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.