Sunday, September 30, 2012

ABC bias again:  Media Watch breached own code of practice

Smarmy Leftist crooks caught out

The ABC's Media Watch program has been found to have breached the public broadcaster's code of practice over a segment criticising a news report by The Daily Telegraph's state political editor Andrew Clennell.

In a release issued this morning titled "Media Watch breaches ABC Code of Practice", the powerful Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that the ABC's media watchdog had done what it accuses other media organisations of doing - not seeking the other side of the story.

The authority said that under 5.3 of the ABC's Code of Practice, where allegations were made about a person, the ABC was obliged to make reasonable efforts to provide a fair opportunity for that person to respond.

But it found that when Media Watch criticised a story on poker machine reforms by Mr Clennell and accused The Daily Telegraph of "being one-sided", it never contacted the newspaper or the reporter to seek a comment.

The ABC had rejected a complaint from Mr Clennell. Mr Clennell then took the complaint to the ACMA, which overruled the ABC.

Media Watch claimed that it was never meant to come under section 5.3 of the ABC’s professional code because that only applied to "news and current affairs and other types of factual content such as documentaries" and the program was more about criticism and reviews.

It admitted that it never tried to contact the newspaper or the reporter before its program went to air on September 19, 2011.

"The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that the ABC breached its code of practice in an episode of Media Watch," said today's release from the authority.

The ABC has said that it proposes to acknowledge the ACMA's breach finding on Media Watch and will add an "appropriate clarification" to its online transcript of the episode.

An ACMA spokesman said it was the first time the ABC had been found to be in breach of Section 5.3 of its own code.

Media Watch issued a response to the ACMA ruling this morning saying: "ABC Television accepts the ruling of the ACMA that Media Watch should have given Andrew Clennell and/or The Daily Telegraph the opportunity to respond to comments by Jonathan Holmes about a report into Norwegian gaming machines published on 14 September 2011.

"In next Monday night’s program Jonathan Holmes will address the ACMA ruling, and the broader question of whether, and when, Media Watch should offer a right of reply," the statement said.

"He will be explaining why the ABC initially rejected Mr Clennell’s complaint.

"In the process, Jonathan says: “I will be telling our viewers what The Daily Telegraph would have told us if we had asked them about the item, and I will be offering an apology to Andrew Clennell."

Mr Clennell said: "All Media Watch had to do was come to me for my side of the story - exactly what they accused me of not doing."

"Then they would have learned that I had, in fact, gone to the minister Jenny Macklin for comment but it was cut out in the editing process, and that The Daily Telegraph had published a letter from Ms Macklin the next day.

"Instead Jonathan Holmes called me a propagandist on national television and he and his executive producer Lin Buckfield steadfastly and stubbornly refused to issue an on-air apology.

"It's disappointing that we had to go to the broadcasting regulator for justice when Mr Holmes, Ms Buckfield and the ABC through its internal complaints process could all have resolved this issue much earlier."

Daily Telegraph editor Paul Whittaker said: "Andrew Clennell and I look forward to Jonathan’s promised on-air apology."


Hysteria over school shooting lessons

STATE school students as young as 12 have their sights trained on high school shooting classes after a "curriculum" review by Education Queensland.

This is despite a risk assessment document that found student participation in rifle and pistol shooting was an "extreme risk" with a "high chance of serious incident resulting in highly debilitating injury".

And the Queensland Police Union has slammed the move, warning that the policy could lead to "another Columbine" shooting spree.

Education Queensland's Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment document approves the involvement of state high school students in shooting lessons, provided instructors are fully qualified and facilities and equipment are up to standard.

It's mandatory for students to receive one-on-one supervision from licensed shooters in their first three shooting classes, followed by an encouraged ratio of one to six thereafter.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said students' access to weapons would desensitise them to the "extreme dangers of guns" resulting in a "sure-fire recipe for death and disaster".

"Police don't want another Columbine High School massacre in a Queensland school like we've seen in the United States which could well be an inevitability of this policy," he said.

"It seems Education Queensland think the three R's stand for reading, writing and reloading.

