News Archive 2021

News Archive 2021

Displaying media stories related to the ABC.

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Report of the Inquiry into media diversity in Australia
Senate Environment and Communications Reference Committee - Parliament of Australia - December 9, 2021

This inquiry was established in the wake of more than half a million Australians signing a petition started by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd calling for the establishment of a royal commission into Australian media. This was the biggest electronic petition ever presented to an Australian parliament, and a clear indication that many Australians believe the system of media regulation in this country is not fit-for-purpose.

It is the Parliament’s responsibility to ensure that the nation’s news media are sufficiently diverse, in ownership and in opinion, to maintain a vigorous democracy. As many submitters and witnesses to this committee noted, this is not the first inquiry into the concentration of media ownership and the convergence of media platforms in Australia and their consequences for democracy.

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ABC to add more than 50 journalists in Regional Australia
ABC - December 3, 2021

The ABC has announced an additional 50-plus journalist roles in regional locations as a result of deals struck with Facebook and Google.

Following the passage of the News Media Bargaining Code in February, which included the public broadcasters, the ABC entered into commercial negotiations with the digital platforms.

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Outgoing ABC News boss Gaven Morris reflects on achievements, pressure from powerful people and the future of newsgathering
ABC Backstory - ABC - November 28, 2021

It's one of the toughest and most scrutinised jobs in Australian media, leading a team of 1,250 people around the country, producing a huge variety of news and current affairs content across ABC radio, television and digital platforms.

After six years as the director of ABC News, Analysis and Investigations, Gaven Morris is finishing up on December 3.

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Senate inquiry into ABC suspended after Labor and Greens motion gets cross-bench support
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - November 24, 2021

A government-led inquiry branded “political interference” by ABC chair Ita Buttrose has been voted down by Labor and the Greens in the Senate.

Last week the prime minister, Scott Morrison, backed a Senate inquiry into the public broadcaster’s handling of complaints after extraordinary pushback from Buttrose, and rejected suggestions the ABC had been singled out for special treatment.

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‘People were losing their minds’: Hollywood loves Bluey, says Melanie Zanetti
Bridget McManus - SMH - November 20, 2021

Brisbane actress Melanie Zanetti is in demand in Los Angeles. She recently returned there after filming the Edgar Allen Poe movie Raven’s Hollow in Latvia and will next year start shooting the third instalment of the Gabriel’s Inferno romance trilogy. She’s had roles in Love and Monsters; NBC Dwayne Johnson series Young Rock; and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s The Leisure Class. But it is her work as the voice of blue heeler mum Chilli, on ABC Kids cartoon Bluey, that gains her the most attention in Hollywood.

“I was at this party and there were directors within a certain field there. Someone heard that I was in Bluey and people were jumping out of the pool and going: ‘What? I love that show! I watch it every day!’ and losing their minds,” she says, laughing. “Within the strata, where there’s children, it’s got clout.”

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Statement from Ita Buttrose, ABC Chair, on ABC complaints handling process
Ita Buttrose - ABC - November 14, 2021

The inquiry into the ABC’s complaints handling process announced by Senate Communications Committee Chair, Senator Andrew Bragg, appears to be a blatant attempt to usurp the role of the ABC Board and undermine the operational independence of the ABC.

As Senator Bragg is aware, in October the ABC Board initiated an independent review of the ABC’s complaints system by two eminent experts, Professor John McMillan AO, former Commonwealth and NSW Ombudsman, and Jim Carroll, former SBS Director – News and Current Affairs. The terms of reference for the review are comprehensive and wide-ranging.

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ABC secures broadcast rights for WorldPride and three years of Sydney Mardi Gras
Paige Cockburn - ABC - November 9, 2021

The ABC has secured a deal to broadcast two of the world's biggest LGBT events over the next three years.

Australia's national broadcaster successfully bid for the media rights to WorldPride, a global festival which Sydney will host in 2023, as well as the famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras from 2022 to 2024.

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ABC managing director David Anderson announces funding injection for regional bureaus
Joanna Woodburn - ABC - November 5, 2021

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has unveiled plans for major investment in rural and regional journalism.

Managing director David Anderson has revealed that a multi-year agreement that will see its content on Google News Showcase has been finalised.

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Anita Jacoby to Lead ABC Advisory Council
ABC - November 1, 2021

ABC Chair Ita Buttrose has announced the appointment of Anita Jacoby to lead the ABC Advisory Council.

