ABC management should investigate viewer complaints about its coverage of the Coronationnotably a pre-event debate on the role of the monarchy and the impact of colonisation.
The late afternoon discussion hosted by Julia Baird and Jeremy Fernandez featured ABC’s Stan Grant, Australian Republic Movement co-chair Craig Foster, Liberal MP Julian Leeser, royalist and writer Kathy Lette, lawyer Teela Reid, Australian local hero of the year 2023 Amar Singh, youth advocate Angelica Ojinnaka, constitutional law professor Anne Twomey and journalist Juliet Rieden.
This was said by former board member Joe Gersh, who left the ABC board on Wednesday The Australian, “Management is dealing with complaints and criticisms. But yeah, I can understand the concerns about the appropriateness of the timing.
ABC Ombudsman automatically formally investigates complaints about possible editorial guideline violations, but management is likely to look into complaints from viewers.
He added: “We will let management discuss and report on whether it was the right decision. I believe there will be further comments on this in due course. There have been a lot of criticisms and complaints and they will be addressed.”
The Australian Monarchist League has told its supporters to complain about the ABC, while Australians for Constitutional Monarchy have also lodged a formal complaint. That complaint centers on the broadcaster’s alleged failure to present alternative viewpoints on the Crown’s role in Indigenous issues.
Leeser described the discussion as respectful and said he had no issue with the way he was treated during the broadcast, but told The Guardian that ABC “missed the balance with the discussion and the panel”.
“I think ABC audiences would have been disappointed by the lack of balance. Having just one in four speakers supporting our existing constitutional arrangements meant there was little opportunity for a panel discussion that reflected the warmth and respect Australians have for King Charles,” she said.
ABC has previously defended its coverage, telling The Australian that its role is to “reflect the diversity of viewpoints in the community and ‘Listening to Indigenous Australians and reflecting on Australia’s history is a big part of that. ..”
Paul Barry too Multimedia observation he asked, “Sure. But what about timing?”
Despite the criticisms, ABC still came out on top in national coverage of the night according to VOZ data.
ABC has yet to comment on internal reviews of its coverage.