Critics of the ABC’s Q&A often write-off the program with claims it is left-leaning and biased.
Even our former PM Tony Abbott labelled the flagship Monday night show “a Left-wing lynch mob” and “outta control”.
But veteran journalist Ray Martin and former SBS managing director Shaun Brown have audited the show and reckon those claims don’t hold up.
But they did find another problem – women’s voices are being heard less often than men’s.
The duo examined six months’ worth of episodes – they watched the 23 shows repeatedly, examined the transcript and pored over questions and tweets – as part of an ABC-ordered audit of the program.
Martin wrote for News Limited that the show wasn’t a “drag-‘em-out, knock-‘em’-down style of Town Hall public debate”, nor an out of control lefty lynch mob, nor “democracy in action”, as per the program’s claims.
“Q&A is a top-rating, professional but tightly controlled, live television discussion, in which the only thing that’s unpredictable are the panellists’ answers,” Martin writes.
Watch some highlights from the program (post continues after video):
He said one of the main issues with the show was that females were less likely to be picked as Q&A panellists than men – and those that were picked, got less airtime.