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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 11:21 am
Reader Andrew P. receives an answer from the ABC:
Thank you for your email of Thursday 27 July regarding the ABC’s ‘Behind the News’ program and online article about the current crisis in Lebanon.
While the intention of this story was to communicate a most complex situation to a young audience, the ABC acknowledges that the content failed to meet the requirements of balance and impartiality. The story has been removed from the ABC website. The content is currently being reviewed, and revised material will be posted in due course.
Regretfully, in its attempt to be simple and concise, this story did not represent key relevant viewpoints effectively. Some of the descriptions were over-simplistic and inappropriate.
Behind the News has an important and significant role to play in bringing complex issues to young audiences. The editorial standards of accuracy, impartiality and balance are key benchmarks of the program’s success. The specific errors in judgment in relation to this particular story are regrettable and not indicative of the program’s overall high standards.
Thank you for bringing this matter to the attention of the ABC.
Audience Liaison Manager
ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs
The ABC has apologised to the Jewish community for presenting biased, anti-Israeli information to school children during an episode of Behind the News.
The educational program described Hezbollah terrorists as “soldiers” and as “refugees” whose land had been “taken by Israel”.
UPDATE. Editorial in the Australian:
Never let it be said that the ABC ever let the facts stand in the way of a good smear. Take the public broadcaster’s “high energy (and) fun” current affairs program for students, Behind the News, which on July 25 delivered a potted history of the last half-century of Lebanese life that sounded almost as if it had been scripted in Tehran.