Australia: ABC’s Panorama investigation reveals that the US has not been following its own rules
Posted April 11, 2020 07:14:31Australia’s media regulator has been criticised for failing to ensure the Australian Broadcasting Corporation follows its own laws, in a damning report released this week.
Key points:ABC chief executive Steve Gorman says he was told the organisation did not have the resources to carry out a full investigationThe regulator said it was “not in a position to investigate” allegations that it did not follow Australian laws to protect consumersThe ABC was told it had only the resources available to carry on its investigation and had limited staff available to do soThe ABC has been given a briefing by the ABC media governance body about the investigation into its conduct in relation to the Panorama programme.
The ABC said it had not been given “a clear direction” about what it could and should do with the report.
“The ABC cannot undertake an independent investigation and it is not in a place to investigate the allegations made in the report,” the regulator said in a statement.
“It is therefore not in position to carry forward with a full review of ABC policies and procedures, which are clearly set out in the Code of Practice for the Australian Corporation.”
The ABC, the country’s most-watched broadcaster, has been hit with an unprecedented number of complaints about its coverage of the death of a young mother in the United States in 2016.
The inquiry also highlighted how the ABC failed to investigate a series of claims made by a man, who claimed he had been sexually assaulted by ABC staff, and the death in New Zealand of a female colleague.
The man, a former journalist, had filed a complaint with the ABC about allegations he had experienced sexual violence by a number of ABC staff.
The woman’s death has led to calls for an independent inquiry into the ABC’s handling of the case.
The complaint was first brought to the regulator in 2016 and the inquiry was set up by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in December that year.
The report has been produced to the ABC by the watchdog after the company received a complaint from the man.
“A number of key issues raised in the ABC investigation have been raised in subsequent investigations into the death and the circumstances surrounding it by ABC employees,” the ABC said in the statement.
The review of the ABC began in April and will be completed in early 2020.
It was commissioned by the ACMA after the man filed a series and complaints with the regulator, and he had also sought to be made a complainant in another ABC case.AAP/ABC