The ABC has refuted claims it was slow to report in its reporting of the London attack as terrorism following an article published by The Australian.
The newspaper claimed ABC continued to describe the attacks as “incidents” even after the Metropolitan Police declared they were being treated as “terrorist incidents” at 9.50am AEST on Sunday.
“The ABC waited until 10.13am to send an alert with confirmation of the news, and did not update its Twitter account until 10.43am,” it reported.
In a statement, ABC said, “The ABC began live digital blogging and television coverage of the London Bridge incident as soon as it occurred, and it was leading our top stories bulletin. As soon as it was described as a terror attack by Prime Minister Theresa May it was reported online, at 9:47am. When the Metropolitan Police confirmed that description in a tweet we reported it five minutes later at 9:56am.
“The ABC news channel deliberately and carefully did not describe the London attacks as ‘terrorism’ until the British authorities themselves felt confident to do so. At 9:48am the news channel put up a strap reporting the statement by the PM describing the incidents as a ‘potential act of terrorism’. At 9:53am the news channel also broadcast the Metropolitan Police tweet saying they were being treated as ‘terrorist incidents’ — three minutes after the tweet was posted. At 9:55am the news channel changed its strap headline from ‘London incidents’ to ‘London attacks’.”
ABC posted an image highlighting times at 9:47am and 9:56am.
“The ABC was not ‘slow’, nor were we misleading or under-reporting. We were following good journalism and making considered judgements at every step,” the broadcaster said.