The ABC did offer both the Department of Immigration and Peter Dutton a chance to respond to the allegations in Monday's Four Corners program on the lives of asylum seeker children on Nauru, but these offers were either declined or conditionally accepted on the basis that the interviews be off-the-record, says ABC news director Gaven Morris.
At Senates estimates on Tuesday, Liberal Senator Jane Hume said the Department of Immigration had offered the ABC an interview on the educational issues for refugee children on Nauru that was rejected. But, Morris says in a public statement, this interview was offered "on background" on Friday afternoon. (A "background" interview generally means a journalist cannot quote or show footage of the spokesperson answering questions, nor can the journalist attribute the information given to them.) "[It was] not what had been requested and was not helpful", Morris said. "Contrary to claims, the Department did not offer or provide any images or footage to Four Corners."