Racism, Mass Media, and Journalistic Objectivity

On Monday 22nd May, Stan Grant, a prominent Wiradjuri journalist stepped down as host of the ABC’s Q&A, citing racist online abuse following his guest panel appearance during the King’s coronation coverage, and – in his own words – the “institutional failure” of the ABC to publicly defend him.


Although the ombudsman cleared the ABC on Thursday (the 25th) of not breaching editorial standards of impartiality, Stan’s resignation column has been picked up by the BBC and the New York Times, drawing fierce international criticism of the Australian mass media. Both highlighted how modern Australian newsrooms look very little like modern Australia, despite both the Census and Media Diversity Report last year indicating a more multicultural, migrant Australia. Dr. Denis Muller, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne was on the line with the Friday Daily to provide insight on how the ABC — and by extension, we as a society — have failed Stan Grant.

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