The
Victorian Convenor of the Australian Republican Movement, Peter van
Vliet has taken the ABC to task over its reporting of the recent visit
to Melbourne of the Prince of Wales. Before Charles went to Geelong for
a dinner at his old school – Geelong Grammar – the heir to the throne
was on a walkabout in Federation Square.

The broadcaster gushed
that several thousand people were there to welcome the Prince. So was
van Vliet along with other ARM members – and he claims no more than 80
of them were there for the royal visitor. In a letter to the ABC’s
Denise Musto, he said the reporter didn’t realise the crowd was there
for a Grand Prix promotion, not to see Charles. Musto, the ABC’s
Audience and Consumer Affairs officer, admitted there could have been
confusion about the reasons for the crowd being in Federation Square,
but then says she stands by the reporter’s story.

This hasn’t
satisfied van Vliet who has sent a letter to the broadcaster’s
Complaints Review Executive. Van Vlliet told Crikey it’s important the
ARM monitors the reporting of the royals and makes sure accuracy is
maintained. As a former Federal communications adviser, he said he will
take the matter all the way to the Australian Broadcasting Authority if
the ABC doesn’t apologise for the blatant error.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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