The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Is Under Investigation

Created: Thursday, 12 March 2009 Written by Unregistered Corresp
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JournOz, the portal of ethical journalism, has launched a specific investigation into the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's long term reporting of the Schapelle Corby case. In its latest article, it raises profound questions about the independence of the corporation, and its agenda with respect to this case. It also points out the potential for international embarressment and reputational damage to both ABC and the government.

The o­nline journal, which is o­ne of the longest established and most respected media websites o­n the internet, states that "The ABC was as enthusiastically loyal to the message apparently supplied by government as any other mainstream player. Indeed, the ABC was actually responsible for some of the most damaging of the false allegations and proven smears."

It continued "Against this political landscape some of the ABC's and Australia's most popular news and documentary productions were pitching high profile broadcasts against Schapelle Corby's interests, and those of her family. The broadcasts were clearly having a major impact upon public perception of the case". Further, it promised to expose "A range of specific examples of these false allegations, proven smears, and patent censorship".

Rachel James of the Schapelle.Net website hailed this announcement as a natural progression: "The activities of ABC and other major broadcasters are a matter of record. They are blatant and they are an affront to ethical journalism. They have paved the way for the terrible inhumane suffering of Schapelle Corby, and to this day, they continue to hide the the truth from the general public. Now it seems that increasing numbers of journalists have had a belly full of it, and despair at what they have seen".

The first example case cited by JournOz is that of the global protest, which was covered by XenoxNews in a previous report, and was presented to the United Nations last week.

Schapelle Corby Global Protest Photographs

 A Selection of Protest Images

Tara Hack At The UN

Ms James points out that: "It was the first ever global protest in support of an Australian in the entire history of the nation, the video of it has been described as ground breaking, it was the first "cyber-driven" protest to end at the United Nations in the history of the world, and it was actually delivered to the UN in New York by acclaimed singer Tara Hack. Yet it wasn't even referenced by ABC even as a footnote! To them, it never even happened. They simply hid it.".

Having received a tip-off of the UN development, JournOz itself was pro-active. To evidence ABC's position, it sent the story directly to a range of ABC contacts as soon as it broke, and even provided them with photographs and footage of Tara Hack at the UN.

It also challenges other journalists to compare the story with actual ABC content, much of which of course is of a frivolous and less newsworthy nature. The large ABC catalogue of past trivial and damaging Schapelle Corby reports is additionally referenced, including their apology last year for presenting baseless allegations as fact.

The JournOz initiative follows comments from a range of repsected third parties regarding the Schapelle Corby case, including Civil Liverties Australia, who commented that "The real story is how a young powerless woman is being imprisoned for a crime that she probably had nothing to do with. But the Australian media have become her persecutor". 

The portal poses a series of fundamental questions: "But how has this happened? How has it been allowed to continue for so long? How orchestrated has it been? How much has the hand of government been involved? How much of the fabrication and opinion management has been down to lack of editorial control, and how much a result of editorial policy? How much has been driven by crude fiscal consideration, and how much by politics? What is the story of those who have been particularly proactive in this business? Who has been pulling the strings, where do they lead, and through whom?"
It promises to "investigate editorial control, specific journalists, particular stories, government role, and financial benefits", and ultimately to "expose truth".

Rachel James though stresses the importance of time: "Schapelle has suffered horribly now for heading towards five years. Every day she suffers there is another day or complicity and shame for the media and the government. The global protest shows that people around the world want this suffering to stop now: and this applies regardless of whether the media hide it from Australians or not".     

The JournOz article can be found here: The ABC Of Opinion Management