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Warren Mundine, SBS set to meet over biased Voice interview

Callan Morse -

A demand from Warren Mundine to meet with SBS following a Voice referendum night interview has reportedly been met, with the prominent No campaigner set to sit down with the broadcaster's executive later this month.

The October 14 interview had been deemed to have breached impartiality standards by the broadcaster's ombudsman, with SBS offering Mundine a formal apology late last year.

However The Australian reports Mr Mundine wrote to the public broadcaster last month complaining that ombudsman Amy Stockwell's findings failed to address aspects of the on-air panel discussion and that the segment "unduly favoured" yes campaign advocate, Marcia Langton.

In the letter dated 27 January, Mr Mundine said the broadcaster failed to provide him with a "safe space" to participate in the Voice debate.

"It is on the public record that during the referendum campaign I made plans to commit suicide on several occasions as a result of racial and other abuse levelled at me by senior members of the Yes campaign," Mr Mundine said in the letter.

"It (SBS) did not provide a safe space for me. Neither as an Aboriginal person nor as a human being."

Mr Mundine's letter of complaint came after ombudsman Stockwell determined the broadcaster "unduly favoured" Professor Langton, a member of SBS' The Point: Australia Decides panel, which was hosted by hosts Narelda Jacobs and John Paul Janke, who moderated the debate.

During the segment, Ms Jacobs described professor Langton as a "national treasure" before accusing Mr Mundine of attacking her.

"I think, well, we've just seen who Warren Mundine is," Ms Jacobs said.

Mr Mundine's microphone was also switched off after he suggested there should be a funding of First Nations services, preventing him from defending his business ventures which were criticised by Ms Langton.

Ms Stockwell found the organisation breached its code of practise twice in relation to impartiality and balance.

The following day, Mr Mundine labelled the segment the "worse interview" he had participated in during the voice referendum debate.

He also complained about a SBS statement released after ombudsman Stockwell's determination was handed down, which read "the intention of the actions taken by the program team was to ensure that the conversation taking place remained clear for audiences, fact-based and a safe space for discussion".

Set to meet with SBS managing director James Taylor and chair George Savvides later this month, Mr Mundine has suggested the meeting was scheduled only because he "instigated it" and wanted further action taken.

Mr Mundine has also requested a written apology from the SBS board and Jacobs, the statement on SBS's website replaced with an apology and an on-air acknowledgement of ombudsman Stockwell's findings when The Point program resumes later this year.

SBS has so far declined to comment.


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