Anita’s extensive experience in the media spans a 35-year career in which she has created award-winning content across multiple platforms. She has occupied senior management and production roles across all Australian broadcasters including the ABC, SBS and commercial channels, and brings to the role a deep understanding and appreciation of the critical nature of public broadcasting and where it sits in our changing media landscape.

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RN Breakfast host Fran Kelly announces she's leaving the program after 17 years
Natasha Johnson - ABC - October 21, 2021

After 17 years hosting RN's Breakfast program, Fran Kelly is stepping away from the microphone.

An emotional Kelly made the announcement on air this morning and thanked listeners for their support.

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ABC pandemic podcast wins national science prize
ABC - October 8, 2021

ABC podcast RN Presents…Patient Zero has won a national prize for outstanding science journalism for exploring the origins and impacts of pandemics such as COVID-19.

The win marks the second year running that an ABC audio series has won the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Science Journalism, following the success of Radio National’s Coronacast in 2020.

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Morris moved fast and broke things at ABC news, building a new and bigger audience
Christopher Warren - Crikey - October 8, 2021

Critics and supporters alike of departing ABC news director Gaven Morris would say he brought the Silicon Valley “move fast and break things” mantra to the public broadcaster’s news division.

While he’s been director, the ABC has come to dominate news, building large online audiences among so-called digital natives coming through Facebook, Google and Apple News who, he’s said, “never use the ABC for anything else”.

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Gaven Morris signing off: ABC news chief’s parting words to staff and ‘small media’ rivals
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - October 8, 2021

Outgoing ABC news chief Gaven Morris says he has had a consistent message for the 1,200 journalists under his watch these past six years.

“One of the things that I’ve encouraged staff to do constantly is not to look at small media mouthpieces that have an agenda; and look at the impact that we have with our audience,” Morris told Raf Epstein on ABC Melbourne hours after announcing his resignation.

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‘No issues with the reporting’: Outgoing ABC news boss unrepentant over controversial stories
Zoe Samios - SMH - October 8, 2021

Outgoing ABC news boss Gaven Morris says scrutiny of the public broadcaster’s Luna Park Ghost Train fire series and its reporting on allegations against former Attorney-General Christian Porter did not influence his decision to walk away from the job.

Morris informed staff on Thursday that he would step down once his current contract expires in several months after six years at the helm. In an exclusive interview with The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald he said he refused to be a “prisoner” to the opinions of powerful people in his time leading the ABC’s news division, but conceded the role was one of the most taxing in Australian media. He said it was the right time to hand over to someone new.

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ABC adds to Emergency Broadcasting in readiness for 2021/2022 season
Radio Info - September 20, 2021

The ability to access a wide range of emergency information in one source and a post-disaster podcast series produced in partnership with Australian Red Cross and Melbourne University are part of a new suite of new ABC content that will help Australians prepare for emergencies this summer.

The ABC's Emergency website now features a unique interactive incident map that aggregates information from key emergency and support services including rural and regional fire services, state emergency services and the Bureau of Meteorology, allowing user to check emergency events in their locality as well as in other locations around the country.

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Why journalists have a trust problem
Ross Gittins - Pearls and Irritations - September 19, 2021

If there was a time when journalists had great credibility with audiences, it’s less so today. In this speech delivered to a university media seminar, The Sydney Morning Herald‘s economics editor Ross Gittins explores why.

As journalists know — but probably try not to think about — polling shows that, as an occupation, journalists don’t rank highly. We’re well down the list, held in roughly the same esteem as politicians, real estate agents and people selling used cars. Similarly, with the notable exception of the ABC, the “mainstream media” news outlets we work for are not highly regarded by the audiences we serve. If there was ever a time when we were highly trusted, we are less so today. If there was a time when journalists had great credibility with their audience, we’re less so today.

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When politics fail: The folly in under-funding the ABC’s international services
Helen Grasswill - Pearls and Irritations - September 14, 2021

The ABC is under such constant pressure and threats from government (as well as relentless attacks from hostile media and other organisations such as the IPA), it’s not surprising that public attention is almost exclusively on the domestic service. 

But legislation requires the national broadcaster to also fulfil an international role. The ABC Charter – enshrined in section 6 of the ABC Act – outlines responsibilities to provide broadcast and digital services in the areas of news, current affairs, entertainment and cultural enrichment to other countries in order to increase awareness and understanding of Australia and Australian attitudes on world affairs, and to enable Australians living or travelling overseas to remain abreast of Australian affairs.

