Monday, November 25, 2013
2nd letter to Georgie McClean re Screen Australia's $50,000 sponsorship of 'The Conversation'
Manager, Strategy, Research and Communications
Level 7, 45 Jones St
Ultimo 2007 25th Nov 2013
I have received no response to my letter of 13th Nov re Screen Australia’s $50,000 sponsorship of ‘The Conversation’. You have not even acknowledgment receipt of my letter. Is this because, as a mere blogger, I am not entitled to ask questions? If so, such a policy would be understandable. After all, why on earth should Screen Australia respond to every blogger with questions to ask?
However, in the past, when I have been writing an article for a mainstream publication, the same principle has applied. Screen Australia has refused to answer questions and senior members of management (Ruth Harley, Martha Coleman, Ross Mathews) have refused to make themselves available for comment or to be interviewed.
If Screen Australia refuses to answer questions from journalists that might be difficult, or challenging, or that it simply does not wish to answer, how can we who work in Australian film and TV ever be sure precisely what is going on within the organization and why? How can Australian tax-payers, without whom there would be no Screen Australia, be sure that their money is being well spent?
What is important here is not so much my question about the $50,000 and how and why it was given to ‘The Conversation’ without the benefit of discussion amongst Board members, but the principles of transparency and accountability according to which Screen Australia should be operating.
Who is entitled to ask questions and to receive answers? If not myself, wearing my journalist’s hat, who?