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‘She’s lost the plot’: Neil Mitchell responds to Ita Buttrose’s criticism of the media as ‘too white’

Neil Mitchell has fired back at ABC chair woman Ita Buttrose over her criticism of the lack of diversity in the media.

“Much of the media is white, and we’re not all white,” the ABC chairwoman said in interview on ABC Radio National yesterday.

“Let’s look at diversity. Do we have enough Asian representation? Should we have some Asians on the board? Do we have enough Middle Eastern representation? Should we have Middle Eastern representation on the board? Many Australians are not represented well enough and it’s about time we change that.”

But Neil Mitchell says the media veteran has “lost the plot”.

“I like Ita Buttrose, she’s feisty, she’s fair dinkum, she’s been a pace-setter in media, but now she’s chair of the ABC and they’ve got to her.

“She says the ABC has to reflect different cultures and nationalities. What about reflecting the real Australia as well?,” the 3AW Mornings host said.

“What she is saying is racist. If you are white, male, middle class, good luck getting a job.”

Journalist and director of Media Diversity Australia, Antoinette Lattouf, said the media does need to become more ethnically diverse.

“Absolutely it is too white, not necessarily male, that’s shifted in the past ten years,” she said.

“I’m of a Middle Eastern background and often when I walk into those news rooms, other than the security guard at the front, I am the only person of a different background.

“The problem with a really unrepresentative media is we’re often out of touch with stories.

“If we’re all living within a five kilometre radius of the CBD, socialising with the same people, and went to the same schools, I’d argue that we’re out of touch with what real Australians are feeling, whatever their colour is.”

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Image (Ita): Don Arnold