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News Corp confirms newspaper distribution will cease to much of outback Queensland
Ellie Grounds - ABC - September 4, 2021

For some regional Queenslanders heading to buy a News Corp Australia paper from their local newsagent this weekend, the purchase will be one of their last.

News Corp has confirmed it will stop delivering its titles to certain parts of regional Queensland after September 26 and following more than three months of lobbying from concerned newsagents.

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The premier, the crime boss and the ABC
Margaret Simons - Inside Story - September 2, 2021

Most media controversies are fleeting. Often they are about egos, judgement and culture wars. They are remembered only by those directly involved.

Some are more resonant, catching deep currents from the past and casting shadows on the present and the future. The dust-up about the ABC’s three-part true crime documentary series Exposed: The Ghost Train Fire is one of these.

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Murdoch empire strikes back at ABC Four Corners documentary on Fox News’ championing of Trump
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - August 26, 2021

Rupert Murdoch’s global media operation is training its sights on the ABC after the public broadcaster aired a critical look at Fox News and its relationship with Donald Trump.

News Corp has published 45 articles in just two days attacking the public broadcaster across its Australian mastheads.

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Amount of Australian drama on commercial TV falls by 68% in two decades
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - August 25, 2021

The amount of Australian TV drama broadcast has dropped significantly in the past two decades despite the proliferation of extra channels and the arrival of the streaming services in 2015.

A new study by QUT, Australian Television Drama Index, has found that the number of hours broadcast on commercial television – Seven, Nine and Ten – fell by 68% between 1999 and 2019, declining at a compound average rate of 7% a year.

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Fearless and Forensic for 60 Years
ABC - August 16, 2021

On Saturday 19th August 1961, Four Corners made its debut on Australian TV. With a staff of just six and a weekly budget of £480, the first national TV current affairs show was on the air.

Originally a 'magazine' style show made up of several stories, copies of the program were flown around the country for broadcast.

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Four Corners has faced the wrath of both sides of politics. 60 years on, it's needed more than ever
Sally Neighbour - ABC - August 15, 2021

The prime minister was livid as he stared down a hapless senior executive at the ABC. The cause of his ire was a program that had recently aired on the broadcaster's flagship current affairs program, Four Corners.

'I know about you and your Four Corners', the PM fumed. 'And I want you to know that I know, and my ministers know, that the sole reason for that wretched program is to discredit me and my government.'

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Is Sky News taking Australia by storm?
Margaret Simons - Inside Story - August 5, 2021

When YouTube announced last week that it was suspending Sky News Australia’s account for a week because it was transmitting misinformation about Covid-19, I felt the social media company had tapped into my brain.

I have been watching Sky News — a lot of it — recently, focusing particularly on its notorious “after dark” period, when the network’s mostly conventional daytime live news service morphs into strident opinion from Alan Jones, Chris Kenny, Peta Credlin, Andrew Bolt and other News Corp mascots.

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Bylines and bygones
Margaret Simons - Inside Story - July 16, 2021

Earlier this week media people gathered for the launch of a book of journalists’ stories. Nothing remarkable about that, you might say. But these aren’t the stories journalists write about other people; they are journalists’ accounts of their own lives and careers, and the tidal wave that has engulfed what is surely the fastest-changing profession on the planet.

Many of the stories come from the “golden age” of Australian journalism, bathed in the sweet light of nostalgia but also revealing a dark side. Others describe what happened when the golden age ended with the collapse of the business model that supported most journalism.

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Your ABC’s complaints process might impress you
Alan Sunderland - SMH - July 14, 2021

The ABC is ours, whether we like it or not. Unique among Australian media outlets, it is entirely funded by the public. It has no advertisers to keep on side, no shareholders to satisfy and no profits to make – it exists solely to meet its charter and serve the public interest.

So when I hear people discussing the ABC’s complaints process, I am pleased. Not just because I helped run it for several years and I am still involved from time to time in critiquing the ABC’s output, but because I believe we should all care about it and use it.

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ABC announces recipients of its inaugural composer commissioning fund
Hugh Robertson - Limelight - July 5, 2021

The ABC has announced the recipients of its inaugural composer commissioning fund, with 15 grants awarded totalling $90,000. The commissions will support a diverse range of voices and themes, including female, Indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse, and LGBTQI+ composers.

