reflex response. They revere tribal Aboriginal culture uncritically, while having contempt for the culture which has given them long, healthy and comfortable lives. They spend half of their time defending Islam (which opposes gay anything) while spending the other half calling Christian opponents bigots. I could go on, but you get the flavour.

There is no real need for them to be explicitly party political – it’s just in their DNA to deplore conservatives and libertarians.

justin heywood 9:28 pm 28 Sep 12

I think the ABC is perfectly balanced…somewhere between the Labor and the the Greens.

I once mentioned the issue of bias to an ABC regional staffer, who said ‘have you ever listened to Alan Jones?. He says some outrageous things’

Indeed he does, but it is not the job of the national broadcaster to counter the perceived bias of other media outlets. I find David Marr easily as dishonest, arrogant and nasty as Alan Jones, the main difference being that Marr postures as an actual journalist.

HiddenDragon 6:23 pm 28 Sep 12

I can well understand why some feel that the ABC has a pro-Labor, or at least anti-Coalition bias. I think there is an element of that, although in the latter days of the Howard government I thought that the ABC nationally, if not locally, had learned to respond to the sound of “His Master’s Voice”, just like Nipper on the old record labels.

These days, I think the national ABC, particularly the TV wing, are more concerned about getting attention and playing to what they think their audience wants to hear – which, in the cities at least, would suggest a more “progressive” world view than in the community generally. Locally, ABC TV seems to have gone for warm and cuddly, to the point, at times of being soporific – election, what election? – don’t mention that, it might frighten the kiddies – here’s a picture of a fluffy duck, instead.

cranky 5:29 pm 28 Sep 12

housebound said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Are you seriously accusing the ABC of deliberately linking positive related stories to online news about Labor AND deliberately linking negative related stories to online news or ignoring related positive news to the Liberals? Seriously?

Get your tinfoil hat and stay indoors. oh. sorry about that.

No, no, you said it, not me. Of course it isn’t deliberate. Just a coincidence.

Anyway, here’s the latest article to prove me wrong.

Perhaps we should give the ABC credit for reading the RA and acting accordingly.

housebound 5:06 pm 28 Sep 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Are you seriously accusing the ABC of deliberately linking positive related stories to online news about Labor AND deliberately linking negative related stories to online news or ignoring related positive news to the Liberals? Seriously?

Get your tinfoil hat and stay indoors. oh. sorry about that.

No, no, you said it, not me. Of course it isn’t deliberate. Just a coincidence.

Anyway, here’s the latest article to prove me wrong.

dpm 12:02 pm 28 Sep 12

p1 said :

…* – yes, I have been drinking. On the subject of drinking, I am thinking of forming a pro Reptoid party and running at the next ACT election.

VOTE 1 : p1!

Hahaha! 🙂

Are you seriously accusing the ABC of deliberately linking positive related stories to online news about Labor AND deliberately linking negative related stories to online news or ignoring related positive news to the Liberals? Seriously?

Get your tinfoil hat and stay indoors. oh. sorry about that.

NoAddedMSG 10:48 am 28 Sep 12

p1 said :

* – yes, I have been drinking. On the subject of drinking, I am thinking of forming a pro Reptoid party and running at the next ACT election.

If I was allowed to vote, I would seriously consider voting for you.

PoQ 10:45 am 28 Sep 12

How is “bias” defined? On the evidence I’ve seen, its a cover for “they disagreed with me”

what_the 10:35 am 28 Sep 12

It’s a study from the ANU, when he was a professor. Unless the ANU is also bias…

haroldbeagle 10:28 am 28 Sep 12

what_the said :

Here’s the report I referred to
http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=1594

Excerpt

“In terms of content, Australian journalists seem to be a centrist bunch”, said Professor Leigh. “Using the first approach, only one out of 27 news outlets had a significant slant. This is ABC Television News, which had a significant slant towards the Coalition in the period 1999-2007. All other outlets (including six ABC radio stations) were essentially centrist.

