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    Laura Tingle counselled for calling Australia racist: ‘Would not have met the ABC’s editorial standards’

    Laura Tingle, the ABC’s chief political correspondent for 7.30, has been counselled by ABC news director Justin Stevens for calling Australia a “racist country” at the Sydney Writers Festival, but Tingle maintains the backlash is “yet another anti-ABC pile on.”

    In a statement released yesterday, Stevens said the comments “lacked the context, balance and supporting information of her work for the ABC and would not have met the ABC’s editorial standards.”

    “Although the remarks were conversational, and not made in her work capacity, the ABC and its employees have unique obligations in the Australian media,” he continued.

    “Laura has been reminded of their application at external events as well as in her work and I have counselled her over the remarks.”

    At a Sydney Writers Festival event over the weekend, moderated by former ABC Insiders presenter Barrie Cassidy, Tingle criticised Peter Dutton‘s pledge to cut migration in response to the housing crisis. One of Dutton’s comments was that migrants are causing “congestion on our roads.”

    “We are a racist country, let’s face it. We always have been, and it’s very depressing,” she said on the panel.

    In her own lengthy statement, Tingle said that while the nature of the panel meant she could not provide thorough context, she stands by her assertion that there is racism in Australia.

    “I wasn’t saying every Australian is a racist. But we clearly have an issue with racism. For some months now, for example, The Australian newspaper has been devoting considerable space to its alarm about a rise in anti-Semitism in Australia.

    “Without even going into the historic record, there is also ample evidence that racism remains a particular problem in our legal and policing systems.

    “If I had been speaking on an ABC platform, or not in a five-way discussion, I would have provided all that context, as I do in my stories for the ABC.”

    She noted that writers festival discussions are “much less formal and more free-flowing than a piece of analysis on an ABC platform”.

    “I regret that when I was making these observations at the Writers’ Festival the nature of the free-flowing panel discussion means they were not surrounded by every quote substantiating them which would have – and had – been included in what I had said earlier on the ABC,” she added.

    “This has created the opportunity for yet another anti-ABC pile-on.

    “This is not helpful to me or to the ABC. Or to the national debate.”

    See also: ABC strategy behind this week’s launch of ABC Family & ABC Entertains

    The post Laura Tingle counselled for calling Australia racist: ‘Would not have met the ABC’s editorial standards’ appeared first on Mediaweek.

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