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On his selection: minister ignored two prominent women for ABC board spots, picking female mate instead
Cam Wilson - Crikey - July 5, 2021

The Coalition government ignored an independent panel’s recommendations for two women to join the ABC’s board and instead selected a friend of Communications Minister Paul Fletcher with no media experience.

A document obtained by Crikey through freedom of information reveals the list of recommended candidates for the public broadcaster’s non-executive director vacancies.

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ABC to move 300 Sydney staff from Ultimo headquarters west to Parramatta
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - June 16, 2021

The ABC will move 300 staff west to the Sydney suburb of Parramatta as part of a plan to have 75% of journalists and producers working outside of inner-city Ultimo by 2025.

The ABC has been criticised by the Coalition for being too focused on the needs of audiences in the inner cities and the move is an attempt to be more “connected and relevant” to all Australians.

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As News Corp savages its enemies, the ABC must strive for unity. Which makes it the perfect target …
Jonathan Holmes - The Guardian - June 14, 2021

The other day I got angry enough about an editorial in the Australian newspaper – which castigated in vicious terms two of the ABC’s most accomplished journalists – that I wrote a letter to the editor. A waste of time, of course: the letter wasn’t published.

So I posted it on Twitter, where it got thousands of likes, replies and retweets, almost all of them supportive. But as Ann Braine, a former teacher from Perth, tweeted: “Unfortunately those who should read it, won’t.”

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Journalists need to be watchdogs in the marketplace of ideas
Victoria Fielding - The Australian Independent Media Network - June 12, 2021

When Donald Trump launched his ‘birther movement’ in the lead up to the 2012 US presidential candidate race, his accusations about President Obama’s place of birth should never have been published in mainstream media. By publishing these demonstrably false accusations, aimed at delegitimising America’s first black President, the media gave the accusations, and in-turn Trump, an unjustified legitimacy. This coverage gave him a key step-up in his eventual rise to power in 2016. We all know how badly that ended.

Do the media ever adequately reflect on the part they played in this international abomination?

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Chris Dore defends the Australian against claim of ‘defamatory abuse’ of ABC journalists
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - June 11, 2021

The ABC has broken its silence on the highly-critical editorial the Australian published on Tuesday, Greatest enemy of truth is those who conspire to lie, saying it “made serious and unfounded allegations against two ABC journalists, Louise Milligan and Sally Neighbour, and the Four Corners team”.

“To see the Australian use its editorial space in such a way undermines the traditions of journalism it purports to stand for,” the ABC said.

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ABC boss reveals the cost of defending and ending former AG’s defamation push
Kishor Napier-Raman - Crikey - June 7, 2021

Christian Porter twice offered to settle defamation proceedings with the ABC, before finally discontinuing proceedings last week, in an agreement that saw his law firm receive $100,000 in mediation-related costs from the public broadcaster.

At a Senate estimates hearing where Coalition senators largely ventilated outrage at tweets by ABC journalists, the broadcaster's managing director David Anderson shed more light on the nature of the settlement with Porter.

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The secret state survives
Jonathan Holmes - ABC Alumni - June 5, 2021

In Australia, the raids forged a temporary alliance between all the big media players. News, Fairfax (as it then was), the commercial TV networks, the journalists’ union MEAA, the public broadcasters – all were up in arms. One day in October 2019 the nation’s newspapers carried pages of blacked out, ‘censored’ news to draw attention to Australia’s increasingly secretive and paranoid polity.

Faced with this media outcry, government responded as government does: it commissioned an inquiry – this one by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS), the body that customarily vets the ever-proliferating litter of security laws. The committee was asked by then Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter to inquire into how ‘to better balance the need for press freedom with the need for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate serious offending and obtain intelligence on security threats.’

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ABC board defends Ita Buttrose against ‘disrespectful’ spray by Liberal powerbroker
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - June 3, 2021

The ABC board has defended its chair Ita Buttrose from a “disrespectful” attack by Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger, who labelled her leadership of the public broadcaster a “terrible failure”.

Kroger’s vitriolic spray, broadcast by Sky News Australia, was so personal it forced ABC board member Joseph Gersh to mount a public defence of the media veteran on ABC radio in Melbourne.

