Michelle Guthrie will not be much mourned within the ABC. Poor at communicating with the public and dealing with government, she never managed to convince the staff that she understood and cared about public broadcasting.
But we would be very wrong to think that her departure is a good thing for Australia’s most important cultural institution. It leaves the ABC vulnerable and destabilised and highlights longer-term issues that seriously weaken the organisation. For this, Guthrie and the board share responsibility, as does the federal government.
As a result, at a peak in the ever-present culture wars, the ABC does not have a constructive conversation with government, or with the opposition likely to be the incoming government, or with the Australian people, or with its own staff.
That is the consequence of a poor recruiting decision and a chair and a board apparently incapable of constructively managing the result.
So what went wrong? Today’s announcement resulted from a combination of long-term issues and short-term problems.
Read the full article on Inside Story.