As covered on Media Watch …
A documentary maker (Judy Rymer) wanting access to news archive coverage of political figures (mainly Liberal) from the ABC was told that she couldn’t get it without getting clearance from the “stakeholders” (ie. the politicians).
Her website describes the film as follows:
Punished not Protected is an educational documentary series in four parts (on tape) featuring the views of leading Australians and concerned citizens on the effects of government policy on asylum seekers and temporary protection visa holders
The ABC couldn’t come up with a decent explanation and tried to fob Judy off with talk about not wanting to be involved with a political or a corporate program. It appears to me to be a case of the management so badly wishing to avoid the tag of biased from the Howard govt., that it blocks legitimate reporting.
Of course, I believe that this is just what Howard wants – the national broadcaster to be neutered so that there are less opportunities for independent reporting and analysis of events like the “Children Overboard” scandal or the debacle in Iraq.
See here for the full story.