Citizen Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Conroy’

Shanahan and Bolt doctor a quote to accuse Conroy of doctoring a quote: Welcome to Murdoch news:

In Margo Kingston, Media Reform on March 21, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Senator Conroy on Insiders

Senator Conroy on Insiders

By Margo Kingston
March 21, 2013

Stephen Conroy said on Insiders

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Denis Shanahan 19 March

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In his evidence to the Finkelstein Inquiry into media standards, Professor McKinnon… said:

“One editor jovially once remarked that he would rather double his annual contribution than have a complaint upheld.”

Andrew Bolt yesterday


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Headline: Labor uses doctored evidence to grab state control of the media

How despicable – and hypocritical. The deceitful Gillard Government itself doctors a quote to justify its attack on the free press…

That word “jovially” was omitted by the Government when it tried to argue it had reasons for demanding state control over the press…

A joke by an editor is presented by Conroy was a serious proposal. And it is done by Conroy omitting a crucial word.

Official Finkelstein inquiry transcript, 16 November 2011, page 48 

McKINNON: However, I have had an editor say to me, “If you promise not to uphold any complaints from my paper, we will double our subscription. Is that a deal?”  It was said over lunch, but the irritation, the consideration about personal reputation drives people more than money in that circumstance.

Thank you to Jacob Stam (@stamja) and Matthew from Canberra for alerting me to this matter.

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Why can’t Kim Williams describe the public interest?

In Journalism, Margo Kingston, Media Reform, MSM on March 18, 2013 at 9:33 PM
Created by Martin Davies

Created by Martin Davies

By Margo Kingston
March 18, 2013

Kim Williams is Murdoch’s chief executive in Australia. Williams cannot define, or even explore, what ‘the public interest’ might be in relation to newspapers, because it is completely relative: ‘The public interest is as long as a piece of string… it is in the eye of the beholder.’

And his beholder is Murdoch, whose view of public interest is his commercial and political interests.

Here’s my attempt:

‘Freedom of the press is not a property right of owners. It is a right of the people. It is part of their right to free expression, inseparable from their right to inform themselves.’ (Kent Royal Commission into media ownership in Canada).

And here is my opinion of the role a journalist plays in upholding that public interest:

‘The duty of the journalist is the same as that of the historian –to seek out the truth, above all things, and to present to his readers not such things as statecraft would wish them to know but the truth as near as he can attain it.’ (London Times editor John Thadeus Delane,1852)

Big media owners are motivated by profit and power. Greens Senator Scott Ludlum asked Kerry Stokes, owner the the West Australian newspaper: ‘Are you saying you have no public interest obligations apart from just to make money for your shareholders?’

Stokes: ‘They are one and the same.’

This explains in full why Stokes censored and punished journalists in the Jill Singer scandal.

Journalists, as professionals, must comply with a professional ethics code. It is up to us to uphold the public interest. But we have no power without the support of our colleagues acting collectively and an effective accountability mechanism. These days, employed journos have no power due to ongoing staff cuts.

At Fairfax, we managed for a long time to uphold the public interest by having a code of editorial independence and strong collegiate support with the support of the Fairfax family. Now there is Gina.

The media reforms, as weak as they are, give ethical journalism a chance, both by making self-regulation meaningful and potentially preventing yet further domination by Murdoch’s media. They also give citizens the chance for protection against abuse of power by newspapers.

Our job is to restore trust in journalists. As @murphyroo wrote today in her last piece for Fairfax before joining The Guardian, The media must embrace reform to survive:

‘…the principles guiding the proposed changes? Let’s look through the static and consider them.

‘There are two: that concentration of media ownership in Australia will not get any worse than it is now. Not any better, mind you – just no worse. And that self-regulation – a principle that newspapers have rightly fought for and defended – should be made to actually work; that people who are the victims of intended or unintended abuses by media companies have their complaints properly heard.

‘The principles in this package are, in fact, the challenges the mainstream media must meet in order to survive the transition currently upon us. We in the media must renew our mandate with audiences by innovating and moving beyond the strictures of the old masthead and network models, and by being accurate and reliable.

‘We can pretend the only player here with an existential trust problem is the Gillard government, and wilfully ignore our own parallel universe: the evidence that audiences don’t trust us either.

‘We can comfort ourselves in self-delusion, and strut and fret. Or we can spend less time swaggering and railing against our enemies and more time renewing the mission of contemporary journalism. We are tellers of truths, news breakers, curators and contextualisers; and at our best and bravest, we are people who write things that someone, somewhere, does not want written.

