2nd December 2012
Audience and Consumer Affairs
Thankyou for your reply dated 26th November 2012.
The complaints I raised in my original letter (dated 4th November 2012) are still relevant now to both programs, ‘A Bloody Business’ and ‘Another Bloody Business’. I will add to them as the second program confirms the concerns I have regarding ABC Four Corners adherence to policy and editorial policy.
I did not realise there was a time limit on making complaints regarding broadcasted programs. Sixty days seems to be rather an inadequate time period considering the long term affects this program has had on the live export industry, which would not have been realised 60 days from the date of broadcast.
‘Another Bloody Business’ was essentially a sequel to ‘A Bloody Business’. ‘Another Bloody Business’ was advertised by the ABC, referred to by Four Corners on their website and Facebook pages as another instalment of’ A Bloody Business’. It was even named in direct reference to the original. It also used footage from the original.
When 4 Corners aired ‘Another Bloody Business’ referring to ‘A Bloody Business’, the time limit within which to submit a complaint therefore restarted on 5 November 2012. It has taken ABC over three weeks to reply to the original letter I wrote. I had to continually ask for simple acknowledgement that it was received. At one point the Four Corners Facebook page administration told me that the letter wouldn’t be recognised at all unless sent through formal channels (6 November 2012). I had sent it to Four Corners through their own website and email contact portal on 4 November 2012. There is no postal address advertised as a contact point on the Four Corners website.
I posted my letter to Four Corners on the Four Corners Facebook page as a point of interest to others. I intend to do the same with this one.
Four Corners are obligated to answer my questions, they produced the program, and my questions are directly aimed at their actions. If a broadcaster is able to refer to programs broadcast past 60 days, then they should also be able to be questioned beyond that period by viewers
The journalist Sarah Ferguson who was responsible for both these broadcasts, is aware of this letter as I communicated with her on twitter, and she responded to my query regarding when I could receive an answer via twitter on 19th November 2012.
In reference to the ‘A Bloody Business’ aired 30 May 2011.
I am still awaiting a response from ABC Four Corners to my questions sent on 4 November 2012.
In reference to the ‘Another Bloody Business’ aired 5th November 2012
ABC Editorial Policies and Standards, 2.1 & 2.2. Accuracy of information.
The errors broadcast in the program aired in the original program were not publicly corrected. Particularly the 60 Minutes footage and the assumption that it was an Australian animal.
ABC Editorial Policies and Standards Principle 3. Acknowledge and Clarification.
Four Corners intentionally misled the viewing audience to believe that the majority of animals viewed in Indonesia in ‘A Bloody Business’ were animals from Australia. Footage taken by Animals Australia from abattoirs in Tailwang, West Nusa Tengarra and Lombok was shown. This footage later came under scrutiny for its authenticity and that the animals were not Australian animals.
There was no clarification in ‘Another Bloody Business’ that the animals shown in the original footage taken by Animals Australia were not Australian animals.
Footage from ‘A Bloody Business’ was used in ‘Another Bloody Business’ to show the slaughter processes used in Indonesia. However, by November 2012, two of these abattoirs were ESCAS compliant, using 100% stunning prior to slaughter and providing food and water for the animals right up to point of slaughter. The standards in Indonesia at those abattoirs provide higher levels of animal welfare than those standards required within Australia.
Four Corners have misled the public as there was no mention of these improvements in Indonesia. This gave viewers the impression that standards have not improved. In fact if they had contacted the Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association and asked about these abattoirs they would have found a recent delegation had visited and inspected the improvements of the abattoirs shown in ‘A Bloody Business’.
Four Corners did not mention that Indonesia has increased its rate of stunning for pre-slaughter and are now using the ESCAS processes for some of their own cattle slaughter lines.
I still hold to my original allegations, that ABC Four Corners have breached independence, integrity, honesty , correctness, clarification and distinguish of content in both ‘A Bloody Business’ and ‘Another Bloody Business’.