Journalism Academic Margaret Simons has written a characteristically probing assessment of the legacy of outgoing ABC News Director Gaven Morris in an article published on the Inside Story website.
Describing the News Director role as the most “thankless” job in journalism, Simons explores the controversies and highlights of Morris’ six year tenure.
Margaret Simons writes:
There is surely no more thankless job in journalism than news director of the national broadcaster. You’re the target of predictable slings and arrows from government and the subjects of the ABC’s journalism. Audiences have their pet programs and nostalgia for earlier times. You are spending taxpayer money, with all the attendant scrutiny. And the culture wars rage on around you
It is the first, and most comprehensive interview with Morris since he announced his resignation about a month ago.
He says at least part of the reason for his departure is due to its relentlessness:
There are 1300 staff at ABC News. It’s a $200 million budget. The news cycle is twenty-four hours. You get really tired in a role like this.
It’s been announced that his effective deputy, Gavin Fang, will act in the role until a full-time replacement is settled upon.
Originally from Perth, Gavin Fang spent much of his career based at the ABC in Melbourne.