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Classic 100: “The music you can’t live without” on the ABC, which we can’t live without.
Robin Boyle - Pearls and Irritations - June 3, 2021

This year is the 19th Classic 100 countdown. Previous rank holders can be viewed in the Classic 100 Archive. Over the years, listeners have been asked for their favourite pieces in many categories, including piano, opera, concerto, chamber music and symphonies. Two have been dedicated to just the one composer, Mozart (2006) and Beethoven (2020), both prolific.

This year the Classic 100 is about the music you can’t live without! It’s not too late to vote – you can nominate 10 pieces from an enormous selection. It certainly is not too late to listen.

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ABC statement on Christian Porter litigation
ABC - May 31, 2021

Christian Porter has decided to discontinue his defamation action against the ABC and Louise Milligan.

All parties have agreed to not pursue the matter any further. No damages will be paid.

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Christian Porter discontinues defamation action: ABC
The New Daily - May 31, 2021

Federal minister Christian Porter has discontinued his defamation action against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan, the broadcaster says.

“All parties have agreed to not pursue the matter any further,” the ABC said in a statement on Monday.

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Christian Porter defamation case: judge rules Porter’s barrister Sue Chrysanthou must stand aside
Michael McGowan - The Guardian - May 27, 2021

Christian Porter’s defamation bid against the ABC has suffered a hammer blow after a federal court judge ruled his star barrister would have to stand down from the case.

In a judgment with potentially far-reaching consequences for Porter’s case against the national broadcaster, Justice Thomas Thawley said in a ruling on Thursday that Sue Chrysantou SC would have to relinquish the brief because she had received confidential information which was relevant to the case and could present a “danger of misuse”.

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Is a former Murdoch executive the ABC’s next best hope?
Rick Morton - The Saturday Paper - May 22 - 28, 2021

Ita Buttrose is not one to shrink from an argument.

On May 5, the chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation appeared for the second time this year at the National Press Club in Canberra – this time speaking on the subject of eye health and an ageing Australian population – and she performed with charming distinction.

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Good news week
Margaret Simons - Inside Story - May 21, 2021

Supporters of the ABC had plenty of reason for a sense of foreboding and cynicism when the federal government announced its latest appointments to the ABC board earlier this week. So it came as a relief when ABC insiders reacted with comments along the lines of “It’s not as bad as we expected.”

The fear was that the government would appoint ideologues with a brief to punish the organisation. Instead, two out of the three newcomers — former News Corp executive Peter Tonagh and former Channel 7 Perth managing director Mario D’Orazio — are unquestionably creditable appointments.

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Australia needs to strengthen press freedom laws and promote transparency, inquiry finds
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - May 19, 2021

Laws to protect public interest journalism should be beefed up and a culture of transparency promoted, a senate committee report on press freedom has recommended.

Media companies told the inquiry that press freedom and the protection of whistleblowers is essential to democracy and must be balanced with national security issues.

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Peter Tonagh, Fiona Balfour, Mario D’Orazio join ABC board
Zoe Samios - SMH - May 17, 2021

The federal government has appointed a former News Corp executive who once proposed a back-office merger of Australia’s two public broadcasters as a new member of the ABC board.

Former News Corp and Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh, who led the government’s 2018 ABC and SBS efficiency review, former Seven executive and Australia Post board member Mario D’Orazio, and Fiona Balfour, a former chief information officer at Qantas and Telstra, will join the board.

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$40 million Fox Sports funding on Auditor-General’s radar
Jennifer Duke - SMH - May 17, 2021

The Auditor-General will consider reviewing $40 million in federal government grants provided to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp since 2017 to support coverage of women’s sport.

A letter sent on Monday from Auditor-General Grant Hehir to Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young says he will look at adding an examination of the funding to News Corp’s sports pay-TV broadcasting arm to his office’s 2021-22 annual audit work program, which is due to be published in July.

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ABC demands rightwing thinktank correct ‘misleading’ claims on public trust
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - May 16, 2021

The ABC has demanded the Institute of Public Affairs correct “erroneous and misleading claims” the public broadcaster said the rightwing lobby group made to a parliamentary committee.

The IPA claimed the ABC was not the most trusted media organisation in the country and “only 15.4% of Australians watch it” in its submission to the Senate’s media diversity inquiry.

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‘Completely excluded’: budget delivers $58.6m to media but ABC misses out
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - May 12, 2021

The Morrison government handed out an extra $58.6m to the media sector in the budget but the ABC missed out on the largesse.

