In a refreshing admission of error, the ABC has responded to the SSAA’s concerns that one of its staff members expressed a blatantly biased view about our sport after receiving a statement from the SSAA issued during the 2016 Federal Election campaign.
On behalf of our 180,000-plus members and one million licensed firearm owners, the SSAA wrote to the ABC following receipt of an email that labelled our media statement “propaganda” and pointed out that such bias within the ABC has long been suspected by our members. Accepting that the staff member breached their editorial standards of covering all stories accurately and impartially, the ABC station manager wrote to the SSAA and encouraged us to continue to share our press releases and statements with the national broadcaster.
The positive response is in stark contrast to concerns raised with other programs such as Channel Ten’s The Project, who responded to our previous complaints about biased and inaccurate reporting by explaining that they are an entertainment program, not news, and therefore do not have to abide by the same editorial principles as news programs. The show continues to masquerade as a news program to this day, often whipping up hysteria when speaking about the shooting sports or firearm-related issues.
While the SSAA welcomes the fair and proper review procedure that seems to have been followed by the ABC in this case, we will not apologise for promoting or defending the sport of shooting and will continue to expose those who do not give our recreation a fair hearing. SSAA members can send us tips regarding any off-target claims heard in the media or local area about sports shooting, hunting or firearms, for our team to investigate. Members are also encouraged to contact the publication in question directly, using our vast online resources as a guide.