Even Martians say ABC journos are Lefties

By Barry Tucker                    26 May, 2013

At last! (I thought). An opportunity to balance some of the articles about Right-wing media bias in the ABC that appear in this Resource Centre.

Miranda Devine is a hard-hitting journalist who writes for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph. That’s what it says in her bio.

Miranda Devine

Miranda Devine

In her column on Wednesday, 22 May, 2013, Ms Devine wrote:

IF a Martian were to land in Sydney and start watching the ABC, she would soon figure out the taxpayer-funded broadcaster is biased to the left.

Ms Devine’s story is partly based on a university survey of the political leaning of 605 journalists. You can read my take on that survey and follow the link to the surveyor’s comments on the survey in The Conversation.

Ms Devine also wrote:

The leftist bias is patently obvious to everyone, and denials from within the ABC are laughable, even to themselves.

Now that bias has been quantified, in a survey into journalists’ political leanings by the University of the Sunshine Coast. It showed that all journalists lean left — no surprise.

Well, actually, Miranda, the survey did not show that all journalists lean Left. Less than two thirds of those surveyed revealed their political preference. It did not survey all journalists and you, Miranda, do not lean Left. I do, like a man in a tug-of-war struggle against the media bias of the Right.

I take issue with the penultimate sentence, written as a paragraph, because I spent 46 years as a reporter, sub-editor and editor. I believe the opposite is true:

And, as anyone who has worked in a newsroom knows, it’s the frontline journalists who create the culture, not their bosses.

The Conversation story (by the senior lecturer in journalism at the university that conducted the survey) said it’s the senior editors who decide the agenda. So we have a mixture of agenda and culture there.

I’m going to be a good little journo and refrain from further comment. Please read the three stories and come to your own conclusions.

The surveyor’s original story in The Conversation.

My take on that story.

Ms Devine’s column in The Daily Telegraph.