SBS got $30m, newswire Australian Associated Press received $15m, community broadcasting got $8m and the media regulator secured $4.2m.

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Tasmanian convict Andrew Bent's newspaper first edition in Australia's press freedom
Rachel Edwards - ABC - May 5, 2021

It was a Sunday morning in 1810, and Andrew Bent had been sprung for selling stolen boots in a London pub.

The 20-year-old, who was an orphan, was sentenced to death for burglary. But the sentence was commuted, and he was sent to Australia.

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Starving public broadcasting of funds
MEAA - Press Freedom - April 30, 2021

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has never been under greater attack in its long and storied history than it is now. The cuts to the ABC began in 2014 will, by 2022, total more than $780 million.

The savagery of those cuts has led to programs being axed, a slide in locally produced drama, foreign bureaux have been closed and hundreds of years of journalistic experience has been lost due to redundancies.

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ABC colleagues pay tribute to retiring chief international correspondent Phil Williams
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - April 27, 2021

The ABC correspondent Phil Williams has borne witness to the world’s biggest news events for more than four decades but his enthusiasm for storytelling is undiminished.

“I’m still naively excited, like a little boy by telling stories,” Williams tells Guardian Australia. “It’s really not the adrenaline that drives me, it’s just telling and explaining people’s stories to my tribe.

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The arc of justice
Margaret Simons - Inside Story - April 24, 2021

Memories can be short, and the fever of a particular time soon fades. That is part of the reason why journalists, once again, are being accused of advocacy and campaigning, as though this were a fresh issue and a novel pathology instead of an accusation made every time published facts cause power to be disrupted.

People forget, for example, that fourteen years ago Four Corners journalist Chris Masters, one of Australia’s most distinguished investigative journalists, made a program and then published a massively controversial book about radio shock jock Alan Jones. He analysed Jones’s political influence and revealed that he was gay — which was no secret but also not widely known. He published disturbing allegations about Jones’s relationship with the boys and young men under his care when he was a teacher and rugby coach.

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Media concentration by Murdoch, Nine and Stokes, and ABC cuts, a danger to democracy – report
Elizabeth Minter - Michael West Media - April 12, 2021

“[Australia’s] highly concentrated media ownership has had a corrosive impact on democracy. It has skewed public debate, favouring the interests of the wealthy and powerful over the public good.

This has been clearly evidenced in the national debates on climate change policy, where the scale of News Corp’s climate misinformation has hindered climate policy, encouraged negative sentiments towards climate action, and actively driven a political wedge into our public debate. This would not have been possible in a more diverse media landscape.”

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ABC managing director says reporting on Christian Porter allegation was of the ‘highest quality’
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - March 23, 2021

The ABC managing director, David Anderson, has mounted a strong defence of Louise Milligan’s reporting on Christian Porter, saying her journalism was in the public interest and of the “highest quality”.

Last week the attorney general commenced defamation proceedings against the ABC and the investigative journalist in the federal court to counter “false allegations against him in relation to a person who he met when he was a teenager”.

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Christian Porter's defamation action threatens to further chill public interest journalism
Daniel Joyce - The Guardian - March 16, 2021

The attorney general, Christian Porter, has launched defamation proceedings against the ABC and Four Corners journalist Louise Milligan – which means that the first legal officer is suing the national public broadcaster, using a cause of action that he has said is in need of reform.

The federal court has made the pleadings available in this public interest case, and the statement of claim was filed on the same day that Australians gathered across the country for the women’s March 4 Justice to call for gender justice at all levels of our society.

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ABC boss David Anderson defends broadcaster’s independence
Lisa Visentin - SMH - March 15, 2021

ABC managing director David Anderson has launched a strong defence of the independence of the public broadcaster from government intervention, amid a deepening rift with the federal government over its political coverage.

Addressing the role of the ABC in a speech in Melbourne on Monday, Mr Anderson said it was “in no-one’s interest” to see any erosion of the ABC’s independence.

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Christian Porter launches defamation action against the ABC
Michaela Whitbourn - SMH - March 15, 2021

Attorney-General Christian Porter has launched Federal Court defamation proceedings against the ABC over an online article that he alleges portrays him as the perpetrator of a “brutal” rape that contributed to a woman taking her own life.

The lawsuit is expected to put an end to calls for a public inquiry into his fitness to remain in office because a trial would ventilate many of the same issues before a judge, and involve the same witnesses.

