In the face of sustained pressure from the government and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, she has seemed incapable of mounting a sustained and effective response.
And in this environment of hostility, ABC journalists have felt under siege.
As editor-in-chief – which comes with the managing director’s job – Guthrie was unable to give the kind of robust editorial leadership that journalists need if they are to report fearlessly and independently.
It was clear by the middle of this year that whatever qualities Guthrie brought to the job, editorial leadership was not one of them. Thus the ABC was at a crossroads. It had as its managing director and editor-in-chief a person with no journalistic background who had shown scant signs of understanding the impact of the federal government’s relentless bullying on the ABC’s editorial independence.
ABC chairman Justin Milne said Ms Guthrie had been sacked because the board wanted a different “leadership style”, citing concerns about her poor relationship with the federal government.
The destruction of an Australian Icon is at hand and only the ALP can save it and Australian Democracy and values.(ODT)
In June this year, the Liberal Party’s peak council voted by 2:1 to privatise the ABC, as proposed by the Institute of Public Affairs, whose alumni includes communications minister Mitch Fifield, an arch-plotter who backed Turnbull over Abbott, Dutton over Turnbull and then Morrison over Dutton. Turnbull and Fifield insisted at the time that the ABC would never be sold, but those assurances are surely worthless now. With News Corp on the attack, and the Coalition so bitterly divided, it is hard to see anyone inside the government dying in a ditch over a high-minded defence of the ABC.
The Australian had another extraordinarily well-timed piece this morning [$], in which media diarist Stephen Brook reported a rift between chair and MD, including deep background that Guthrie had been upset at the chair’s push for the quixotic “Project Jetstream” overhaul of the ABC’s digital infrastructure. There was obviously more to that story. Whether or not Guthrie deserved to be sacked so summarily – and she is today reported to be devastated and considering her legal options – the ABC now appears vulnerable, poorly led, and in need of public support more than ever.
But the Far-Right is OK. It’s just part of our Liberal Party. It’s normal. Nothing to see here.
Q&A represents the echo chamber of the political mainstream, but not the balance of the Australian people. The Liberal Party is tearing itself apart precisely because its Far-Right hijackers can’t seem to get the people to follow, so they blame the latest leader.
Remember when Q&A admitted an Islamic State suicide bomber into its studio? At least, that’s what the News Corp tabloids portrayed on their front pages after Zaky Mallah asked a question from the audience. Mallah had admitted to making threats against the lives of ASIO officers and served his time, but had been cleared of a terrorism charge. He was working to prevent young Muslim men from being sucked into ISIS.
There was a robust exchange. The Liberal panelist basically dismissed the legal process and said Mallah should simply be deported at the Minister’s discretion. Malah responded that the Liberal’s attitude would provoke young Muslim Australians to join ISIS. He was shut down by Tony Jones and a Murdoch frenzy ensued. The ABC grovelled and disavowed actual robust debate.
But it was Liberal John Howard’s Government that joined the illegal invasion of Iraq against the clear wishes of the Australian people and in the face of clear warnings, amply vindicated, that it would make us a target of terrorists. Who’s putting us more in danger?
Beyond that, Far-Right extremists advocate radical social engineering, steadily dismantle our open society and democracy, and exploit racism, xenophobia and any other social division they can get their tyre iron into.
WHY AUSTRALIA NEEDS THE ABC (ODT)
The last two evenings have seen the PM and the head of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation trying to justify/sell Turbull’s captain’s call on 7:30 report.
First up was Malcolm looking distinctly uncomfortable – so uncomfortable that he forgot Tony Burke’s name as he lamely, and so excruciatingly predictably, tried to blame Labor.
When asked why there was no grant application or tender process, Malcolm said “Well it was a very thorough process, a whole cabinet process leading up to the budget.”
When asked if this happened before or after he offered the money on April 9, the PM lied by saying “No it all went through beforehand.”
That is just not true.
ABC radio and television broadcasts focus on genres that are far removed from commercial output. We have no interest in reality TV formats, chequebook interviews and the music genres of commercial FM – programming that draws the biggest and therefore most lucrative audiences for commercial media. Nor are we in competition for rights to any of the marquee sports events. Instead, we complement the market as the trusted, independent source of Australian conversations, culture and stories.
The Liberals and their allies have always favoured the private over the public, whether in hospitals, health, schools — and broadcasting.
“They don’t hate us for what we do, but for who we are.”
