Nine chair Peter Costello (Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

The decision of the Nine Entertainment board to host political fundraisers at the company’s Channel Nine studios in Sydney this week has brought into sharp relief the question of whether the company has enough credibility to claim it is “independent, always”.

For starters, having a partisan figure such as Peter Costello as chairman raises immediate questions about independence. This is even before considering the optics of helping the federal Liberal Party raise $700,000 at the $10,000-a-head fundraiser on Monday night.