WE all know that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is the main source of news and information for many Australians. The ABC is funded and owned by the government, but the ABC is apparently editorially independent as a consequence of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983.
So, who is the ABC accountable to? Certainly not to you or me.
The ABC, for all practical purposes, is exempt from the normal scrutiny that can be applied to government-funded institutions and departments. In particular the ABC’s programming material is exempt from Freedom of Information Requests .
So, the ABC can deploy its staff to spend hours and hours phoning people about me, asking the most intimate and bizarre questions and volunteering information to the same people that has no basis in fact. What can I do about it? Absolutely nothing.
Last week the ABC phoned around to get snips of fact about me that it could intertwine with lies with a plan for a national broadcast Monday night on its Media Watch program. I tried to head-that-off with full and frank answers to the many questions they asked me . Indeed I provided them with a lot of information that was none of their business.
But not content with all of that, this week ABC journalists and researchers continue with the same activity; they continue to phone about. And from the feedback I have received from those the ABC has phoned: they continue to peddle misinformation about me, and misinformation about the natural history of the Murray River.
These activities are undertaken at tax payer expense, but there is no way I can find out who specifically they are phoning, or what specifically they are telling people. 
Questions need to be asked in the Australian Parliament about this exemption and about the ABCs continual harassment of me for daring to suggest that it is in the national interest for the Murray River’s estuary to be restored – for the 7.6 kilometres of concrete sea dyke to be removed from the bottom of the Murray Darling basin. 
 ABC FOI – You can’t open the chamber of secrets
“For those considering an FOI request to the ABC for program related material, such as internal correspondence that might provide an insight into the way errors get into the ABC’s editorial process, beware of a clause in the FOI act that lists the ABC as an exempt agency with respect to documents “in relation to its program material and datacasting content” (Part II of schedule 2)…
“ABC cite ABC v University of Technology Sydney in relationship to this and from the ruling it seems the only way to open the vault is for the FOI ACT to be amended to allow access to ABC documents.”
 Media Watch Under Scrutiny
 Most government organisations are covered by a set of generally applicable exemptions many of which require a balancing of public interest. The ABC, however, could assign 10 people to research me and my activities and there would be nothing I could do about it or find out about it.
 Podcast available at the Sydney Institute http://www.thesydneyinstitute.com.au/speaker/jennifer-marohasy/