Mr Bragg, who serves as the Chair of the Senate Environment and Communications Committee, said the ABC’s internal complaints processes required “extra scrutiny”.
“The ABC gets to mark its own homework and as an organisation paid for by the taxpayer, I believe there should be extra scrutiny,” Mr Bragg told
The public broadcaster recently launched an external investigation into the complaints system but Mr Bragg said the entire process should be completely independent of the ABC.
“It’s worth exploring the idea of an independent ombudsmen, like we have seen at SBS,” he said.
ABC’s editorial policies scrutinised at Senate Estimates
“I believe this would be a good way of ensuring the ABC remains unbiased and that editorial standards remain high.”
The ABC’s external review will be conducted by former Commonwealth Ombudsman John McMillan and former SBS news and current affairs director Jim Carroll.
The investigation was launched after complaints about the ABC’s ‘Exposed: The Ghost Train Fire’ documentary were dismissed despite heavy criticism of the program in an external review.
Chris Masters and Rod Tiffen, who headed the external review, said they were left with the “strong impression” the program concluded that former Premier Neville Wran “was complicit” in the ghost fire.
“In the judgement of the program makers the reliability of the witnesses speaking to this was thoroughly tested and all were considered credible. The review team from a more remote but disinterested standpoint was not so convinced,” the review said.
ABC will ‘do anything to stamp out’ conservative voices
“The sequence summarising findings with family members and absence of rebuttal content left the reviewers with a strong impression the program concluded Wran was complicit.”
Despite the conclusion, the ABC’s audience and consumer affairs division rejected the complaints regarding Mr Wran’s involvement.
ABC Managing Director David Anderson was grilled by the Environment and Communications Committee during Senate Estimates on Tuesday when he said he did not think that “our complaints system is broken”.
“The board think that it is timely that we do a review to benchmark ourselves against best practice when it comes to complaints handling,” he said.
Mr Bragg said on Tuesday there was “not much impendence” in this process and criticised the ABC’s previous attempt to review its complaints handling.
Privatisation of the ABC ‘doesn’t mean the end’ of the broadcaster
A review into the complaints process was conducted in 2008 by then ABC chairman Maurice Newman and found that the system was “fundamentally sound”.
Mr Bragg also slammed the ABC over its social media code and the lack of enforcement.
“I am concerned about the social media code at the ABC and have asked how it is being enforced,” Mr Bragg told
“I don’t believe it’s fair that mums and dads across the country have to cover the personal legal costs for a journalist’s tweet.”
The ABC has defended its reporters and their compliance with its social media code, while Mr Anderson said a “vast majority of staff” had understood the code and “modified their behaviour”.

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *