Political Bias and Censorship at #ourABC

BACKGROUND: Former Technology editor Nick Ross recently left the ABC, claiming that he had been gagged from reporting on Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) in the lead up to the 2013 federal election. Ross made some startling revelations in a Reddit AMA, which was followed up with this story in New Matilda. Mr Ross claims he was not allowed to publish stories critical of the NBN plans of then Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is now Prime Minister. And he taped a conversation with ABC News editor Bruce Belsham, who told him there was no point criticizing Turnbull’s proposals because the Labor’s NBN Plan was “not going to happen” and he should instead write anti-ALP articles for “insurance”.

Nick Ross also complained that he had been strung out to dry by ABC’s MediaWatch program, which was then run by Jonathan Holmes. The following tweets are from discussion today, which started out with former SMH journo Mike Carlton’s concerns about the ethics of taping a conversation with your editor.

Mike suggested he had learned a bit more about this story. He said it was important to see the “other side” of the picture, but refused to give any details.

At this point Mike Carlton told Nick Ross he needed to “grow up” and started insulting and blocking anyone who disagreed (including me).

Time for Jonathan Holmes to weigh in…

New Matilda then published a follow up piece with analysis of ABC’s NBN coverage since the election, which shows the editors’ desire to keep Malcolm Turnbull happy is persisting.

And Crikey (who compete with New Matilda in the independent media space) also published a story on Nick Ross’s revelations. A pity they didn’t phone him first.

NOTE: Apologies if some of the tweets above are slightly out of sequence, it was a bit of a swirling debate with many others also involved.

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