Keith Windschuttle: Appointment fuels ABC ad fears





The Australian Federal Government is being accused of stacking the ABC board with more political allies. Federal Labor says the appointment of historian Keith Windschuttle is unacceptable because his disdain for the ABC is well known.

ABC staff-elected director-elect, journalist Quentin Dempster, says Mr Windschuttle's appointment confirms the politicisation of the board and harms perceptions of the independence and integrity of the national broadcaster.

He says Mr Windschuttle should show his hand on advertising.

"I'm very concerned that there is an agenda by the Government, through the board, to push the full commercialisation of the ABC," he said.

"Keith Windschuttle must make a statement before too long, as must the board, whether they're going to wrap our online content, audio and video and content in advertising."

However, Federal Communications Minister Senator Helen Coonan has defended Mr Windschuttle's appointment, saying he has had a long and distinguished career in journalism.

"What I think a lot of people may not realise is that besides being an historian, he's got a very strong background in the media, having started out as a journalist," she said.

"He worked as a journalist throughout his career, he's been a lecturer in journalism and has a very strong interest in the media."

She says the appointment will not damage the national broadcaster's reputation.


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