ABC tasks senior staff with creating ‘culturally safe’ newsroom

Labor has separately announced former Foxtel and News Limited chief executive Kim Williams will succeed Ita Buttrose as the ABC’s chairman in March.

On Monday, the ABC’s Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance house committee said Mr Anderson and other leaders had “consistently failed to protect our ABC’s independence or protect staff when they are attacked”.

Antoinette Lattouf with her lawyers speaks to media about her wrongful dismissal case at the ABC. Dion Georgopoulos

However, the ABC’s board said it was “abhorrent and incorrect” to suggest Mr Anderson had a lack of support for independent journalism and journalists.

Simmering internal anger escalated in December, when Lattouf, an Australian-Lebanese journalist, was pulled from hosting an ABC Radio Sydney show after sharing a post accusing Israel of using starvation as a tactic in its war in Gaza. She has complained to the Fair Work Commission that she was unlawfully terminated.

Coverage of the conflict between Israel and Hamas has caused ructions in many newsrooms around Australia, but it is perhaps most public at the ABC. Several journalists have left the ABC citing concerns over coverage, including former political reporter Nour Haydar and newsreader Helen Tzarimas.

“There’s a constructive discussion to have in coming weeks about diversity, impartiality and objectivity,” Mr Stevens told the ABC newsroom in his email.

“Every single staff member at the ABC has their own unique lived experience that informs their understanding of the world … amid those differences, what unifies us at the ABC is our belief that our roles require us to set aside our personal views as best we can to ensure our reporting is accurate, fair, impartial and independent.”

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