August 26, 2016

Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note September 2016

By Nick Feik

What is the role of the ABC?

This question has never been more important. As commercial newsrooms struggle amid collapsing revenue – as jobs are lost, desks are closed – and their very existence comes under threat, the public will look to the ABC to fill the information breach.

This is but one of the ABC’s roles, however.

“There is no aspect of Australian life,” Margaret Simons writes in her essay for the Monthly, “that it doesn’t touch.” The ABC is our most important cultural institution, essential to the broadcasting of drama, documentary, music, sport, kids’ television and much more. “And now it has a new boss who is largely an unknown quantity, saying some worrying things and, so far, resistant to questioning and explanation.”

For this issue, Simons, a long-time observer of the ABC, has written the first serious appraisal of Michelle Guthrie’s leadership. In light of the ABC’s recent decision to enter into a promotional partnership with Swisse Wellness, it seems an apposite time to ask of Guthrie, “Does she understand the job, and the complexity of the organisation now under her stewardship?” The answer affects us all.

Speaking of changing of the guard, the September issue sees the arrival of a new regular cartoonist. Readers, please welcome the inimitable Oslo Davis! We look forward to presenting his monthly column, ‘In Light of Recent Events’. And we thank the wonderful First Dog on the Moon for his ‘Rum Corps’ and ‘Whistleblowers’ series over the past two years. We can hear sighs of relief from crooked cops and rotten institutions around the country.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of The Monthly.

@nickfeik

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