"This crazy policy will see students more heavily armed than school-based police officers who ironically are not allowed to carry their firearms in schools under an agreement with Education Queensland."

An Education Queensland spokeswoman said there was no centralised list of schools which took part in a shooting program and did not answer questions relating to when the risk assessment was first raised or what schools were involved.

Assistant Director-General Marg Pethiyagoda said shooting was an Olympic sport and was able to be offered under "strict supervision".

"Schools determine what extracurricular activities are offered to their students from term to term and school principals are required to ensure all relevant regulations and health and safety guidelines are adhered to," her statement said.

"Any school which chooses to offer shooting as an extracurricular activity must have formal consent from the parents of participating students.

"The department is not aware of any state schools offering shooting as an extracurricular activity."

Shooting programs are not new to private schools. St Joseph's Nudgee College uses its own rifle range and others such as Redlands College and Concordia Lutheran College are involved in programs.

School army cadets also have involvement in shooting programs.

Queensland Target Sports and Queensland Shooting Association spokesman Rex Wigney encouraged more schools to get involved and said it was one of the safest sports for children, who could progress to Olympic level.

Queensland Teachers' Union deputy general secretary Greg Purches said the QTU would be "very reluctant" in encouraging school involvement. "I can't think of many more dangerous things," he said.

Queensland Secondary Principals' Association president Norm Fuller said he didn't want schools or students involved in a shooting program.

Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens' Association president Margaret Leary said she didn't have a problem with schools taking up shooting programs, so long as parents were informed about the risks.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said it was up to schools to decide what extracurricular activities they offered to students.


More Sri Lankans head home instead of Nauru

This is all credit to Tony Abbott, who insisted on Nauru re-opening

Sri Lankan men leaving Christmas Island for Colombo last week. They were followed by a second voluntary group yesterday.

Sri Lankan men leaving Christmas Island for Colombo last week. They were followed by a second voluntary group yesterday.

A SECOND group of Sri Lankan men left Christmas Island yesterday, having chosen to return to Colombo rather than be sent to Nauru while their claims for asylum are processed.

"Regular transfers to Nauru and more Sri Lankans returning home is further proof that people smugglers only sell lies and make false promises about what awaits people in Australia," the Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen, said.

"People in immigration detention can request their removal from Australia at any point in time."

The men included two from Nauru, 20 from Christmas Island and six from mainland facilities including Villawood and Yongah Hill, Mr Bowen said.

Authorities intercepted another two asylum seekers boats on Friday, carrying a total of 133 people, all of whom have been taken to Christmas Island.


Police based at Queensland high schools to steer teens from crime

This is a disgrace.  There was none of this when schools had effective disciplinary powers

POLICE will be stationed in a third of Queensland's state high schools to steer out-of-control children away from a lifetime of crime.

Fifteen schools that together had more than 4400 suspensions and almost 100 expulsions in one year have been hand-picked to have a police officer based within school grounds from next year as part of an LNP election promise.

The plan to rid schools of crime and violence will increase police numbers in schools to 50, with officers working across 56 of the 180 state high schools in the state.

"Violence has been out of control and criminals are getting younger and younger, and boosting school-based police numbers provides a vital bridge for potential young offenders to ensure we permanently steer them away from a lifetime of crime," Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers told The Sunday Mail.

"It's all about early intervention."

Schools to get police include Brisbane, Nambour, Glenmore, Pioneer, Gladstone, Bowen, Sandgate, Southport, Toowoomba Locker District and Trinity Bay state high schools and Upper Coomera, Flagstone, Brisbane Bayside and Bentley Park state colleges.

Education Queensland figures show Bentley Park State College in Cairns, a school of more than 1600 students, had 19 expulsions, 377 short suspensions (1-5 days) and 93 long suspensions (6-20 days) in 2010-11.

This was compared with Brisbane State High School, with more than 2100 students, which had fewer than five expulsions, 40 short suspensions and 29 long suspensions.

"The School Based Policing Program is an effective crime prevention strategy that aims to keep students in school," Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said.

"School-based police officers promote positive relationships between young people and police, and play an important role in addressing the issue of violence in schools."


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