ABC called out for flying 27 staff to UK for royal coverage

Progressive viewers criticise broadcaster's saturated Queen coverage

ABC called out for flying 27 staff to UK for royal coverage
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The ABC, already under fire from its core left-wing audience for its extended coverage of the Queen's death, has confirmed it flew 27 employees to the UK to capture the historic event.

The national broadcaster has faced backlash from progressive viewers for over-indulging in royal stories, with former Insiders host Barrie Cassidy claiming the ABC had 'misread its audience'. 

“If you want wall to wall royalty you can get it elsewhere in spades. The ABC is better when it offers an alternative to populism,” he said, echoing the views of those on the left who put the ABC on a pedestal compared to commercial media.

The ABC confirmed it sent 12 journalists and nine production staff from ABC News, plus three presenters and three production members from ABC Radio. Two other journalists already in Europe, were brought in to bolster the ranks.

The royal team included ABC Breakfast hosts Michael Rowling and Lisa Miller alongside radio's Virginia Trioli, Raf Epstein and Richard Glover.

Far-left blog Crikey claimed that Trioli, Epstein and Glover were flown business class, however the ABC declined to comment on the speculation.

Commentators online have expressed concerns over the broadcaster's carbon footprint and its contribution to climate change by sending so many staff abroad for the special occasion. 

News corp outlets reported:

In a statement shared with, the ABC said their royal coverage was in line with their obligation to inform Australians “ about such major events, as set out in the ABC Charter”.

“The ABC has two teams in the UK covering the funeral and events leading up to it, to service the News platforms and ABC Radio,” the statement read.

“Coverage plans are dynamic and not all our people are working across the whole period.”

When asked about the cost of the operation, the broadcast said “special coverage of critical events is factored into our budgets,” and confirmed that the travel met ABC guidelines.

“The audience response shows this coverage is valued by Australians, particularly on our digital and on-demand platforms,” they said.

Other critics upset about the ABC's extended coverage of the Monarch's death include former Sydney Lord Mayor and wife of former PM Malcolm Turnbull, Lucy Turnbull who tweeted 'The saturation media coverage is (paradoxically) diminishing the significance of these historic events.'

Progressive commentators and activists have continued to use the death of the Queen as a platform to promote discussion of Australia moving to become a republic.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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