Open Letter to the ABC: Alberici and government influence

Open Letter to the ABC: Alberici and government influence

ABC Friends have written an open letter to the ABC Chair, Ita Buttrose, and Managing Director, David Anderson, expressing grave concerns regarding the Federal Government’s political interference in ABC staffing and editorial processes. 

Open Letter to David Anderson, Managing Director ABC, and Ita Buttrose, Chair ABC Board.

I write on behalf of ABC Friends National to express our grave concern about the way the ABC has managed the Federal Government’s political interference in ABC staffing and editorial processes contrary to the ABC Charter.

We totally understand and empathise with the challenges faced by ABC Management dealing with both government funding cutbacks and on-going intervention in the independence of the Australian Public Broadcaster.

However, recent negotiations with Emma Alberici appear to have been unduly influenced by an earlier dispute when then Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull used parliamentary privilege to criticise her professionalism and his friend and then chair of the ABC Board Justin Milne advocated Ms Alberici's removal from the ABC.

It is against this serious breach of public broadcasting protocols that the ABC's more recent employment negotiations with Ms Alberici are unacceptable because you have signalled tolerance and acceptance of government intervention in staffing decisions. Furthermore, at the same time you have stood by other journalists whose professionalism has similarly been challenged by government.

Like many in the Australian community, we are saddened that the ABC has failed to support Ms Alberici because her circumstances exemplified the essential principle of respect for  journalistic integrity.

We know that many thousands of Australians fully support and value the ABC, but Ms Alberici's departure in these circumstances undermines our faith in the current state of Australian public broadcasting.

We will continue to campaign for a sustainable and independent ABC free of political manipulation.


Your sincerely,

Margaret Reynolds signature

Margaret Reynolds
National President
ABC Friends National