Wanted: New Ringmaster for the ABC

Wanted: New Ringmaster for the ABC, by Geoffrey Luck.

The overdue removal of Michelle Guthrie as the ABC’s Managing Director will do nothing to arrest the slide in journalistic standards and the collapse of the organisation’s credibility.

Rather, it confirms the death-wish of the national broadcaster by consistently appointing chief executives incapable of forcing a disciplined obedience to the standards which the parliament of the people defined.

Since the ABC was transformed from a government commission to a business corporation with a board of directors in 1984 it has had seven managing directors. With the possible exception of David Hill …, none has been able to combat the entrenched power of staff interests.

As former chairman Maurice Newman diagnosed, this had led to ‘groupthink’ on every social and political issue. News and Current Affairs flout the Broadcasting Act and its charter, the Code of Practice and Editorial Guidelines. Objectivity and impartiality are replaced with ‘consensus’ interpretations, suppressing or distorting contrary views. …

The staff’s criteria for Guthrie’s replacement have already been outlined by newsreader Juanita Phillips: “Whoever the next MD is, they need a deep understanding of the history, purpose and importance of an in dependent public broadcaster, and be ready to fight bare-knuckled to protect it.”

Allan Ashbolt, the Marxist who led the left’s march through the ABC … winners are grinners

On the other hand, there is every likelihood that the incumbent will have a bare-knuckle fight to get ABC broadcasters to adhere to their charter. And nothing will change.

hat-tip Stephen Neil