Friends of the ABC urges Flint to resign

Friends of the ABC (Vic) has added their thoughts to the ABA David Flint controversy, writing to the editor of radioinfo and other publications, arguing against political appointments to broadcast boards and urging Flint to resign.

The letter reads:

Dear Editor

Re: Professor Flint must Resign/Political Appointments must Stop

It is in the interests of broadcasting in Australia that the head of the Australian Broadcasting Authority must act and be seen to act in the most objective way possible.

ABA chairman Professor Flint has demonstrated an allegiance to the party in government. While head of the ABA, he has backed the Coalition’s policies across a range of areas, including the war on Iraq.

Worse, Professor Flint appears not to recognise it is a problem for him to support a major media player, and friend to the Prime Minister, whom Professor Flint is responsible for regulating. The extraordinary letter revealed in the ABC’s Media Watch program from Professor Flint to Alan Jones has destroyed his credibility and compromised the ABA.

It is alarming that someone who lacks an understanding of the impartiality required to head a major public institution is responsible for regulating commercial broadcasters. And it is positively absurd to think he will sit in judgment on complaints about the ABC’s coverage of the Iraq war – complaints which have been lodged by Senator Alston, a former minister in the government that appointed, then reappointed Flint.

Professor Flint must resign. But the problem will not end until the Government stops damaging the integrity of important public bodies like the ABA and the ABC with its political appointments.

Yours sincerely

Terry Laidler

a spokesperson for Friends of the ABC