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ABC's Jon Faine apology

ABC issues apology over 774 presenter Jon Faine

THE ABC has apologised for a "lapse in standards" following complaints about 774 presenter Jon Faine and on-air interviews he conducted involving the AWU slush fund allegations.

The interviews, conducted on November 23 with former 2UE presenter Michael Smith and The Age's editor-at-large Mark Baker, led to at least one formal complaint to the ABC's complaints department.

The interview in question was characterised by Faine's hectoring of Smith and his assertion that he "give it his best shot".

The ABC has now responded to that complaint.

"We have assessed the interviews against the ABC's editorial requirement for impartiality, specifically standard 4.1 of the ABC Code of Practice which states: 'Gather and present news and information with due impartiality', the broadcaster's corporate affairs representative has written to the complainant, which has been published on Smith's website.

"Audience and Consumer Affairs have concluded that the interviews were not conducted in keeping with ABC impartiality requirements. The argumentative style of the interviews by Mr Faine, combined with a pattern of strongly stated personal opinions that at times oversimplified the issues at hand, was not in keeping with the ABC's rigorous impartiality standards for current affairs content.

"ABC Radio apologise for this lapse in standards. This matter has been brought to the attention of ABC Radio management and Jon Faine has been reminded of his obligation to gather and present news and information content with due impartiality."

Smith lost his job over his pursuit of the allegations concerning the prime minister Julia Gillard and her knowledge of the AWU allegations last year.