Professor Leigh = Andrew Leigh = Labor member for Fraser

astrojax 10:22 am 28 Sep 12

what_the said :

Here’s the report I referred to
http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=1594

Excerpt

“In terms of content, Australian journalists seem to be a centrist bunch”, said Professor Leigh. “Using the first approach, only one out of 27 news outlets had a significant slant. This is ABC Television News, which had a significant slant towards the Coalition in the period 1999-2007. All other outlets (including six ABC radio stations) were essentially centrist.

this from the current labor member for canberra…

cmdwedge 10:15 am 28 Sep 12

what_the said :

Here’s the report I referred to
http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=1594

Excerpt

“In terms of content, Australian journalists seem to be a centrist bunch”, said Professor Leigh. “Using the first approach, only one out of 27 news outlets had a significant slant. This is ABC Television News, which had a significant slant towards the Coalition in the period 1999-2007. All other outlets (including six ABC radio stations) were essentially centrist.

The professor likely has an ideological slant, and felt that ABC TV simply wasn’t left ‘enough’ for him.

arescarti42 10:04 am 28 Sep 12

Any real or imagined political bias aside, at least the ABC isn’t massively biased in favor of certain vested interests (e.g. real estate industry) like most other media outlets are.

c_c 9:54 am 28 Sep 12

I’m going to go out a limb and say no media outlet can be without bias. Whether institutionalised or a product of the individuals, there will always be a bias. I don’t think it matters as much as accuracy. I think there is a distinction.

what_the 9:49 am 28 Sep 12

Here’s the report I referred to
http://news.anu.edu.au/?p=1594

Excerpt

“In terms of content, Australian journalists seem to be a centrist bunch”, said Professor Leigh. “Using the first approach, only one out of 27 news outlets had a significant slant. This is ABC Television News, which had a significant slant towards the Coalition in the period 1999-2007. All other outlets (including six ABC radio stations) were essentially centrist.

Affirmative Action Man 9:06 am 28 Sep 12

The problem is that when ABC presenters have (chummy) guests and are discussing issues such as Indigenous affairs, climate change, religion or anything around gays there is a CLEAR understanding that they support the progressive (read left) side of the argument.
Conservasionists,Aboriginals, Greens & Femminists are rarely subjected to rigorous questioning regardless of how silly their views may be.

miz 8:34 am 28 Sep 12

I find the ABC pretty balanced – like all media outlets, they would depend to some extent on media releases etc. Re the ‘negative article’ linked above, it looks as if the CPSU would have been behind that one. That article seems balanced to me given that the ABC obtained the strongly refuting comments from Ms Dunne which made it clear that the reported comments had been taken out of context.
Sometimes things happen and they are reported in the public interest, which can mean a flurry of articles on one side of the fence and not the other. In this case, many people in the ACT public service would like an assurance about their jobs so I can see why it attracted the ABC’s interest.

However, I can also see the OP’s point about the ‘related story’ thing – it would be interesting to see the criteria for linking as it looks pretty random.

Thumper 8:09 am 28 Sep 12

what_the said :

No, they’re not. Theres been a study or two done showing a slight coalition slant actually. I’d say abc is the most balanced news service on Australia.

This gets dragged out everytime someone questions the ABCs bias. However, no-one in their right mind can believe that the ABC is anything but left leaning or anti lib, just as much as News LTD is right leaning and pretty much anti Gillard.

Deal with it people. Take your news from all sources.

If you want to see Leigh Sales give puff pieces to ALP members or tear Abbot a new one, then watch ABC. If you want to hear Alan Jones going off like a seriously unhinged lunatic then listen to, um, 2GB?

housebound 6:27 am 28 Sep 12

Look at the ‘RELATED STORY’ tags under the photo with the various articles. The much-loved balance seems to be mysteriously missing, with Labor generally having a string of positive ‘RELATED STORY’ items, but Liberals and Greens having few, if any (except, of course, thie Negative Liberal article).

The ABC can’t dictate how many media releases it gets to regurgitate, but it can decide how these stories are published.

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