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Kroger attacks ABC'S independence.

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Michael Kroger’s intervention on behalf of his close friend Alan Jones over last night’s ABC Four Corners Program was completely inappropriate for an ABC Board member.

Mr Kroger said on camera to Chris Masters, “I think a show on Alan Jones should be more positive than negative”. That Mr Kroger does not realise how inappropriate his comments are as an ABC Board member is unbelievable.

Mr Kroger’s public insistence on ABC Radio this morning that the ABC’s coverage of John Howard is biased against the Prime Minister is also completely inappropriate. How on earth can Mr Kroger have an objective opinion on this matter given his status as a Liberal Party powerbroker?

After the Jonathan Shier debacle the ABC must rise above the perception that some of its board members are being driven by the Howard Government’s political agenda.

It is fundamentally important that the ABC can report on controversial political topics without interference from board members. ABC programs in the past have been critical of both the Labor and Liberal side of politics.

As part of Labor’s policy review process, Labor will be exploring means of improving the ABC Board Appointment process to end the appointment of political stooges to the ABC Board.

In the meantime, Mr Kroger must come clean on his full involvement in these matters. If these allegations of political interference are substantiated, Mr Kroger should resign.

May 7, 2002

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner or Peter van Vliet on (03) 9347 5000 or 0408 188 055.