Malcolm Turnbull is perfectly right, of course:
COMMUNICATIONS Minister Malcolm Turnbull saysÂ ABC board members who do not want to get involved in ensuring news content on the public broadcaster is accurate and impartial should get off the board.Â
Revealing he receives hundreds of complaints about the ABC each week, Mr Turnbull said “the law of the land” couldn’t be clearer â€” the board needed to take responsibility for addressing issues of accuracy and impartiality.
“Some people have said to me, ‘The directors don’t want to get involved’, so I said to the directors, ‘Look, if you don’t want to get involved you don’t have to be on the board’,” Mr Turnbull told The Australian.
“Section 8 of the ABC Act says one of the board’s duties is to Âensure the ABC’s news and information services are impartial and accurate, according to the standards of objective journalism…
“My very strong view is that the ABC board must take Âresponsibility.”
Turnbull shouldn’t say that’s ‘his view’. Its the ABC charter that demands it. It needs to be enforced.
Terry McCrann gives the most glaring exampleÂ of the board’s failure to take responsibility –Media WatchÂ and its host Paul Barry:
Barry is obsessed, utterly obsessed, with Rupert Murdoch and what Barry perceives as the failings of the man as well as his newspapers…
It is an obsession …Â simply undeniable on any measure of the number of Media Watch segments â€” by definition, negative â€” devoted to the News Corp Australia papers…
As a consequence of his obsession, he is fundamentally compromised as the public face of Media Watch in its purported, self-ordained role as a disinterested observer of the AustralÂian media and objective arbiter of what it claims to be journalistic high crimes and misdemeanours.
He …Â should have been removed when his unrelenting agenda became obvious, embarrassing and undeniable.
That responsibility lay first with the ABC’s managing director Mark Scott, in his twin role as editor-in-chief of the organisation. His failure to act has left him in breach of the corporation’s statutory obligations. The failure by the board of directors to subsequently discharge its responsibilities now leaves it collectively in breach as well.