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Letter: [To John Conde, 2UE re Alan Jones and proven yes referendum bias- complaint and reference of evidence of bias to the Australian Broadcasting Authority



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Political editor Media Monitors

John Conde Chairman Radio 2UE 176 Pacific H ighway

GREENWICH NSW 2065

fiAOUJi

Dear Mr Conde

Alan Jones.itnd proven Yes referendum bias - complaint and reference of evidence of bias to the j?|\) Australian Broadcasting Authority

I am lodging a formal compliant with you and Radio 2UE on the issue of clear bias by broadcaster Alan Jones.

Mr Jones has used your station to wage an unmitigated and unfair campaign against an Australian Head o f State as part o f the republic referendum campaign.

Do you and Radio Station 2UE support this bias and unquestioned lack of fairness, and is it 2UE policy for blatant bias against an Australian Head of State, served up Monday to Friday on your breakfast program, consistent with station guidelines and policy?

Before I lodge a complaint with the Australian Broadcasting Authority (I will ask that the chairman of the ABA, professor David Flint, be excluded from hearing this complaint as .Alan Jones recently launched a took for Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy The No Papers, in which writings by Professor Flmt feature. Professor Flint spoke at that launch for the No case and echoed Mr Jones’

sentiments), I am writing to seek a response from Radio 2UE .

Mr Jones has also used his program to call for volunteers for the No campaign to staff polling booths. I am also therefore enquiring whether it is 2UE policy to assist staff No polling booths?

Also relating directly to the matter of bias on your radio station durmg the Alan Jones program over the last few months:

• Alan Jones refused to correct incorrect information delivered on his program, including failing to acknowledge or quote a statement from the Attorney General of Australia the Hon Darryl Williams, which was faxed to him while on air, correcting Mr Jones’ clearly wrong assertion that veterans would be disqualified from being president of Australia:

• Alan Jones refused approaches from former Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Malcolm Fraser to appear on his program to correct incorrect statements he had made and to put the Yes republic case to balance views he was personally airing;

Australian Republican Movement Limited AC.N. 054 557 505 Telephone:+(61 -2) 9267 8022 Facsimile:+(61 -2) 9267 8155 PO Box A870 Sydney South NSW 1235 Level 11,60 Park Street Sydney NSW 2000 Toll free: 1 800 80 2000

Email Address: repuhliciaiozemail.com.au Internet Home Page: http://www.rcpublic.org.au

• Alan Jones has consistently refused to allow talk back callers supporting an Australian Head of State on-air to state their views or disagree with his views. Statutory Declarations are available from some of these callers;

• Alan Jones between July 1 and September 30, 1999, according to analysis by Rehame Australia, aired 75 per cent negative comment on the republic (against the Yes case). 72 per cent of which was his comment alone, with the remainder 25 per cent neutral comment. There was no positive comment at all either from Mr Jones or the callers he deigned to let through on air;

• Fehame analysis indicates that between October 22 and 28 alone (and this is part o f an ongoing pattern) the negative comment from Alan Jones (no positive comment at all) was 73 per cent - the highest negative comment of any radio commentator in Australia;

• Alan Jones this morning (November 4) raised the spectre of Native Title being extended to all land titles, and that 75 per cent o f land “would have to be handed back to Aborigines” because the Crown would no longer exist. This is not only incorrect - and Mr Jones knows it to be so. as a copy of the Attorney General of Australia’s media release on the matter (November 3) was forwarded to him - but only One Nation is running with this shameful and totally unsubstantiated scare.

Further, Rehame analysis concluded:

“During the analysed period, Jones was overtly critical of a lack of information on the proposed republic model to be voted on by the Australian people, raising a number of questions and perceived flaws. However, at no stage did Jones seek to rectify this lack of information with this audience, either by interviewing those who may be able to answer such questions, or seeking out the information himself.”

Mr Jones’ also refused to air any correction or even to put a contrary view when Australian republican Movement staff - primarily myself - called his program to provide correct information relating to outlandishly incorrect comments he made on air

Alan Jones lias clearly used his position to wage a campaign against Australia having its own Head of State and has refused to give Australians who have a legitimate point of view on this issue - but disagree w iti his view - any opportunity to vent their view on your radio station.

This represents clear bias by Alan Jones,

Bias by not allowing talk back views contrary to his own on air.

Bias by not allowing views contrary to his own - even by former Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth of Australia - onto air

Bias by refusing to correct extreme assertions, some of them being peddled by One Nation

Even though this is the end of the referendum campaign, these issues are very much in the public interest and go to the heart of the credibility of Radio 2UE, especially in the present environment

I trust that you will give this matter urgent consideration, as the public must be clear as to whether Radio Station 2UE sanctions this bias.

As polling day nears, I request that you inform me urgently as to whether you support 2UE being used to urge its listeners to work with the monarchists on polling booths on November.

Also, be assured, that I will personally ensure that this matter is pursued as far as it possibly can, including with the Australian Broadcasting Authonty, if 2UE does not provide a satisfactory reply.

I have attached a copy of the key Rehame Report on Mr Jones’ bias between July 1 and September 30, 1999 for your reading.

Yours sincerely

November 4, 1999