ABC Friends News

COVID – Norman Swan Slams the Critics

ABC Health journalist Dr. Norman Swan has pulled no punches in a frank public assessment of the reactions to his fearless reporting during the pandemic.

Speaking during a webinar hosted by ABC Friends’ ACT & Southeast NSW branch, he described the independent media environment in Australia as being at “crisis level.”

(Dr. Norman Swan)

Dr. Swan told the webinar meeting:

Be under no illusion that independent news media are under threat in Australia…it is at crisis level.

The authorities were telling us what they wanted us to know, not what was really happening.

Whenever there is a crisis, the country abandons News Ltd and heads for the ABC

In spite of being accused by News Ltd outlets of being a “fraud” and “dishonest,” Dr. Swan said the pandemic has seen Australians flock in huge numbers to trusted organisations like the ABC.


He said he has detected a big growth in health literacy in Australians through listener questions that come in for the Coronacast podcast which he co-hosts with Tegan Taylor.

The Coronacast podcast, which was expected to only last for a few months at the beginning of the pandemic, attracts more than 3.5 million unique downloads a month.