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'Death in the Med': findings after complaints to ABC

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David C
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Joined: 12 Jan 2004
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Location: Southampton

Post Post subject: 'Death in the Med': findings after complaints to ABC Reply with quote

Following the screening of Death on the Med last year, rebroadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in September, I wrote a series of complaints to the ABC about its bias, which finally resulted in a review by the Independent Complaints Review Panel of my complaint. In a rather timely fashion, I have just received a response from the ABC to the ICRP report, and the rather surprising findings in this report.
Unlike the BBC trust, the ICRP has not performed an exonerating whitewash, but has upheld my complaint on seven counts - one of 'taking an editorial stand', four of non-impartiality, and two of lack of balance. It appears that the drawn out process of assessment involved considerable exchange of material with the ABC and the BBC and the Panel, including examination of the BBC committee's findings, with the Panel's preliminary report disputed on its claims of presenting and apparently supporting the Israeli viewpoint.
Ironically, though not necessarily significantly, the ICRP has now been replaced with a more internal arrangement. The report, which concentrates entirely on the presentation in the BBC documentary, ( essentially without change in the ABC version) can be viewed at:
Well we couldn't expect them to put it on the front page!
I'm wondering how this might be considered in the UK, as well as being a little help in the current war of words and subterfuge in the turbulent Med.

Originally posted on the message board by David Macilwain, July 6, 2011, 1.34pm.

The ICRP report to the ABC can be read in full at:
It is a fairly detailed report and records the interchange with both the ABC and the BBC, as well as most of the substance of my complaints. The managing director of the ABC accompanied the report with a letter which precis-d the conclusions and details of breaches of the code of practice - a useful summary which I could supply by email or upload as JPG.
The concern for me is to somehow get this information out there, as the ABC's duty as required by the ICRP has been fulfilled in the link on the website. (It is a great credit to the now disbanded ICRP, headed by QC Michael Foster, that their conclusion has been so reasonable.)
And in Australia this is now a problem. Only the Greens ever speak out against Israel, as even though there is considerable sympathy for Palestine's plight, many people don't hold Israel responsible for it or if they do they daren't say so. And when someone makes a stand, as happened to the mayor of Marrickville council recently when her council dared to support the BDS campaign, all hell breaks loose, with Murdoch's flagship The Australian leading the charge accompanied by past and present leaders and opposition leaders of the federal government. Australia is proudly an 'unconditional friend of Israel', and the national broadcaster surely reflects this even while claiming to be balanced and unbiased.
All this means that the avenues for airing the dirty linen are rather narrow!

Originally posted on the message board by David Macilwain, July 7, 2011, 10.10am.
Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:22 am
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