On the ABC, Fairfax and the cabinet files

Brett D. Wright writes: Re. “Did the ABC and Fairfax just kowtow to our bumbling, repressive government?“(Monday)

Bernard, I don’t say this too often, but you are absolutely right. To make matters worse, the ABC’s director of news is quoted in Lyons’s fond, rambling account about snags and utes saying that the ABC “could have told hundreds of stories over weeks or months,” but instead “chose to be selective and responsible in what we broadcast.” Just how did these reporters, given their extensive training in operational intelligence, actually make these choices? How did they, as Lyons explains, weed out the documents that “could endanger public safety or national security if published”?

It seems to me the ABC was too worried about its relationship with this government and its budget to seriously challenge the alarmism peddled by the intelligence agencies. So, in a semi-panic it ran a few embarrassing but safe yarns about the pollies and hurriedly handed the rest back. And this is what passes for journalism at the national broadcaster.

Robert Pullan writes: Re. “Did the ABC and Fairfax just kowtow to our bumbling, repressive government?“(Monday)

Cooperating with authority to suppress information contradicts the fundamental which all journalism exists to defend and the self-injury the ABC and Fairfax inflicted on themselves–and on us, the people–is as always immeasurable (one of the main reasons these pre-emptory buckles continue even in the digital age). 

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey