Death of Queen Elizabeth: ABC criticized for royal coverage

A polarizing spat erupted over ABC’s coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Immediately after the Queen’s death, the national broadcaster suspended its pre-scheduled Friday and Saturday schedule for uninterrupted coverage of the monarch’s death.

However, a growing number of viewers are criticizing the national broadcaster for what they say is a glut of royal content.

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.

ABC News Breakfast host Michael Rowland was met with a wave of criticism after revealing he had flown to London to cover the aftermath of the Queen’s death.

“In an act of bizarre, entertaining mourning, ABC moved high-paid talking heads and crew across half the world at our expense,” wrote popular social commentator Ronnie Salt.

“This is completely out of line with modern Australia. A shocking misuse of the ABC charter and our money.”

“Totally agree. They won’t add anything to the story. The BBC has a lot of reach. Why not just go to them? A waste of taxpayer money – money that ABC needs,” agreed another.

Many have rushed to the defense of ABC and its royal coverage.

ABC host DrumEllen Fanning said journalists should be sent to the UK to cover the unfolding story.

“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.

“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.”

Queen’s death revives debate over Australian republic

The monarch’s death reignited the debate over whether Australia should secede from the Commonwealth and become a republic.

The prevailing anti-royal sentiment also saw the queen as a symbol of slavery and colonization, which led to mistreatment of indigenous peoples such as Aboriginal Australian and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Questions have also been raised as to why other major events, such as the floods in Pakistan, have not received more coverage.

“Why is ABC reporting mixed feelings about the Queen’s death in Jamaica but nothing about mixed feelings in Australia?” wrote one Twitter user.

“ABC’s endless viewing of the Queen’s demise should guarantee victory in the Republican referendum, which could be the goal,” reads another tweet.

ABC’s royal gamble backfires

ABC’s decision to take Friday 7:30 p.m. off-air, according to ratings data Gardening Australia for a two-hour news special hosted by Sarah Ferguson and David Spears did not resonate with their audience.

While the week before, the DIY show attracted 332,000 metropolitan viewers, the ABC special recorded 131,000 fewer viewers with 201,000 tuned in. OzTAM city data showed.

Online users expressed their dissatisfaction Gardening Australia scrapped.

“My tolerance ended when I realized they had replaced ‘Gardening Australia’ with endless live streams of people doing nothing outside of Buckingham Palace,” reads one tweet.

How dare ABC cancel Gardening Australia today! Republic now! shared another.

“If the Queen stops gardening in Australia tonight, I will write a stern letter to Buckingham Palace,” another person tweeted.

Read related topics:Queen Elizabeth II

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