Michael Kroger

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Media reports regarding the behaviour of Michael Kroger as a member of the Board of the ABC, particularly on the last two editions of Media Watch, are concerning.

Ito appears that Michael Kroger has acted inappropriately in attempting to influence the ABC’s coverage of political issues, particularly the Middle East, Alan Jones and the performance of the Howard government. It is quite wrong that a member of the Howard government, as a member of the ABC Board also, should use the latter position to put pressure on the ABC to give a more favourable (or less unfavourable) coverage of the Howard government.

Kroger has a conflict of interest in matters relating to the performance of the Howard government and Alan Jones, being a senior operator within the Liberal Party and a close friend of Alan Jones.

Kroger also apparently has supported Colin Rubenstein from The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council in making vexatious and unfounded complaints regarding the coverage of the Middle East.

Michael Kroger has demonstrated that he is not fit to be a member of the Board of the ABC, and should be removed as soon as possible.

-- Anonymous, May 18, 2002


www.friendsoftheabc.org PO Box 4285 University of Melbourne, 3052 MEDIA RELEASE 19 MAY 2002

Kroger's resignation not enough

Shadow communications minister Lindsay Tanner has called on Michael Kroger to resign from the ABC board. Friends of the ABC say that calls for Michael Kroger's resignation from the ABC board are not enough.

"Mr Kroger must go", said Friends of the ABC National Spokesperson, Darce Cassidy, "but that will not be enough to save the independence and credibility of the ABC board. It is not just a matter of getting rid of a rogue board member, the whole process of appointing the ABC board must be reformed. Both major parties have undermined ABC independence by stacking it with their friends. We need a better system"

"Mr Kroger's apparent inability to keep his friendship with Alan Jones separate from his role as an ABC board member compromises the independence of the ABC. So does his apparent failure to keep his Liberal Party and Channel 9 connections separate from his role on the ABC board.

"Mr Kroger now seems to be engaged, by proxy, in an public dispute with ABC Chairman Donald McDonald. Mr Kroger's friend Alan Jones has used his privileged position as a commercial broadcaster to attack the ABC chairman. Mr. Jones had repeated claims that Mr McDonald wants the ABC chief executive's job for himself, claims which Mr McDonald had already categorically denied.

"It was timely that Democrats Senator Vicki Bourne introduced a Bill providing for a new method of appointing the ABC board into the Senate this week. That Bill provides for either house of parliament to veto partisan or otherwise unsuitable appointments. It deserves urgent consideration.

"So to does the model introduced by the Conservative government of John Major in the United Kingdom. It sets up an open and transparent process for board appointments. Vacancies are advertised, selection criteria developed, and a short list published from which the Minister selects.

"These are just two of several alternative procedures. Whatever new method is chosen, the public is entitled to be assured that all appointments are above board." …………..ends

Contact details: Darce Cassidy Phone 03 9349 4280 mobile 0412 685 178 fax 03 9349 4282 Email darce@friendsoftheabc.org

-- Anonymous, May 19, 2002


The truth is that the ABC is biased towards the right. Because it does not lean as far as the other commercial channels still does not mean that there is not a bias. A good example is on the issue of the reporting of the Middle East conflict. I have never seen any ABC report seriously challenge the notion of the resistance of illegal occupation reported as acts of terror. Does this mean that the activities of the French resistance in WWII were acts of terrorism? These are hundreds of other examples.

It does not matter how hard the media leans towards the right people like Kroger will still claim left wing bias to create the impression that the media is diverse. This is not the case as evidenced by the entire context of the reporting of the so-called war on terror.

Such a selective definition of terrorism is an insult to any free thinking intelligent person and most of the ABC political reporting operates within this context as if it was credible.

This does not happen without crafting.

Best Regards


-- Anonymous, May 22, 2002

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