Did News Corp target the ABC and Stan Grant? The answer’s in the numbers

It’s worth noting, however, that Nine Radio announcers Ray Hadley and Neil Mitchell were also highly critical of coverage in the days following the coronation.


In News Corporation newspapers, daily telegraph Leads in print/digital with four mentions, followed by Australianthis geelong advertiser and express mail Three each. Some of it was syndicated (and thus repetitive), some just suggested where to watch the coronation coverage, but some made Grant question his supposed role.

The four Sky News mentions were the only ones seen on TV, and all were criticisms of Grant.

So it’s fair to conclude that even before the Coronation coverage, News Corp’s media properties had made significant investments in ABC and Stan Grant.

In the 12 days after the coronation, until the moment Grant announced his resignation Q+A, the same search yielded 78 results.Ten of them are in Australian 22 on Sky News, spread across a series of programs dominated by right-wing opinion: Bernardi, outsider, late debate, The Rita Panahi Show, bolt report, tonight chris kenny.

Overall, 64 of the 78 mentions were to News Corp properties, and almost all of them were critical. (After Grant’s announcement, mentions of him and ABC skyrocketed across all news outlets; this spike in interest has been ruled out in order to focus on relatively “normal” reporting patterns.)

Rita Panahi, Rowan Dean and James Morrow, presenters of Sky News' Outsiders.

Rita Panahi, Rowan Dean and James Morrow, presenters of Sky News’ Outsiders.

From this admittedly small sample, there is evidence of a sustained campaign by News. What’s more, evidence isn’t just quantitative—it’s qualitative too.

Referring to the part of ABC’s coronation coverage where Grant was a panelist, AustralianMedia reporter Sophie Elsworth on Sky News media show (May 11), “That hour . . . was one of the most scandalous moments in their television history”. Describing it as an “absolute pile on the British monarchy”, she accused it of “ripping the history of this country to shreds”, calling it “the most hated hour” and declaring it an “absolutely disgraceful editorial decision”. an unbalanced group”, concluding that “ABC is not balanced”.

None of these claims have been challenged.

in the sky late debate On 8 May, ex-ABC staffer and now Sky regular Kel Richards opined that “this is a disoriented ABC that either has to cut off funding or be dragged back to what it was.” ( Requiring “Divestment ABC” is Sky and Australian.)


An article published online by Sky News claimed that one of Grant’s “anchor” at ABC had said the broadcaster was “negligent” in allowing him to blur the line between presenter and commentator (Sky’s favorite attack, It’s in the form of a news outlet, but with a wall of comments).The moderator in question is Tom Switzer, who is Australian. News Corp declined to comment for this story.

AustralianThe pages of letters are full of people accusing Grant of “hijacking” coronation coverage by bringing in the perspective of Indigenous Australians.so as not to have any confusion about what Australian In its own opinion, the newspaper rants in its May 12 editorial that discussions of the relationship between Aboriginal Australians and the royal family amount to “a one-sided tirade of bitterness and bile”.

Grant made his decision to leave Q+A This is due in no small part to the relentless attacks he has received on social media. “Racism is a crime. Racism is violence. I’ve had enough,” he wrote in what will be his last column for ABC Online for the foreseeable future.

But he also hinted that he too had been targeted by the mainstream media.

“I am not the producer or host of the Coronation broadcast, but every newspaper article accusing the ABC of bias carries my image,” he wrote.

On Monday, Justin Stevens explicitly accused News Corp of “continuing to … set a clear agenda” in an attempt to undermine trust in the public broadcaster “simply because we threaten their business model”.

Speaking at an event in Canberra on Wednesday to promote his book queen is deadGrant elaborates on the ways in which the modern media conspires to fuel division, including along racial lines.

“The 24/7 news cycle is a competition,” he said, according to ABC reporter Dan Bourchier. Will stop thinking, the voice will become louder, hoarse, and ugly, just to be heard.”

Find more works by the author here. email him kquinn@theage.com.auor follow him on Facebook carl quinn reporter on twitter @calquewin.

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