Aug 10, 2017

ABC staff warned to be ‘impartial’ in marriage equality debate

The ABC has issued a directive to its news division to remain impartial in the marriage equality debate and give both sides an equal hearing.

Emily Watkins — Media reporter

Emily Watkins

Media reporter

ABC journalists have been warned to make sure “all perspectives are given a fair hearing” when reporting on the same-sex marriage debate.

In an email from news editorial policy manager Mark Maley this morning, staff in the news division were told it was “very important that we are impartial”.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

16 thoughts on “ABC staff warned to be ‘impartial’ in marriage equality debate

  1. DanBIllin

    I get confused over the term “reasonable” when one side of the argument is advocating for the denial of the basic rights of others. Doesn’t sound too goddamn “reasonable” to me, so maybe we shouldn’t hear from that side at all.

  2. shea mcduff

    Who decides “impartial”?

  3. Charlie Chaplin

    Oh dear. Down the rabbit hole of false balance goes Aunty, yet again. It’s a well known fact the majority of the Australian voting public support same sex marriage and have for quite a few years now, the ABC is the public broadcaster, but it mustn’t report this fact. It’s the NBN, all over again. Poor, cowardly, old Aunty.

    1. Stephen

      The NBN? The other day I saw Virginia Trioli shut down someone who wanted to discuss why Turnbull committed to redundant FTTN technology. As if blowing $75 billion of our taxes, not to mention the billions more it will cost to fix this mess, was something ABC journalists should never discuss.

  4. Marjorie Carless

    I understand the need to act impartial whilst at work but to carry that over into their personal lives then that is censorship, a blow to freedom of speech and this is just the beginning, it will get worse for everybody, the viciousness and nastiness will become clear. Turnbull has opened Pandora’s box and who knows what will fly out of it.

  5. Stephen

    So if ABC staff must be ‘impartial’ on matters of homophobia, does that mean that they must also be impartial on matters of racism and sexism?

  6. Barbara Haan

    Pathetic Mark Maley. What hole did you crawl out of. Talk about political correctness gone mad.

  7. zut alors

    During the few forays I’ve made to commercial TV stations, the hosts appear obviously biased toward marriage equality & opposed to a plebiscite/survey.

    This is the same foolhardy rule which applies to the anti-global warming debate ie: the ABC is supposed to give equal time to deniers despite the fact that over 96% of scientists state it is happening.

    1. 124C4U

      Holey sox!
      Suppose Auntie gives someone from the Muslim Lobby equal time.
      That would almost guarantee that the NO vote would not get up.
      The Libs would be ecstatic and the ABC might get some funding restored.
      Could be method in the madness.

      1. Richard Laslett

        Actually the Moslems are in favour of the yes campaign

        1. 124C4U

          Are you sure? The Koran is as much against any form of homosexuality as the bible.
          I don’t know for sure but I had the impression that homosexuality was anathema to Muslims.

  8. Bill Hilliger

    ABC staff warned to be ‘impartial’ in marriage equality debate. Hmm… waiting to see a similar warning on Rupert Murdoch NewsCrap Sky Noose. Somehow I don’t think so. The haters will be writ large.

  9. AR

    This is the eternal problem with the public broadcaster (BBC cops it too) because often the only sides of a contentious issue are those flat out lying and those trying make true points.
    NBN, AGW, WMD, GFC, and that is just the alphabet soup topics that spring to mind which demonstrate that there is often no good opposing argument and to give equal time/exposure is ludicrous.

  10. Wallywonga

    It is interesting that despite all the ABC bashing by commentators like Bolt, Latham and Co, it is holding its own, with the most credible news and current affairs shows like Insiders, Four Corners have ratings that they would die for. Please ABC stop being apologists to the fake news fraternity; surely Maley, provided you have the evidence to back any story, then that is what you should go with? Thats called news!

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details