ABC rejects claims of external pressure over staffing

ABC rejects claims of external pressure over staffing

ABC management has responded to staff concerns that it buckled to external pressure in staffing matters.

80 ABC staff this week sought answers from management over the dismissal of radio presenter Antoinette Lattouf three days into her five day employment, after a Human Rights Watch post shared on the Gaza conflict was deemed a breach of the ABC’s social media policy.

The case is now before the Fair Work Commission.

ABC Managing Director David Anderson said in a statement, “The ABC’s independence, enshrined in legislation, is of paramount importance to the role the ABC performs for the Australian public.

“The ABC rejects any claim that it has been influenced by any external pressure, whether it be an advocacy or lobby group, a political party, or commercial entity. That applies to all decisions made across the organisation, including in relation to content, where the ABC’s Editorial Policies provide strong direction on independence and other crucial matters.

“ABC staff are proud of our high standards of independent journalism, and routinely perform their roles for the Australian public without fear or favour, adhering to our responsibilities of impartiality and accuracy – often in the face of significant unwarranted criticism. The ABC will continue to support them and their work, internally and externally. As a result of our high editorial standards and independence, we remain the most trusted media organisation in the country.

“As the most scrutinised media organisation in Australia, the ABC takes legitimate criticism, feedback and complaints seriously, and addresses them in line with our Editorial Policies, complaints handling procedures and our editorial guidelines, as is appropriate.

“The ABC also takes very seriously our responsibility to champion diversity and inclusion in order to accurately reflect the community we serve, both in our content and as an organisation. This is an ongoing process involving regular review, to ensure we aim high. Our equity and inclusion initiatives include:

“Inclusive Teams Planning
An Elevate Reconciliation Action Plan
A Diversity Advocates Network
A review into how the ABC can ensure staff who are exposed to abusive behaviour are appropriately supported
Gender equity and Diversity forums
A News Diversity & Inclusion Plan and the News Diversity Action Group
The ABC Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan”