[LINK] First it was the ABC, now senator has new target
kim at holburn.net
Sun Oct 22 10:44:15 AEST 2006
> First it was the ABC, now senator has new target
> Jason Koutsoukis
> October 22, 2006
> KEY Howard loyalists are set to launch a scathing attack on
> multicultural broadcaster SBS and force it to answer accusations of
> blatant left-wing bias.
> Influential Victorian Liberal Senator Michael Ronaldson will lead
> the assault on SBS and its executives at a special Senate estimates
> hearing next week.
> He is expected to be joined by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
> and Senator Alan Eggleston.
> Senator Ronaldson, a key player in the Howard Government's long
> campaign against perceived political bias at the ABC, told The
> Sunday Age that SBS was "out of control" and needed to be reined
> in. "I am very concerned about SBS's impartiality and balance."
> Just days after the ABC announced new program guidelines enforcing
> impartiality, Senator Ronaldson said SBS, which receives about $160
> million a year from taxpayers, had a lot to learn from Australia's
> other national broadcaster.
> "The network has slipped under the radar and compared to the
> directions that the ABC now seems to be taking, SBS are out on
> their own," he said.
> Senator Ronaldson said he had compiled a dossier of numerous
> examples of political bias in both its domestic and international
> news coverage.
> "There are just so many clear examples of inappropriate political
> bias, which is OK as long as the robustness falls within clear
> guidelines. The problem is, it doesn't.
> "Now, in relation to the ABC, no one is looking for a sanitised
> national broadcaster. What we wanted was a broadcaster that, when
> it said its core values were impartiality and balance, actually met
> those core values."
> He singled out SBS's coverage of the recent Hezbollah-Israel
> conflict as one of the most appalling examples of biased reporting
> he had ever seen. "Their commentary on international events,
> particularly the conflict between Lebanon and Israel, just
> displayed a clear lack of impartiality and completely lacked any
> balance whatsoever," Senator Ronaldson said. "I have also heard a
> lot of complaints that they have strayed from their charter as a
> multilingual, multicultural national broadcaster."
> The SBS charter states that the broadcaster must "contribute to
> extending the range of Australian television and radio services,
> and reflect the changing nature of Australian society by presenting
> many points of view and using innovative forms of expression".
> Senator Ronaldson is a staunch ally of Treasurer Peter Costello and
> has been a passionate friend of Israel.
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