‘The only people who can save or destroy journalism are journalists. And we will save it only if we exhibit courage and humility, not manufactured conflict.’ Read the rest of this entry »

Media reform laws address abuses of long-fought for freedoms

In Democracy, Journalism, Media Reform, MSM, News Limited on March 15, 2013 at 5:59 PM

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By Matt da Silva (@mattdasilva)
March 15th, 2013
Source:Happy Antipodean

In a useful run-down on his blog, journalism law academic Mark Pearson outlines some objections to the government’s proposed media reform legislation. It is a little brief and although it starts out promisingly, political concerns quickly rush to the fore. Here’s his first objection, near the top:

Here we have a piece of legislation proposing a statutory mechanism for the supervision of industry-based self-regulation of print and online news media.

That, dear readers, is ‘regulation’.

Fair enough, and we’ll get to my reaction to this point later.

But for people interested in understanding the implications of the proposed laws in terms of the Privacy Act, Pearson’s blog post is very useful. There has been no explanation like his from the ABC, Fairfax or News Ltd. Kim Williams, the News Ltd CEO, appeared on Sky News, but he simply echoed the uninformative tropes that were spun on the media reform issue by the Daily Terror and the Australian. These kinds of rants merely use the public’s ignorance as a bludgeon with which to punish the government.

Pearson, on the other hand, goes through the detail of what could happen if the laws got through Parliament, and how they could materially affect publishers of news. He informs us, which is one of the things that journalists who go to school to study the profession are told is a key component of their craft. Please read his blog post if you have time – you will not regret it.

Pearson then looks back to what he says is the ‘politics that has cruelled this whole media regulation review over the past 18 months’.

What he’s referring to are reactions from politicians to the hacking scandal that engulfed the media in the UK, the repercussions of which continue to play out. As part of the debacle, News Corp’sNews of the World newspaper was shut down in July 2011.There was also Bob Brown’s famous “hate media” spray in May 2011 that took place in front of a group of reporters at Parliament House.

In essence, Pearson is saying that dissatisfaction among politicians on the Left combined with universal horror at what had happened in the UK motivated them to launch the Finkelstein Inquiry, which began in mid-September 2011 and reported to the government in February 2012. Between February 2012 and March 2013 the communications minister, Stephen Conroy, was also looking at the Convergence Review, which was about media ownership rules.

Or he wasn’t, I don’t know. It seems like a long time to make us wait. Waiting ensures that the original emotions associated with the issues drift away from popular consciousness and it dulls the debate, opening it up to exploitation by interested parties.

What a lot of people have completely forgotten about is Robert Manne’s Quarterly Essay on News Ltd’s Australian, which came out in September 2011. Titled Bad News, it made points that are extremely germane to how the current debate is panning out. But it’s old history, you might say. No, it’s not. Just listen to what Manne says, keeping in mind Bob Brown’s expressions of unhappiness.

It is an unusually ideological paper, committed to advancing the causes of neoliberalism in economics and neoconservatism in the sphere of foreign policy. Its style and tone are unlike that of any other newspaper in the nation’s history. The Australian is ruthless in pursuit of those who oppose its worldview – market fundamentalism, minimal action on climate change, the federal Intervention in indigenous affairs, uncritical support for the American alliance and for Israel, opposition to what it calls political correctness and moral relativism.

Note that Manne was still working on the essay when Brown made his position plain in May 2011, but it’s no coincidence that they both sing from the same score. I wrote about Manne’s essay when it came out.  And I also wrote about the reaction from News Ltd a week later. That reaction mirrors in its tone and general character the reaction we’ve seen in the past few days of News Ltd newspapers to Conroy’s proposed media reform laws. Read the rest of this entry »

Sane analysis and comment on media reform

In Fairfax, Journalism, Margo Kingston, Media Reform, MSM, News Limited on March 15, 2013 at 1:54 PM

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By Margo Kingston
March 15, 2013

In this post we’ve linked to sane analysis and commentary on media reform. We’ve also asked you to nominate a fair, accurate and balanced MSM news story  – the criteria print media groups tell their self-regulation body the Press Council they strive for. If you can bear it, here is Crikey’s wrap of the print media reaction.

I have been told by an informed source that Murdoch’s media have gone troppo on strengthening self-regulation as a bait and switch tactic. On this view, freedom of the press is a smokescreen for their real objection, that the proposed new laws would seek to limit even more concentration of media ownership by rolling Foxtel into News Ltd. Murdoch also wants all cross media laws abolished. ‘They are playing different game to the one everyone is watching’.

So questions for Abbott, if anyone in the MSM can be bothered – do you support the governments proposals on cross media ownership and strengthening provisions to protect Australians from more concentration of media ownership?

