In 2012 the Australian Communications and Media Authority investigated approximately fifty complaints against the television arm of the seventy-five year old Australian Broadcasting Corporation and, eleven complaints against its radio stations.
Only three of these television program complaints were either partially or fully upheld - two of the broadcasting standards breaches involved the absence of captioning and one involved insufficient opportunity to respond to allegations.
Of the radio program complaints investigated only one breach concerning accuracy was found to have occurred.
What is fascinating about the investigated complaints list is the unusually high number which allege bias/lack of impartiality in a news or current affairs program.
When one compares this list with the smaller list of complaints against commercial television and radio stations last year and the even fewer allegations of bias contained therein, one begins to wonder if what appears to be a sustained politically motivated campaign questioning the ABC’s own standards (which has been played out in the media by the likes of journalist Andrew Bolt and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott) has not created a well of suspicion within the community about the public broadcaster’s motives.
In this federal election year, the ABC may be one of the first casualties in the right wing campaign to recapture The Lodge.