It’s complain-tastic!
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It’s complain-tastic!

The ShadowLands has had a win after complaining to the ABC about this item. Correspondence went as follows:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to complain about a news item regarding logging protesters near Bermagui by Jayne Margetts.

The gist of the story was that logging is detrimental to carbon emissions. Nobody from the forest industries was given leave to speak on this issue. I imagine if they had, they would have pointed out that logging where regrowth is allowed does not cause a net loss on the carbon balance sheet. Even, if you disagree with this, you would have to agree that if the logging did not occur in Australia, it would simply occur somewhere else (or by some other method) and imports would cause further emissions.

Logging is an important industry for thousands of Australians. The forest they were standing in was regrowth forest – a demonstration that it is a sustainable industry. The fact that nobody representing them was interviewed was clearly in contravention of ABC policies about balance in reporting.

Yours sincerely

MM and the response:

Dear MM

Thank you for your email regarding the ABC TV news bulletin on 6 November. The ABC has reviewed the story in question and while we note that the views on the Regional Forest Agreement of NSW Environment Minister Carmel Tebbutt were included in the report, the piece should have also included comment from a representative of the forestry industry or someone who would could present alternate views from those of the conservationists who were featured.

The ABC regrets that balance was not achieved in this instance. This represents a breach in the ABC’s editorial guidelines for news and current affairs. These guidelines require that the ABC air the principal relevant viewpoints on matters of importance such as this in news content…

The reporter who prepared the story has been reminded of the need to include the views of all the main parties in any future story on the subject. A correction has been placed on the ABC Corrections and Clarifications webpage: