ABC called out for unbalanced royal coronation coverage

Australia's government-funded public broadcaster's coverage of King Charles III's coronation draws criticism for focusing on negative aspects of monarchy.

ABC called out for unbalanced royal coronation coverage
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Critics have called out Australia's government-funded public broadcaster's coverage of King Charles III's coronation, arguing that it "totally misread the mood" and was inappropriate for focusing on the negative aspects of the monarchy.

3AW broadcaster Mitchell took issue with the panel discussion led by Jeremy Fernandez and Julia Baird, which included Q+A host Stan Grant, due to the perceived imbalance of viewpoints represented.

The panel, which had three republicans out of four members, discussed colonisation and the harm the monarchy had caused Indigenous Australians.

Mitchell argued that this was not the appropriate time for such discussions and called for ABC management to be held accountable.

Liberal MP Julian Leeser, who was also on the panel, posted on Facebook that the ABC "got the balance wrong" and criticised the lack of opportunity for a more balanced discussion reflecting Australians' respect for King Charles.

However, Mitchell also criticised Grant's comments, comparing them to playing a Benny Hill skit during a royal funeral. The Australian Monarchist League's chair, Eric Abetz, called the panel discussion "completely unacceptable" during a celebratory event.

In contrast to ABC's coverage, commercial networks Ten, Nine, and Seven aired footage of guests arriving with live commentary on events in London. Seven's coverage won the ratings, followed by Nine and then ABC.

During the panel discussion, Indigenous businessman Warren Mundine described the ABC's coverage as "unacceptable," "biased," and "one-sided." Teela Reid, an Indigenous lawyer, spoke about the difficulties navigating the celebration of an institution that perpetrated colonisation at the expense of First Nations people.

Craig Foster, co-chair of the Australian Republican Movement, argued that it was time for Australia to sever ties with the monarchy. Julian Leeser countered by emphasising the importance of celebrating the British foundation of Australia.

ABC defended its coverage of the coronation, stating that it facilitated conversations reflecting diverse views in the community, including Indigenous Australians.

An ABC spokesperson highlighted the importance of discussing Australia's history and the upcoming referendum on a First Nations Voice to Parliament.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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