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Man charged over alleged threats against journalist Stan Grant

Stan Grant questions role of media in racism row

A man has been charged for allegedly threatening Stan Grant just days after the ABC journalist quit amid intensifying racism against him.

Police said they received a complaint about alleged online threats on Tuesday morning.

After a police investigation, a 41-year-old man from Fairfield Heights in Sydney was arrested.

“The man was taken to Fairfield Police Station where he was charged with use carriage to threaten serious harm and carriage service to menace/harass/offend,” said a police statement.

“The man granted bail to appear before Fairfield Local Court on Wednesday 31 May 2023.”

The arrest came after Grant was spotted entering Randwick police station with wife Tracey Holmes on Wednesday to file a complaint, news.com.au reports.

Meanwhile, the ABC’s boss revealed threats against the broadcaster’s staff had escalated, along with online trolling.

ABC managing director David Anderson told Senate estimates on Wednesday that more incidents were being forwarded to police.

He flagged a review of whether the organisation was doing enough to support its employees and said he was worried about the ABC’s public-facing staff.

“We’re coming to a precipice here, particularly in the discussion around how we can protect our people,” Mr Anderson said.

The concerns follow the national broadcaster’s coronation coverage, which led to Stan Grant stepping away as host of Q&A on Monday.

The veteran correspondent decided to leave Q&A after “relentless racial filth” against him intensified following his involvement in a panel discussion about the King’s coronation.

Mr Grant was invited to participate in the televised discussion on coronation day, during which he pointed out that the crown represents the invasion and theft of Aboriginal land.

That segment sparked about 1800 complaints from the public, the Senate committee inquiry hearing was told.

Hundreds of those complaints consisted of racist attacks, ABC managing director David Anderson said, while other complaints said the coronation discussion was worthwhile but poorly timed.

“Some of it was in good faith, quite a lot of it was not in good faith,” Mr Anderson said.

He and news director Justin Stevens flagged a review within the ABC into how it supported staff who were subjected to vitriolic abuse.

“I think the time for dignified silence is over, I think for our people we need to be certainly more public supportive of them as well as what we do internally,” Mr Anderson said.

Mr Anderson also said he was especially worried about Indigenous staff at the Voice referendum approaches.

He has previously apologised to Grant, while ABC journalists rallied to support the Q&A host in newsrooms across the country.

Mr Stevens said there was a correlation between coverage of the ABC and its staff in commercial media and the abuse they were subjected to online. In Senate estimates, he read out headlines attacking the ABC’s coronation coverage that had been published and broadcast by commercial media.

Mr Stevens said Grant had been subjected to relentless racism for a long time for doing his job, but the coronation coverage led to a particular spike in racial vitriol.

“We’re talking about a really large volume and torrent of racial abuse and threats to Stan and his family over the course of a number of days,” he said.

The ABC is increasingly withdrawing from Twitter, which Mr Stevens described as a “cesspool”, due to the intensification of trolling.

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