ONE of the ABC’s most high-profile journalists has taken aim at the “internet shoutfest”, saying she is sick and tired of political opinion sullying online forums where others go simply to talk about books, recipes and life.
7.30 host Leigh Sales has banned political opinion on the Facebook page of her podcast Chat 10 Looks 3, saying it would erode her reputation as a journalist — a profession which means she has “given up my rights to a public political opinion or to advocate” on issues.
“If members of this group use this space to campaign on political issues, it is highly likely to be portrayed as ‘Group run by Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb endorses xyz’,” she posted on the page.
Chat 10 Looks 3 is not connected to the ABC but is hosted by Sales and Crabb, two of the broadcaster’s most prominent TV personalities. Sales’ post comes just days after the ABC circulated a memo telling journalists not to voice opinions about gay marriage on social media.
“ … advocating for one side or the other will make it more difficult for the ABC to be seen as impartial,” editorial policy manager Mark Maley said.
“The more high-profile you are, the more important discretion is.”
An ABC spokeswoman said there was nothing irregular about the memo, adding: “The ABC will be covering the same-sex marriage debate the same way we cover all stories: with accuracy, impartiality and a diversity of perspective.”
The ABC election panel dissolves into laughter as it hits a broadcast record, and Leigh Sales takes a joking ‘suck on that’ shot at her panel predecessor Kerry O’Brien. Courtesy: ABC
‘Suck on that, Kerry O’Brien’: Leigh Sales cracks up ABC election panel
Chat 10 Looks 3 is a podcast about “books, television, radio, movies, food, politics and whatever else they feel like” but commenters are able to leave messages on its Facebook page. In her post Sales wrote: “There are a million places on the internet where you can go for political opinion … please don’t destroy this sweet little group by bringing it here.”