ACMA Investigating ABC Over #GamerGate Coverage

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation thought that they could get away with running a hit piece on #GamerGate on their nightly news program called 7:30, hosted by Monique Schafter. The piece caused enough controversy to get Australians writing and calling in about it, but the response from the ABC was to explain that they chose to go with the harassment angle over detailing corruption in the media industry.

Many Australians became proactive in seeking help from the Australian Communications and Media Authority after it became known that the broadcasting corporation actively chose to present the story in a one-sided fashion. The ACMA is the equivalent of the CRTC in Canada or the FCC in America.

After a few months of silence, an investigation and compliance officer from the broadcasting investigations section of the ACMA responded to a consumer about launching a full investigation into the ABC.

Over on Kotaku in Action, a post from user not_just_amwac contains the contents of the letter from the ACMA for all to see.

I was forwarded the letter, where compliance officer D. Benson mentions that…

“The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) has commenced an investigation into your complaint concerning the broadcaster’s compliance with the ABC Code of Practice 2011.

“Investigations of this nature may take several months and you will be notified of the outcome in due course.”

The letter goes on to explain that the results of the investigation will be posted up online for all to see.

This doesn’t guarantee that the ACMA will find the Australian Broadcasting Company in fault, or that any sort of reprimand will be handed down, but it does mean that they are looking into the situation. It’s similar to the acknowledgment that the FTC is also investigating Gawker as well, as documented in a post on KiA [backup].

For those of you fighting for ethics, this is great news. At least the governing bodies are listening and willing to look into the situation.

As for the American Broadcasting Corporation’s hit-piece on #GamerGate… it helped wake up a lot of people and get them reacting and looking for ways to rectify the lopsided portrayal of #GamerGate in mainstream media. The coverage was so biased, it even managed to get YouTubers like AlphaOmegaSin involved. However, at the moment, there have been no reports of any formal governing bodies investigating ABC, Stateside.

I’ll keep you posted on the outcome of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and what sort of verdict the ACMA will hand down regarding their coverage of #GamerGate.


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

8 thoughts on “ACMA Investigating ABC Over #GamerGate Coverage

  1. Who would have guessed that aussie government tight-assiness over video games would be handy someday?

    I hope they censor ABC over ethics obscenity by explicit corruption.

    1. Even if nothing comes from it, it was acknowledged and will be looked at by an outside source. It will also be an interesting turn of events if they deem it not to be biased, because that would reflect on the ACMA

  2. They are notoriously slow at investigating, even where there is a breach. Even if they find a breach, they are fairly toothless and the media outlets know this.

    It will harm the ABC though, that has to rely on public support in order for them to be given any funding by the Federal Government. The more support they lose from the general public, the more likely they are to lose government funding.

    For a long time, I’ve felt that the ABC has been overreaching. They have clear biases and do not present things in the interest of the public, that pay their wages and their bills. They do not behave in a manner becoming a public broadcaster who has to beg the public for money to exist.

    In fact, I know an ABC staffer (who is now a radio reporter after being bullied out of the TV section by Leigh Sales), that there are lots of staff at the ABC who despise these “journalists” who feel that they are stars and can just waltz in, present whatever they want and in whatever light they wish, then waltz back out again, while pulling wages of over $150,000 a year.

    It’s a cesspit. The ABC is long overdue for a complete overhaul.

    1. I’ve noticed that most Australian news websites do not allow any kind of comments. The stuff they claim in their articles always seems to be the complete opposite of anything I hear from actual Australian citizens, too.

      Shady much.

  3. ABC Australia has a “statutory duty” to be accurate and their code of practice require their journalists to abide by any acceptable standard of investigative journalism for news and current affairs programs, so they can’t avoid complaints like commercial networks can.

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