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Media bias – even from the ABC – on full display at Fadden By-election

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Fadden candidates were outraged at the lack of mainstream media coverage afforded to them - (L to R) Letitia Del Fabbro, Ian Oliver, Sandy Roach, Belinda Jones (Image by Dan Jensen)

Amounting to “election interference”, the mainstream media – including the ABC – have swanned in and out of the Fadden by-election pre-poll, ignoring all candidates except LNP and Labor. Independent Australia discusses the undemocratic details with some of the candidates in our exclusive pre-poll coverage.

Caused by the resignation of scandal-ridden LNP Member and Morrison confidante, Stuart Robert, the Fadden By-election should be newsworthy. Obvious biases aside, it’s expected that the Fourth Estate would nonetheless make a show of treating all 13 candidates equally. Certainly, the public broadcaster – whose charter is to provide comprehensive coverage in the public interest – should at least attempt to fulfil its duty.

But of course, we live in a country where media concentration is so blatant and the public broadcaster is so in step with the media moguls, no one even bothers to pretend otherwise.

When the media crew arrived at the pre-polling, a Legalise Cannabis Queensland booth volunteer asked whether they would be interviewing all the candidates:

 “I approached the Channel 9 female reporter and asked if they were interviewing all the parties present. The reporter replied, ‘No we’re only paid to interview the Labor and Liberal party. We’ve been told not to interview anyone else’. My other team member approached ABC and was told something similar — ‘Only the major parties today’.”

When questioned on this matter, Australian Citizens Party campaign manager Ian Oliver told IA:

“It made me very angry because we are supposed to be a nation of equality where everyone gets a fair go, where everyone in politics gets to state their message and let the voters decide.”

Independent candidate Belinda Jones said:

“That’s very disappointing behaviour from our national broadcaster. I expected better. I thought the ABC would at least be fair and give all candidates a fair hearing but unfortunately, they seem to be acting like News Corp rather than the ABC.”

Nine News ran an article on the morning of Thursday, 13 July titled, ‘LNP expected to retain Fadden in By-election this weekend’.

According to Nine’s political editor, Charles Croucher:

'Both sides believe the seat will stay with the Coalition and deliver Peter Dutton a much-needed win.'

And sure enough, an article run by ABC News on 6 July mirrored this sentiment (‘Fadden By-election Liberal Party candidate keeping distance from former minister Stuart Robert’), with 361 words devoted to the LNP and a small section at the bottom given to Labor.

Our democracy at work!

Watch our exclusive video coverage below:

You can follow David G Donovan on Twitter @davroszMichelle Pini @vmp9 and Independent Australia on Twitter @independentaus and Facebook HERE.

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