Statement on coverage guidance
The ABC this morning sent out an email reminding staff of our existing Editorial Policy requirements for impartiality, and what that means in terms of coverage of the same sex marriage debate. This is not a new decision or a change from our normal editorial approach, it is just a reminder. We regularly send out such reminders. This reminder was not prompted by any particular individual or incident.
Personal social media posts by staff are not official ABC content, so they are not covered by the ABC’s Editorial Policies. They are covered by the Social Media Policy, which essentially urges staff to be aware of the risks of behaving on social media in ways which might undermine their ABC role. The Social Media Policy is consistent with many other professional and media social media policies, which work hard to strike the right balance between the rights of individuals and citizens and the need for them to take appropriate care to ensure they are not seeming to be representing the ABC or undermining their ABC work.
The ABC will be covering the same sex marriage debate the same way we cover all stories: with accuracy, impartiality and a diversity of perspectives. We are committed to allowing all reasonable voices to have a fair say. If the federal government wants the people of Australia to make a choice, we have a responsibility to allow each respectful point of view to be considered.