Your ABC or your ASX

Coverage of business and economics on the ABC
by Fergus Pitt and Rod Campbell

The ABC is not biased against business according to the recent ABC Editorial Review of business and economics coverage.

Far from being anti-business, research released today by The Australia Institute finds that the ABC’s ample coverage of business and economics skews towards big business.

Big business receives three to five times more ABC coverage than the small to medium businesses that make up a third of the Australian economy.

Like the official editorial review, the Institute’s paper is based on analysis of a week of ABC news and business coverage. Unlike the official review, The Australia Institute’s analysis considers which parts of the business community are covered and who gets heard on business and economics topics.

When mainstream news and current affairs programs cover business and economics, coverage focuses on big business and the economic implications of public policy. “AM”, for example, included ten stories on ASX 100 companies or other big private businesses, 12 percent of all stories. By contrast, only three stories related to small business.

This bias towards coverage of big business is even more marked in business and economics-specific programing. In the ABC News online business section ASX100 companies and big private businesses received 5 times more coverage than small to medium sized businesses.

Full report