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ZFA Statement on ABC and Sophie McNeill

Dr. Danny Lamm said:

“Recent media criticism of Michael Danby’s campaign to hold ABC Jerusalem Bureau Chief Sophie McNeill to account for her dishonest reporting has painted him as something of a loner when it comes to the concerns he has expressed. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is widespread grassroots support for Danby’s views.

The decision to appoint McNeill as the head of the ABC’s Jerusalem Bureau in 2015 was highly controversial given her history as an activist filmmaker associated with the Palestinian cause. The ZFA had and continues to have serious concerns about her ability to report impartially from the region particularly given Section 4 in the ABC’s Code of Practice which enshrines the “statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism”.

McNeill’s reportage consistently demonstrates a lack of balance in the way in which she chooses and frames her subject matter and accordingly the ZFA’s initial concerns have been amplified rather than allayed. Examples abound but whether it has been the muted coverage of brutal murders carried out by Palestinian terrorists or the wilful blindness demonstrated by ignoring the facts when it comes to Israel, we have noted a number of instances of McNeill’s reporting that have been selective at best and irresponsible at worst. We support Michael Danby’s quest to expose the truth in terms of reporting from the Middle East.”