Mar 24 • 26M

Media Unmade - Chapter 21: Taking sides

In which Scott Morrison puts Ita Buttrose in charge of the ABC, with insider David Anderson as managing director, budget cuts bite and everyone loses sight of a journalist's role

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Insights into the media and marketing industry from an Australian perspective, from the founder of Mumbrella and the author of the best selling book Media Unmade, Tim Burrowes
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Welcome to the latest Unmade podcast. Today’s edition features another extract from the audio edition of my book, Media Unmade, which is published by Hardie Grant and available online and in book stores.

In today’s chapter, I explore the ever worsening relationship cycle between the Coalition government and the ABC, as PM Scott Morrison and communications minister Paul Fletcher pursued regular confrontations, even after their pick of Ita Buttrose stepped up as chair.

Ita Buttrose was Scott Morrison’s captain’s pick as ABC chair | Getty Images

The chapter also recaps the extraordinary 2019 raid on the ABC by Federal Police in response to The Afghan Files revelations.

And relations with the government got worse after Four Corners investigated the conduct of Coalition ministers - focusing on Christian Porter and Alan Tudge - in its “Inside the Canberra Bubble” episode.

The pandemic saw politicians become increasingly aggressive in accusing ABC inquisitors of bias including an unedifying attack on News Breakfast presenter Michael Rowland from health minister Greg Hunt.

But the ABC was not blameless. Even as Twitter trolls attacked its presenters, some of its staff struggled to remain impartial in their social media output.


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Audio production on Media Unmade comes courtesy of Abe’s Audio, the people to talk to about voiceovers and sound design for corporate videos, digital content, commercials and podcasts.

As ever, I welcome your thoughts to letters@unmade.media, or via the ugly brown comment button below.

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Time to let you go about your Thursday. Have a great day.

Toodlepip…

Tim Burrowes