Did political complaints get to Fact Check being axed by the ABC this year? Nick Xenophon floated the theory at the last ABC Senate estimates appearance.
But in answers to questions on notice in response to the ABC’s last Senate estimates appearance, the public broadcaster says only two politicians complained about ABC Fact Check in recent years. One complaint in June 2014, and one in July 2015. For comparison, the ABC received three complaints from politicians in 2015 about Q&A, and it received two in 2016.
Many within the ABC strongly believe Fact Check’s pronouncements on political speech made it target. But in the question on notice, the ABC said the unit’s content didn’t come up directly in budget negotiations.
By the by, Crikey’s previously tried to figure this out ourselves by requesting any documents created by the ABC for the purpose of briefing the government on the effect of and ABC budget cuts. In response to our FOI, we got back entirely redacted pages. — Myriam Robin