Is the ABC's Q&A leaning too far to the left?

Does the ABC’s controversial program Q&A lean too far to the left? Senate Estimates Hearings yesterday brought this feedback to the fore, with one senator telling Mark Scott, the ABC Managing Director, during Senate Hearings that the panel needs to include more balanced selection of panellists.

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Senator James McGrath spoke out in the hearings on Wednesday saying that most coalition MPs acknowledge the program leans to the left and is biased against the Liberals and LNP.

 The Age quotes him as saying, “If you spoke to any Coalition MP – even those appear on it – they’d admit the program does lean to the left,” Senator McGrath said.

It certainly raises some interesting debate. Do Government sponsored media channels have the obligation to present a bipartisan political view? And what could be done to level the playing field in what could be the most widely watched political forum show on Australian television?

“There will be someone from right of centre – on a good week two people who are centre or right of centre – and then three people who are clearly left of centre or clearly not supporters of the Coalition.

“I’m interested in how that comes about and how steps are not taken to ensure there are more balanced panels”.

And the ABC Managing Director was not surprised by Senator McGrath’s comments. “It is not the first time I’ve heard that depiction”.
Mr Scott spoke at length about the show, debating that Q&A was serving its purpose in airing a range of issues.

While Q&A regularly features one politician from the left and one from the right, many other panellists cannot be easily assigned to a political category, he said via The Age.

Tell us what you think… Is Q&A leaning too far to the left?  And is it appropriate for a taxpayer funded body to be allowed to do so?