ABC has confirmed that they have sent 27 staff to the United Kingdom to spearhead coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II amid growing backlash over their richness in royal stories.
The national broadcaster confirmed that they sent 12 journalists and nine producers from ABC News, as well as three presenters and three producers from ABC Radio. Two more journalists who were in Europe also joined their reporting team.
Their team includes renowned journalists such as ABC Breakfast hosts Michael Rowling and Lisa Miller, as well as radio hosts Virginia Trioli, Raf Epstein and Richard Glover.
screams also claimed that Trioli, Epstein and Glover were flying business class to the UK, however ABC declined to comment on this speculation.
In a statement shared with news.com.au, ABC said their royal coverage is in line with their obligation to keep Australians informed “of major events as specified in ABC’s Bylaws”.
“ABC has two teams in the UK covering the funeral and the events leading up to it to serve ABC’s news platforms and radio,” the statement said.
“Coverage plans are dynamic and not all of our people work for the entire period.”
When asked about the cost of the operation, the broadcast said “special coverage of critical events has been factored into our budgets” and confirmed that the trip was in line with ABC’s guidelines.
“Audience response shows that this coverage is valued by Australians, especially on our digital and on-demand platforms,” they said.
“Misinterpreted his audience,” ABC journalists comment.
It comes as the national broadcaster is facing a barrage of criticism for what some are calling too much royal content.
Even prominent current and former ABC employees have joined in the backlash against the broadcaster.
Noted ABC commentator and former Insiders host Barry Cassidy was among many who argued that the newscaster could diversify his coverage.
“I suspect ABC has misinterpreted its audience,” he tweeted Monday night.
“If you want wall-to-wall royalty, you can get it anywhere else in abundance. ABC is better when it offers an alternative to populism.”
A businesswoman and former Lord Mayor of Sydney, as well as the wife of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Lucy Turnbull, responded to his response.
“Intense media coverage (paradoxically) downplays the significance of these historic events,” she tweeted.
Enough of the first sketches of the story.
Responding to a tweet that called the Queen’s death “the most remarkable event in decades,” Mr Cassidy also wrote: “Yes, that’s right. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 9/11. Yes 9/11. A global pandemic that has changed society. Donald Trump. Rebellion on Capitol Hill. The explosion in Bali and the tsunami that claimed the lives of 200,000 people in our region.”
The former ABC chief economic correspondent and Lateline host also criticized the story of a family that shared the Queen’s love for Corgis. Sharing a screenshot of a story on social media promoting yarn, she tweeted “News” and then added a rolled-eye emoji.
Others, albeit in a minority, also defended the ABC report, given the Queen’s 70-year reign and her importance as a former head of the Commonwealth.
“She was the head of our state. The fact that she lives in London requires a trip there,” she tweeted in response to the growing criticism,” the ABC host tweeted. DrumEllen Fanning.
“If you find it strange that our head of state lives in London, Australians will have to deal with this in the coming months and years.”
editor of the New Politics, Eddie Djokovic was also critical of ABC’s reporting.
“I didn’t see anyone on Twitter say “thank you”. @abcnews for nearly three days of endless coverage of the Queen and the Royals.” I may be following the wrong group, but most of the reviews are completely negative. How are you, ABC? he tweeted.
The death of the queen spurred the republican movement
The death of a long-reigning monarch has also reignited the debate over whether Australia should secede from the Commonwealth and become a republic.
Questions were also raised regarding the monarch’s attitude towards Australians, while prevailing anti-royal sentiment saw the queen as a symbol of slavery and colonization, which led to mistreatment of indigenous people such as Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander communities.
However, speaking to Sky News UK, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed that he would not hold a referendum on the issue until his second term at the latest.
“The big questions about our constitution are not relevant to the current period,” he said.
“This is a period when we show the grief that many Australians are experiencing right now, showing our deep respect and admiration for the Queen’s contribution to Australia.”