IPA Lashes Out On ABC’s Energy Reporting

ABC TV

A report released by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) complains that the ABC treats the renewable energy industry highly favourably, the coal industry unfavourably, and the coal seam gas (CSG) industry highly unfavourably. 
  
For some people, the reaction might be “and?” given the facts about and nature of all three sectors – they are what they are. After all, it can be difficult putting lipstick on a pig and still maintain the journalistic integrity the ABC is well known for – but the IPA appears to be rather upset about the situation. 
    
The report arrives at the conclusion that the ABC’s coverage of energy issues “is so biased it amounts to campaigning by the taxpayer.”
    
The IPA’s solution?
    
“Only privatising the ABC will resolve the public policy failure that sees more than $1 billion of tax payers’ money annually spent campaigning for left wing causes.” 
    
Why renewables are considered “left wing” is curious – perhaps it’s because renewables allow ordinary people to take more control over their rapidly increasing energy costs – but even large companies are seeing the light in terms of how solar can improve their bottom line. 
   
Perhaps caring for the environment that help sustain a healthy economy is also considered “left wing” by the IPA; but even that makes good business and financial sense.
   
One can imagine the type of balance the IPA would perhaps like; bearing in mind the organisation reportedly really, really dislikes renewable energy.
   
Grass roots group GetUp!, which has 677,000 members, was quick to comment on the report.
   
“We actually had a good laugh, until we realised – this is no joke,” says part of a statement from the group.
   
“As we all know by now, the right-wing think tank just happens to be supported by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Gina Rinehart. Can you think of two people who would benefit more from a privatised ABC and more sympathetic mining rhetoric in the media? “
   
GetUp! describes the IPA as “Australia’s wealthiest private think tank, supported by members including coal barons, media moguls and business executives who will stop at nothing to make Australia serve their interests.”
   
GetUp! says other reviews have cleared the ABC of any bias and that it will be “doing everything it takes to stop the ABC from being privatised”.
  
It’s interesting that the IPA describes itself as “the voice for freedom”; but like beauty, perhaps freedom is in the eye of the beholder.
   
The IPA’s report can be viewed here (PDF)