ABC back-watch

Last week AMT reported the letter from Friends of the ABC criticising a radio promotion for the book ‘Fix Your Back.’ Here is the ABC’s response to Terry Laidler, head of the Victorian Friends of the ABC, from ABC Managing Director Donald McDonald:

Dear Terry,

Thank you for your letter of 25 April 2002 about the broadcast of the promotion of the book Fix Your Back on Radio National and 774 ABC Melbourne.

Editorial management in both Local Radio and Radio National agree that the promotion, as aired, lacked clarity and fell short in fully protecting the ABC’s integrity.

As a consequence, ABC Radio is reviewing its promotion production and processes to avoid future occurrences of this kind. As with all other content, each network and/or station has full editorial control over promotions broadcast. However, a new Executive Producer of Promotions has recently been appointed to strengthen the quality and consistency of promotions across our networks and across the country.

Having said this, I would like to emphasise that Fix Your Back is an ABC product, published by ABC Books, and bears the ABC logo. The author of the book. Anna Louise Bouvier, is a regular. guest on ABC Carpentaria. Section 31 of the ABC Act permits the ABC to broadcast announcements of any of its activities including the range of ABC Enterprises product and activities. This allows the ABC to raise revenue to flow directly back into program making and thereby its public funding. ABC Editorial Policies (13.3.2) provide for specific broadcast announcements for product related to programming bearing the ABC logo.

Thank you for drawing attention to this matter,

Your sincerely, Donald