We’ve let them do so much that is wrong since 2013. They’ve managed to make Australians condone torture and abuse being carried out in our name in offshore gulags.
History will not treat us kindly.
They have already reduced the ABC to a shell of its former self.
The lack of funding and resources is evident, yet still our ABC struggles on, for us.
Please, good people.
We can’t let these goombahs get away with this murder.
Save our ABC.
You know the ABC is doing it’s job News Wise when governments complain. In this case the LNP are wailing (ODT)
The Coalition has once again complained to the ABC managing director about ABC news, accusing political journalists Laura Tingle, Barrie Cassidy and Andrew Probyn of repeating “false” claims by the Labor party.
The federal communications minister, Mitch Fifield, wrote to Michelle Guthrie to make a formal complaint about the ABC’s reporting of the setting of the date for the so-called super Saturday byelection.
Destrying the PUBLIC TRUST
1985 ABC Budget was $475 Mill = 2018 $ 1 Billion today The ABC is the most efficient media in Australia that 1) Deleivers News, 2) Australian Production and Content 3) Democracy 4) Trust (ODT)
Beware of IPA Corporatism dimming the lights on Australia for Murdoch. (ODT)
A new book authored by the influential Institute of Public Affairs calls on the Turnbull government to privatise the ABC by giving it away for free to the ABC’s employees or Australian citizens.
Against Public Broadcasting, released on Friday night, labels the ABC “an anachronism” whose rationale is now redundant and which has become a $1 billion-a-year drain on the public purse.
The Anti- Democratic Triumvariate is the LNP Government, the IPA and private trash media like News Corp. Murdoch wants digital news as click bait to read and inspire like the Herald Sun (ODT)
Media editor Dr Lee Duffield says a new complaint by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, comes against a background of ABC-baiting that strikes up mutual interest between radical-right politics and conservative media.
The worrying issue was this attitude:
- the Government would like news to be uncritical and friendly publicity;
- it will hit out at media that does not oblige; and
- it may mate-up with other media that join in the criticism, setting out to be its mouthpiece — for something in return.
Wedding coverage and executive bonuses spark new round of Aunty bashing. Plus Daily Telegraph gets it monumentally wrong
News Corp columnists, including the Australian’s Gerard Henderson, the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt and the Courier Mail’s Des Houghton, have all lined up to denounce the ABC in the past few days.
Here is a taste from the Australian’s Chris Kenny: “Since last week’s budget the ABC has taken a bit of a break from demonising Australians as deplorable xenophobes, Islamophobes, homophobes, misogynists and racists to focus on its own funding problems.”
In the lead up to the next federal election, every Australian who values our ABC must take the fight to their local MP and actively campaign for a restoration of support to one of our most critically important democratic institutions. There is too much at stake, and no time to lose.
Efficiency = 1985 ABC budget was $475 mill equates to $1 billion in 2018 inflation only. Our ABC is running on the same budget it was running on 33 years ago
‘Disappointed’ ABC boss warns of political backlash over budget cut
Media & marketing
‘Disappointed’ ABC boss warns of political backlash over budget cut
When gifted a large cache of secret documents, the normal journalistic process would involve the stories being written, with names and operational details removed. The reports would then either be published outright, or the government approached for comment, running the risk that they may seek an injunction to prevent publication. Whatever the process, not even completing the journalistic work in the first place is a strange way for the ABC to discharge its journalistic responsibility.
Even stranger still is the way the ABC allowed Asio to bring safes into the ABC buildings, supposedly so the documents could be kept secure and then taken away.
Handing over documents to any Australian intelligence agency signals the emergence of an unhealthy relationship between the ABC and the very institutions of government they should be holding to account. Yet it wasn’t always so.
It’s a familiar sight in the current news landscape – panels of suited men rambling loudly on some polemical hot topic, all throbbing veins and manufactured conflict.
For ABC News boss Tim Ayliffe, it’s the right time to go back to basics.
From early 2018, staff will be re-organised into teams focused on particular topics instead of working strictly for radio or television. The restructure does not include any job losses or particular programs getting the boot.
“There is no pressing need to change the ABC Act and its Charter, no matter how much commercial chief executives and their compliant media outlets argue otherwise,” she said in a draft of her speech to the ABC Friends Public Conference dinner in Sydney on Friday.
