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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3176..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

organisations where management works with its people. Scott's language does not encourage confidence that the ABC is such a place.

Scott is continuing, and deepening, the ABC tactic of choice for the last five years ... Under attack, the ABC not only jumps willingly through the many, many accountability hoops already there, but adds a few new ones just to show what a good dog it can be, even if it does occasionally bite the hand that feeds it ... ABC institutional bias (as opposed to individual errors of fact or judgement) is the colourless, odourless gas apparent only to a few. Despite numerous past attempts to find it, nobody has ever managed to prove that it is there. So how can its reduction be measured? Does anyone have a clear idea of what Scott and the Board are trying to do here?

The Australian people certainly don't think the ABC is biased. Quite apart from the high public opinion ratings in the surveys conducted on behalf of the ABC, there is also this independent and rigorous study which showed the ABC has a higher level of public confidence than unions, the courts, the public service, churches, the federal parliament, charities and universities. Only the defence and state police forces have more public confidence. Other big media organisations, such as News Limited, don't even rate. Nor do their columnists ... The only account of journalistic objectivity that has ever made sense to me-

that is, Margaret Simons-

is that proposed by the American media educators Kovach and Rosenstiel. They suggest that true objectivity is a characteristic not of the individual journalist, nor necessarily of the final result of journalism, but rather of the method and process of journalism. This should be "a disinterested pursuit of truth"akin to the scientific method, with its slavishness to evidence.

The article goes on to say that journalism involves judgment-judgments are subjective-but that does not mean that they are going to be prejudiced, unthinking or partisan. It continues:

The originators of this process are on the Board, and it's not hard to guess what's driving them. They are not after the kind of success good managers measure. They are after political success-a victory in the culture wars. The Board needs to be able to point to something it has achieved. This is it. How pathetic. Meanwhile the real challenges faced by the ABC are a million miles away from this fuss.

I think it will be a very sad day if the ABC has to impose upon itself more, even harder, measures of censorship than it does at the moment. Let us look at smoking. What if we have, say, a balanced account of smoking. Think what that might look like. (Time expired.)

SIEV X memorial

Antipoverty Week

Canada-indigenous people

UnitingCare, Kippax

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (5.23): I rise to talk about four events I recently attended, three of which caused me to feel quite distressed and one of which gave me a sense of hope. The first event was the occasion of the temporary installation of a SIEV X


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