Kerry O’Brien inducted into Hall of Fame

Legendary ABC journalist, Kerry O’Brien, has been inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame.

O’Brien’s media career spans more than fifty years, thirty three of them at the ABC, starting on This Day Tonight.

He was the inaugural presenter of Lateline for six years, the editor and presenter of 7.30 for fifteen years, and the presenter of Four Corners for five.

O’Brien has specialised in national politics for the ABC as well as the Seven and 10 networks.

“The ABC has never been the sole bastion of good journalism, but I was always at my natural home,” he said.

O’Brien took aim at ABC budget cuts, prejudice against journalism, with a message to every person working at ABC.

“My message to every person working in Aunty’s embrace today is simple: keep your heads held high and your eye firmly fix odd delivering programs of relevance, quality and integrity for people in every corner of Australia.”

He also called on the Australian public to fight for the ABC, citing the recent AFP raids on the broadcaster’s Sydney headquarters.

“Don’t ever again allow politicians diminish the public broadcaster. It is one of the most precious institutions we have.”

He also highlighted the failure to recognise Indigenous Australians and acknowledging the Uluru statement.

Avoiding the word ‘journey,’ he closed by saying, “This has been a wonderful road to have been allowed to have travelled. Thanks to all of you, especially those of you in the living rooms of Australia.”

O’Brien now adds the Hall of Fame award to his six Walkley awards including the Gold Walkley.

This post updates.

11 Comments:

  1. Ah poor old Red Kezza, was it selective dementia or journalistic artifice that led him to only mention the cuts to the ABC “since 2000” so conveniently forgetting to mention the largest (by the ABC’s own figures 25%) which were made by the ALP under Hawke and Keating? Not to mention that the ALP government under Rudd/Gillard/Rudd had ample opportunity to reinstate the cuts made by Hawke/Keating/Howard, but chose not to. It’s such a pity that Kezza,, having concealed his own political views so well so as to do a terrific job over many years now feels unconstrained and uses his esteemed position to push a particular barrel rather than admit that all politicians are basically the same when it comes to ABC funding.

    • I believe Kerry is spot on, the reasons for LNP cuts to ABC are for a different reason than the Hawke/Keating cuts. The evidence is well documented.

    • i don’t recall the AFP raiding the ABC offices & ABC journalists homes within weeks of the ALP winning an election, so perhaps it is your memory that is selective….

      • Funny, I don’t recall the AFP raiding “ABC journalists homes” within weeks of an election either … what was that about “selective” (or “false”) memory? Methinks you’re confusing this with the raid on the home of one of Rupert’s hacks.

  2. daveinprogress

    Nice surprise to see this happen. I worked with Kerry in the 90s and he was a masterful presenter and journo who could turn his hand and head to literally any subject and did so! I was in awe of his skill. He was also someone who remembered you years later. A gentleman and a scholar. But fierce too! Force of nature.

  3. carolemorrissey

    What a spectacular speech. He said what others can’t say because they don’t want to lose their jobs. I hope the Govt was watching.

  4. This was one of my favourite moments of tonight – a rare moment of credibility for tonight’s ceremony.

    Kerry O’Brien is one of Australia’s finest.

  5. Congratulations Kerry. A wonderful mentor to so many aspiring journalists. Great commentary on the politics of the Government funding of the ABC. The Government has to value the ABC and see it as an asset to the country. I’m all for more funding for the ABC as I value the role they play in our society. I must admit I have noticed that the ABC programming seems a little left wing which needs some moving to the centre to make it fair for both sides. The ABC should not be seen as opposition to SKY News right wing nut job journalism, it need to be stand alone with no opposition and dead set in the centre… the old saying ‘fence sitting’! Anyway best wishes to Kerry on a wonderful career and hopefully a long retirement.

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