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ABC wins big at inaugural Australian documentary awards
Mediaweek - March 4, 2021

The ABC has led the way at the inaugural Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC) Awards, winning four of the six content categories on offer.

The ABC’s contribution to factual storytelling was recognised across screen, audio, and online, with AIDC Award wins for The Australian Dream, Miriam Margolyes Almost Australian, The Eleventh, and the Mt Resilience augmented reality experience.

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Aunty’s accidental MD: how David Anderson rose to the top of the ABC
Jane Cadzow - SMH - February 27, 2021

It’s Monday morning and David Anderson is on his way to work. Once, if you were boss of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, you travelled in a chauffeured government car. Not any more. Anderson is at the wheel of his 14-year-old Toyota Yaris, a vehicle so small and lacking in zip that his nickname for it is “the shopping trolley”. He’s a tall man and the top of his head almost touches the roof as he trundles along city streets towards the ABC’s headquarters at Ultimo in central Sydney.

Anderson isn’t complaining. At least he no longer has to pedal from place to place. He mentions to me, in the passenger seat, that before he started his career at the national broadcaster, he had a job as a courier in the Adelaide CBD, delivering letters and packages by bicycle. One day, he collided with a bus. “The bus didn’t hit me,” he says. “I hit the bus."

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What do viewers want from current affairs show 7.30? It’s complex
Craig Mathieson - SMH - February 24, 2021

“Thanks for your company,” Leigh Sales will say, four nights a week, as she wraps up another edition of 7.30. It’s meant to serve as a note of solidarity between the host of the ABC’s current affairs television flagship and the show’s audience, but in 2021, that’s not easily achieved.

There’s no other current affairs program on Australian television — either historically or in terms of current reach — like 7.30, and the demands that makes as the expectations of audiences change can be stringent.

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ABC should not be taking any ad money from Google or Facebook: ABC Alumni
Radio Info - February 22, 2021

As the Media Bargaining Code issue heats up, a group of ABC Alumni have warned of the potential risk to the national broadcaster's independence if it receives money directly from Google or other digital media companies.

The ABC has rejected that claim and says any monies that flow through from the implementation of the Media Code will be handled by the ABC's Commercial Division at arms length from programs and content.

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As the Media Bargaining Code issue heats up, a group of ABC Alumni have warned of the potential risk to the national broadcaster's independence if it receives money directly from Google or other digital media companies.

The ABC has rejected that claim and says any monies that flow through from the implementation of the Media Code will be handled by the ABC's Commercial Division at arms length from programs and content.

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Greg Hunt accuses ABC's Michael Rowland of 'identifying with left' over Liberal logo questions
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - February 10, 2021

Greg Hunt has accused ABC presenter Michael Rowland of “identifying with the left” in a tense exchange about the health minister’s decision to plaster the Liberal party logo on a government announcement about the Pfizer vaccine.

Last week Hunt attached the Liberal party logo to his Twitter post about securing an extra 10m doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

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Video pins the attack on the ABC in one single story
David Tilley - Screen Hub - February 5, 2021

Murdoch & Morrison v. The ABC transcends the idea of a campaign video to connect us to central issues in democracy, just as they climax across the world. 

In our culture, the Murdoch press dominates the media, pushing agendas which are frankly terrifying. To use just one example: pick up any mass circulation daily paper and see how they bash politicians trying to save us from a pandemic. It hurts my head to think about it. But it happens throughout the English-speaking world. 

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Anita Jacoby, Peter Tonagh among ABC board considerations
Zoe Samios & Lisa Visentin - SMH - February 1, 2021

Two well-known media identities are among the candidates being considered for the ABC’s board.

Media industry sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said former Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh and former broadcaster Anita Jacoby have been approached to take on non-executive director positions following the departure of Kristin Ferguson and Donny Walford last November.

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'Australians shouldn't be forking out twice': ABC pays Foxtel up to $35,000 for each Matildas match
Jennifer Duke - SMH - January 5, 2021

The ABC paid News Corp's Foxtel up to $35,000 for each Matildas match aired by the taxpayer-funded broadcaster last financial year, prompting criticism that the pay-TV network was double-dipping into the public purse.

A response to a question on notice provided in December by the Department of Communications shows the ABC paid Foxtel up to $105,000 to produce three matches featuring the national women's soccer team in 2019-20.

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