December 9, 2022

The ABC will review its coverage of the Queen’s death after one of its veteran journalists scolded the public broadcaster for “misreading” its audience with wall-to-wall royal coverage.

Members of YourSpace, ABC’s online feedback platform, have been asked to comment on the 10-day coverage of Elizabeth II’s death leading up to her funeral.

They were asked Friday whether the ABC had spent “too much time,” “just enough” or “not enough time” covering the Queen’s death, reports the Australian.

The ABC plans to revise coverage of the Queen’s death after one of its veteran journalists scolded the public broadcaster for “misreading” its audience with wall-to-wall reporting

Viewers were also asked to rate ten programs related to the Queen’s death and funeral and give an overall impression of the coverage.

The survey asked whether viewers watched coverage on the online streaming platform iview, whether they watched live news, and engaged with content on ABC’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

In the days following the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the ABC came under fire for its ‘excessive’ reporting and sending 29 journalists to the UK for the funeral, despite the BBC’s feed during the main event.

Local radio presenters Richard Glover, Virginia Trioli and Rafael Epstein were among the presenters sent to London alongside them TV stars Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar.

ABC’s live broadcast from Westminster Abbey attracted 708,000 viewers, while 362,000 viewers listened to ABC News’ coverage.

Former political journalist and former ABC presenter Barrie Cassidy said the network made a mistake and failed to pay attention to the public by reporting almost non-stop about the Queen’s death.

“I suspect the ABC has misunderstood its audience. If you want wall-to-wall royalties, you can get them in spades elsewhere,” Mr. Cassidy said.

“The ABC is better if it offers an alternative to populism.”

Members of YourSpace, ABC’s online feedback platform, were asked Friday whether the ABC had spent “too much time,” “just enough” or “not enough time” covering the Queen’s death. (Pictured: Queen’s casket being carried from Westminster Abbey)

Lucy Turnbull, wife of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former Mayor of Sydney, also criticized the coverage.

“The saturation of media attention (paradoxically) diminishes the significance of these historic events,” she tweeted. ‘Enough first sketches of history already.’

Ellen Fanning, host of ABC’s The Drum, was one of those defending the coverage.

“She was our head of state. The fact that she lives in London makes it necessary to travel there,” she said.

“If you think it’s bizarre that our head of state lives in London, that’s something Australians will have to figure out over the coming months and years,” she added.

The taxpayer-funded broadcaster brought the news of Her Majesty’s death in Balmoral on the early morning of September 9.

The ABC then issued a statement explaining that special programming would continue to celebrate the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

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“Over the coming days and weeks, the ABC will have dedicated teams covering events from across the UK, including the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and activities surrounding the accession of King Charles III,” the statement said.

Long-time ABC host Barrie Cassidy said the network made a mistake and failed to pay attention to the public by reporting almost non-stop on the Queen’s death

“I suspect the ABC has misunderstood its audience. If you want wall to wall royalties you can get it in spades elsewhere,” Mr Cassidy tweeted

The controversy comes a year after the broadcaster came under fire for interrupting an episode of Vera to announce Prince Philip’s death.

The broadcaster received 435 complaints about a news bulletin that interrupted a replay of the British drama to announce the Duke of Edinburgh’s death at the age of 99.

A network spokesperson said: “ABC’s special Friday night coverage of Prince Philip’s death meant interrupting the scheduled ABC TV broadcast of a rerun of Vera, which is now available to watch on ABC iview and will be rescheduled this Thursday.” airs on ABC TV at 1:30 p.m.

The ABC has received relatively few 435 complaints about total coverage, more than three quarters of which relate to Vera’s interruption.

“Other complaints were about other matters, such as the length of our coverage.”