The AWU annual conference schedule
Here is the interview with Jon Faine and me, then with Mark Baker of Fairfax

An apology from the ABC over Jon Faine's interview with me

You might recall that I was interviewed by Jon Faine of ABC Local Radio, Melbourne on 23 November last year.

At least one of our readers complained to the ABC about that interview.   Here's the ABC's response.

Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 15:25:15 +1100
Subject: RE: Email to the ABC of 25 November 2012 (ABC reference C46963-12)


Thank you for your email regarding Jon Faine’s interviews about the AWU slush fund allegations with Mark Baker, Editor-at-Large at The Age, and Michael Smith, former 2UE talkback host, on 23 November 2012.  Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in responding. 

In accordance with the ABC's complaint handling procedures your concerns have been reviewed by Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit which is separate to and independent from ABC program areas. The role of Audience and Consumer Affairs is to investigate complaints alleging that ABC content has breached the ABC's editorial standards.  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". 

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.  A summary of this finding will be published on the ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs website at: 

Thank you for providing the ABC with an opportunity to respond to your concerns.  For your reference, the ABC Code of practice is available online at: 

Should you  be dissatisfied with this response, you may be able to pursue your concerns with the Australian Communications and Media Authority,

 The original email was signed off with the name of an ABC officer.


Well good on the ABC for taking these complaints seriously - here are some of the complaints from our readers

comments: I am writing to complain about the conduct of the interview conducted by Jon Faine. He was unacceptably aggressive to both Michael Smith and Mark Baker.

and this

Jon's interview with Michael Smith was clearly an abomination
Faine does not listen.
He interrupts and is rude.
The problem I have with this is that Faines personal bias is so
obvious that he does not allow the story to be told and facts
that the interviewee is trying to present come out
Since when have journalists been there to suppress information ?
Since when has the ABC had a charter which allows personal political bias
to be the norm on a radio show
Jon Faine  is a disgrace to his supposed profession.  
I would expect more of a journalist who is paid by the taxpayer, and whose job, by its nature, 
should be to investigate, to listen to a wide range of views and opinion, 
and not to override the research and opinions of others.
Perhaps Faine should be reacquainted with the editorial policies of the ABC?
 Perhaps he should be forced to do some re-training before he is allowed to insult 
the intelligence of so many listeners.