ABC star Dan Bourchier says he, like his mentor Stan Grant, have experienced abuse, death threats and ‘constant belittling’.
Grant, a Wiradjuri man, this week stood aside from hosting Q&A and his other duties at the broadcaster after speaking out against the ABC for their lack of public support despite being subject to racist abuse.
Bourchier, who is the ABC’s referendum correspondent, appeared on ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday, where with tears in his eyes said Grant’s speaking out had reminded him of things he himself has had to deal with.
Dan Bourchier said he, like his mentor Stan Grant, had experienced racism while reporting
‘The abuse, the death threats, the constant belittling and degrading of what your perspective is, that happens from some in the community,’ he said.
‘It’s also raised a lot of issues about what happens within the ABC, and there’s been a lot of reporting about that.
‘I have to say, that not much of that has surprised me, because it’s what I hear and some of it (racism) is what I’ve experienced myself.’
Bourchier is of Aboriginal heritage and grew up in Tennant Creek, a rural town in the Northern Territory.
This week during senate estimates, the ABC news boss said he regretted not publicly defending Grant for the widespread criticism and racial abuse he received following his appearance on a discussion panel on the night of King Charles III’s coronation.
Justin Stevens said there were ‘lessons in this in terms of how Stand felt we had managed it’.
He also urged media organisations to be kinder to each other.
The ABC has launched an internal review into the broadcaster’s system of dealing with racism.
Bourchier said that was something he himself had called for, and said it needed to be ‘independent, transparent, and to look at understanding what is happening and why’.
He said the problem extended beyond the ABC, but was something for contemporary media in Australia more widely to reflect ‘very deeply on’.
ABC presenter Stan Grant has stood down from his duties following the backlash over the Coronation coverage
‘I don’t think we need to be pointing fingers, (but) I do think we need to be holding up a mirror and asking ourselves, ‘what are we doing and what have we said or not said in supporting people, or shutting them down when there is misinformation or targeted abuse that Stan and his family have been sustaining for many, many years’,’ Bourchier said.
‘It certainly has been heightened recently … The fact that someone can be screamed off a prime-time program and shut down and made to feel as though they can’t go on needs to raise serious alarm bells.’
Bourchier admitted he was reluctant to go on the ABC’s flagship Sunday program for fear he would be branded as a ‘diversity pick’ and detailed racist abuse he copped every time he appeared on the couch.
‘Why would I subject myself, and even more difficult, why would I put my partner and our family through … that level of criticism,’ he said.
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