As much as the lobbying efforts of Asian superpowers in Australia, such as the one recently reported by ABC, Australians should also be worried about the increased pressure by some Armenian diaspora lobby groups and their proxy associations on our public broadcasters.

These lobby groups, advocating for the foreign policy agenda of the Republic of Armenia has recently launched an unprecedented attack on the editorial policy of the SBS. The groups are pressuring SBS to rewrite its 45-years old editorial guideline to suit their agendas in regards to the characterisation of the events of 1915.

No major global news outlet uses the word genocide in describing the tragedy suffered by the Ottoman Armenians in early 1900s.

Reuters, Associated Press and BBC are among those respected global media outlets, who have similar policies to the SBS’ in describing the events of 1915.

There are both legal and historical reasons for major news organisations not charectrising the events of 1915 as genocide. One should study journalism to understand the logic and reasons behind such editorial policy.

A significant number of research papers, documents and articles are also available in open sources for the one who is genuinely interested in finding the truth.

Freedom From Bias:

The latest attack on SBS, which finds a disproportionately wide coverage on News Corp outlets, is a blatant attempt to change history through lobbying and make it fit into current foreign policy objectives of a nation afar.

We have been witnessing similar pressure being put on media organisations worldwide by politicians like Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

The strength of our democracy comes in part from press freedom that is free from political and lobbyists’ interference.

Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance (ATAA) recently wrote to Senator Honorable Scott Ludlam, who used the rhetoric of some Armenian diaspora lobby groups’ to attack the head of SBS Michael Ebeid, about the potential dangers of his flawed logic in interfering with the editorial integrity of the public broadcaster.

“This could be seen as an example of a worldwide trend by elected representatives attempting to manipulate public opinion through pressuring independent mainstream media outlets,” wrote ATAA associate Unal Yildiz in his letter.

“It could also be perceived as a continuum of past government pressure on our public broadcasters for their reporting based on facts,” he continued in that letter to the Greens senator.

The media can only remain as the 4th Estate as long as there is the ability to report free from bias, political interference. The attack on media’s integrity from both ends of the political spectrum by politicians with little knowledge of the methodologies of history or the ethics of journalism is the biggest threat to our democracy and our stance as one of the greatest multi-cultural nations on earth.

We believe politicians and lobby groups should not be involved in trying to impose a certain bias on the reporting of the SBS.