The ABC Board and Alan Jones

Sitting down here in Melbourne it's hard to understand the influence radio jocks, like Alan Jones, have on the general public in Sydney. It's only when news filters out about his friendships with the high and mighty within Australia's Conservative fraternity that we get an inkling of what he is capable.

Now comes the news that the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has bowed to pressure from Jones and his lawyers to cease the proposed publication of a book, titled Jonestown (great title by the way), by Chris Masters. This book was commissioned by the board four years ago but has now been put on hold under the threat of legal action by the book's subject. Firstly, the threat is reasonable enough. Chris Masters is a major, multi-award-winning journalist in this country working for the television current affairs program Four Corners. Chances are the resultant book was not going to be a flattering portrait. So you can understand why Jones would want to put a stop to it any way he could.

The problem lies in the way the ABC Board capitulated over the legal threat. Reports are that the book was raked over by any number of legal experts so, presumably, the material in it was deemed balanced enough to be reasonable. But it seems the Board could not accept the risk. And today we read that various other journalists within the ABC have expressed their displeasure at the decision. One wonders how much this has to do with the recent appointment of Keith Windschuttle and Janet Albrechtsen as directors of the Board. Both are considered to have a decided right-wing cultural agenda and to be admired by our current Prime Minister. Just wondering.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 3, 2006 2:20 PM.

Australian Books to Film #12 - The Brush-Off was the previous entry in this blog.

Weekend Round-Up 2006 #27 is the next entry in this blog.

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