Feb 22, 2013

Marcia Langton defends non-disclosure on mining cash before Boyers

The academic background to last year's Boyer Lectures was funded by global miners Rio Tinto and Woodside. But the audience was none the wiser. Should she and the ABC have disclosed?

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

Indigenous leader Marcia Langton and the ABC have defended a lack of disclosure over last year’s Boyer Lectures, despite tens of thousands of dollars in cash for Langton’s academic research being sourced from resources giants Rio Tinto, Woodside and Santos.


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24 thoughts on “Marcia Langton defends non-disclosure on mining cash before Boyers

  1. Jenny Haines

    This explains a lot about Marcia’s recent media statements.

  2. mikeb

    What did the ABC have to disclose? They did not receive any funding. Where would you draw the line if the ABC had to disclose who contibutes what to any speaker that is broadcast.

  3. mikeb

    That being said the speaker should certainly have acknowledged that information as a matter of maintaining credibility.

  4. Gavin Moodie

    Thanx for this report. I agree that Langton should have disclosed the funding and conflict of interest. The University of Melbourne’s (and prolly other universities’) policies are too weak either in substance or in implementation.

  5. mattsui

    An aboriginal person makes a series of speaches about how the mining industry is helping indigenous folk but fails to mention her own name amoung the list of beneficiaries.
    Could have been an oversight?
    Said speaker then goes on to play the racism card against the mining industries’ natural enemies (Flannery, hippies et al). Could be a coincidence?
    Somebody at the ABC didn’t do a thorough “due diligence” job prior to broadcasting said speeches. Almost certainly.
    Outcome; damaged credibility for all.

  6. CML

    Thank you Andrew for this article.
    I listened to the first Boyer lecture, decided that Langton was in cahoots with the mining industry, and that her ramblings were totally inappropriate. Didn’t bother with the remainder.
    Can’t believe that the ABC did not check her research funding before allowing these lectures to go to air.
    Is there no morality or ethics left in ANY part of the media? Shame ABC, shame!

  7. botanista

    Thanks for this article. This explains a lot to me about the strangely toxic taste Ms Langton’s Boyer lectures left in my mouth.

  8. Roberto Tedesco

    Check out also Marcia Langton’s contributions to the recent SBS series Dirty Business: how mining made Australia. They make so much more sense in the light of this information.

  9. SD

    Langton has been very shy about disclosing her connections with the mining industry which seems strange given her view that this connection is an ethical one. In his book “Minefield”, Paul Cleary writes that she joined the board of Andrew Forrest’s “Australian Employment Covenant” in 2007 and accompanied Forrest when he addressed the National Press Club in 2012. Asked by Cleary if she was a consultant for FMG, she stated that, “I am not directly contracted by FMG”. Whatever the truth behind these weasel words, these connections should have been disclosed by the ABC before they gave Langton a very big megaphone to bag environmentalists.Incidentally she has been very aggressive on Twitter when any suggestion has been made that she is compromised and in one tweet claimed that she was only a volunteer at FMG – not quite what she said to Paul Cleary.

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