ABC News Director Justin Stevens has advised ABC journalists not to sign a petition on media coverage of the Israel – Hamas war.
The petition, which also circulated to journalists at SMH / The Age and Guardian, asked them to commit to applying the same “professional scepticism” to uncorroborated Israeli government information as it applies to the terrorist group Hamas.
But Stevens warned staff, signing would impact their impartiality.
ABC news director Justin Stevens just sent out an email about the letter:
“You should not sign any petition that may bring into question your impartiality or that of the ABC’s coverage. Signing this petition may bring into question your ability to cover the story impartially.” https://t.co/tiyAqHfyBo pic.twitter.com/QbFxSFkois
— cameron wilson (@cameronwilson) November 24, 2023
Union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance has described responses from some editors as an overreach and an attack on both journalists’ rights and the public’s right to know.
#MEAAmedia fully supports the rights of our members to stand up for the Code of Ethics. Any pressure or intimidation from managers to prevent workers from doing this is an overreach and an attack on both journalists' rights and the public's right to know.
— MEAA (@withMEAA) November 24, 2023