The Government’s media package threatens to break the ABC — and it may never be able to be put together again, says former Age editor
Angelos Frangopoulos wants commercial media to be able to pitch for public broadcaster’s $1.4bn pie. Plus, the NT News spreads the love with a strong marriage equality message
The ABC’s political editor explains his searing critique of US president Donald Trump’s performance at the G20.
Scathing, searing and brutal were just a few of the adjectives flying around social media on Sunday following an eloquent takedown of Donald Trump by ABC political editor Chris Uhlmann.
Reporter Chris Uhlmann’s commentary tearing into American president – a man with ‘no desire and no capacity to lead the world’ – reverberates to Washington
He may not yet realise it, but US President Donald Trump has now hurled himself headlong into a war with Washington’s national security establishment, writes Greg Jennett.
Expect more changes, possibly to flagship programs like 7.30, Lateline and the 7pm news, ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie warns.
Managing director’s recently promoted chief of staff, Sam Liston, tipped to be among the big winners
All public broadcasters are engaged in a constant process of chopping, slicing and reinventing, and every boss spreads his or her own brand of unhappiness
Conservative attitudes to the ABC are best summed up in a single exchange with John Howard on ABC radio to promote his show on ABC TV
The ABC has hit back at criticism of a Four Corners investigation into the life asylum seeker children on Nauru.
ABC 7.30’s Leigh Sales and film crew travel to the NT to witness Chief Minister Adam Giles hurtle down the slippery slope to oblivion at this Saturday’s election. Richard Koser was there.
By Loz Lawrey ABC radio grew my mind. I mean it. Each working day, throughout my career in the building industry, I listened exclusively to one of our public broadcaster’s fine radio stations as I toiled at my trade. While my body performed familiar routine activities on this physical plane, my mind travelled the world,…
The Four Corners revelations are disturbing but not shocking. They are the product of a system that has continually excused the perpetrators of violence, writes Amy McQuire. Aboriginal affairs moves at a glacial pace – and the vast majority of problems are always under the surface. The mainstream media only sees what is easily visibleMore
After Steve Price dismissed a woman as being “hysterical”, literally while she was explaining how dismissive attitudes to women feed into a culture of gender-violence, Van Badham delivered the coup de grace.
The 2016 election has revealed just how compliant Australia’s media landscape has become. In some cases, it’s hardly a surprise. But the failure of the ABC to challenge narratives run by the Coalition is of serious concern, writes Sean Hosking. As the outcome of the federal election has illustrated, we are currently experiencing a crisisMore
Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer claims ABC core funding is higher than under Labor. Photo:
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Tell us, ministers, how the ABC is now better off under your government?
Outgoing managing director rejects criticism the ABC has become too big or that it poses a financial threat to commercial media organisations
Australia’s policy of detaining asylum seekers for years in privately run camps in ‘essentially former Australian colonies’ has been branded unacceptable by prominent US-based conservative commentator Mark Steyn
The first article in this ongoing New Matilda investigation was published on January 21, 2016. Our reporting so far has revealed that• In 2013, in the lead-up to the federal election, former ABC Games and Technology Editor, Nick Ross was told by the Head of the ABC’s Current Affairs Division, Bruce Belsham to find a story – any story – that attacked Labor’s roll-out of the National Broadband Network;• This was in order to provide “insurance” against attacks from the Coalition, and to prevent “the Turnbull camp” coming down on Belsham “like a tonne of bricks” for publishing stories critical of Tony Abbott’s alternative NBN Plan.This New Matilda special investigation is currently ongoing.
ABC’s Q&A returned on Monday night with a panel that also included Catherine Keenan, Gordian Fulde and Manal Younus
The silence around the Nick Ross-Bruce Belsham revelations is deafening. Chris Graham weighs in. As I write this, it’s now 72 hours since New Matilda revealed that in the lead-up to the 2013 federal election, the Head of Current Affairs at the ABC, Bruce Belsham directed Tech editor Nick Ross to find a story –More
A relentless stream of attacks on the ABC by crusaders of the hard right has recalibrated the notion of balance and redefined the organisation
Q&A host Tony Jones says the Zaky Mallah furore and boycott of the program was based on a ‘big lie’.
Journalists at Australian on shortlist for ABC news director. Plus Sarah Ferguson’s candid advice for anyone thinking of going into marketing
ABC $7.30 presenter Leigh Halfprice interviews Australian Prime Minister Tony Idiott on the subject of the Australian economy.