Michelle Guthrie: ABC needs more diversity

Michelle Guthrie

On her first day as ABC’s new managing director Michelle Guthrie has written to staff, flagging changes ahead.

“We must extend our reach and our relevance into areas where we are under-represented,” she wrote.

“That means more diversity in both our staff and our content.

“We must collaborate more, with a clear focus on serving the audience, regardless of platform or device.”

“Australia is changing and we need to change with it,” she said.

“Shaped by my background and work experience, I passionately believe that the ABC should be relevant to all citizens.”

Meanwhile, ABC will learn of its next funding in the federal budget tomorrow night.

Fairfax tips the broadcaster will receive $13.5 million a year in funding for its Enhanced News Gathering initiative – almost as much as the $15 million it requested. The Australian expects cuts of around $5 million.

“On Wednesday, I will inform you of the details and the ABC’s response,” she said of the funding.


  1. Mark Scott left arguing for more diversity for the ABC, the very thing he failed to deal with in the 10 years of his service. If she is serious Michelle Guthrie needs to change the culture at the ABC which also means replacing commissioning editors and giving a clear brief as to what she seeks to achieve. It needs to be hands on. Otherwise the ABC will remain very white bread and culturally narrow.

  2. It’s interesting that Rupert wants a cut to ABC news funding so he can sell more papers whilst the more financially troubled Fairfax expects an increase in funding. Paranoia vs reality?
    Michelle’s role is to be the public face of the ABC, schmooze politicians, appease the politically appointed board members, put out the occasional bushfire, give directions and inspiration to her exec team and perhaps have a “pet” project which, hopefully, won’t be Rocky and Bullwinkle. It’s a job that her predecessors have had to grow into.

  3. First impressions of Michelle Guthrie are that she doesn’t appear to be the articulate and passionate advocate of the ABC that Mark Scott was. I hope that I am proven wrong. The last thing we want is someone who talks in platitudes.

  4. More diversity she has got to be kidding there is already heaps of diversity on both the ABC and SBS has she ever watched ABC and SBS programming Li Lin Chi newsreader and ABC breakfast weekend presenter just two examples and there are many more .No what the ABC needs to do is provide local news for regional cities it broadcasts in both on TV and on ABC radio.there is no local news for centres such as Wollongong and other regional cities and ABC local radio needs to provide more local content two or three hours of a week day morning simply is not enough.that’s where the money our money needs to be spent especially now that commercial media is cutting back on local content in newspapers its the ABC responsibility to provide local content its our money from taxpayers in regional centres that pays for the ABC.

  5. “More diversity”? Certainly. How about more male reporters in the female dominated ABC Newsrooms? The same applies to SBS. You can tune into either station’s news and often there is barely a male voice to be heard.

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