Abbott is a puppet of Murdoch. Be afraid.

Anyone seen anything on what the media reforms would mean for the size and reach of Murdoch’s Australian empire? Is there anything out there?

Here are the sane pieces we’ve found so far. More nominations welcome.

ABC The Drum

Tim Dunlop: Consumers won’t pay for news they don’t trust

The Conversation

Terry Flew: Low-key Conroy proposals are media reform lite

Martin Hirst: From ‘hate media’ to another fine mess: How media reform got derailed

Susan Forde: Media reform: hysterical attacks on weak Conroy suggestions tell the real story

Crikey

Bernard Keane: The Stalinist nightmare of the media regulating itself

Bernard Keane: If you want to see government control of journalism, try this:

Matthew Knott: Freedom of speech at risk? How Conroy’s advocate could hurt

Magaret Simons: Minimalist media reform that only starts the job (Paywall)

NewMatilda

Wendy Bacon: Conroy’s All Or Nothing Media Reforms

Ben Eltham: The Media And The Arts Both Need Diversity

The Global Mail

Mike Seccombe: The New Growth Industry: Fact Creation 

The Failed Estate

Jim Parker: The Real Despots

Macro Business

Of comrade Cconroy and the loon pond

Fairfax

Elizabeth Knight  Shrill response to media reforms

The Australian Independent Media Network

Alan Austin: News Limited’s tawdry campaign proves Conroy’s point

ABC

Barry Cassidy: ‘Breathtaking’ reaction from News Limited

Richard Aedy: Reporting on yourself – Media coverage of its own reform and regulations

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The MSM won’t report this, so here’s Gillard and Conroy on media reform

In Freedom of Speech, Journalism, Media Reform, MSM, News Limited, Press Gallery on March 13, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Photo Alex Ellinghausen @ellinghausen  #thepulselive

Photo Alex Ellinghausen @ellinghausen #thepulselive

Question Time House of Representatives March 13, 2013

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth) (14:29): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can she provide the House examples of published content in breach of the standards her government wishes to enforce through the Public Interest Media Advocate? Is the front page of today’s Telegraph such an example? If she cannot provide any examples, what exactly is the mischief, the problem, that her new media controls are intended to address?

Ms GILLARD (Lalor—Prime Minister) (14:30): I thank the member for Wentworth for his question and I understand its motivations. I understand that the opposition have decided to seek some political advantage by bandwagoning with media interests and media organisations, transparent—and bordering on the laughable—as that is. Yes, it is.

Opposition members interjecting—

Ms GILLARD: I am glad the opposition have the good grace to laugh when their motivations on this matter are transparently exposed. To the member for Wentworth I would say this: before we get into any sanctimonious nonsense about freedom of speech, it was under the Howard government that two journalists—

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER: Order! There seems to be sanctimonious disrespect for the standing orders. I am not going to preside over, yet again, another day when not a word can be heard in this chamber. The Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD: Yes—this is the kind of hypocrisy that we see from the opposition. It was under the Howard government that two News Limited journalists faced jail for contempt of court. The reaction of the Howard government: do nothing. The reaction of this government: provide journalist shield laws. It was under the Howard government that churches would have their grants taken away—their services smashed—if they spoke out against government policy.

Mr Turnbull: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. This is not relevant. I am more than happy to debate freedom of the press. I have asked the Prime Minister—

The SPEAKER: The member for Wentworth will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has the call. Read the rest of this entry »

Media despots, tsars and henchmen bury media reform

In Democracy, Fairfax, Freedom of Speech, Journalism, MSM, News Limited, Noely Neate on March 13, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Daily Telegraph Front Page March 13 2013

Daily Telegraph Front Page March 13 2013

By Noely Nate
March 13, 2013
OMG! Australian Media Reform means the sky falling in, freedom of the press under attack, the Government trying to gag the media.  Growing anger at ‘Soviet’ media reforms, Gillard’s Henchman Attacks Our Freedom (great Mao photoshop on that one). My personal favourite is Press tsar to check standards from The Australian, our supposedly pre-eminent National paper.  Hell, even Blind Freddy can see the theme here.

I thought the hyperventilation on Sky News and ABC24 yesterday afternoon was bad enough, but no, the News Limited papers seriously out-did themselves this morning.  I have spent the last few hours toiling away reading all the opinions on the ‘Threat to our Democracy’ that media reform is and so far, to my great shame as an Australian citizen, I have only found one article that actually acknowledged that these changes are aimed at giving Australians the diversity of news & media that they deserve.

Commando Conroy’s roll of the dice – of course the main thrust of Ms Murphy’s opinion is the ‘desperation of the Labor Government’, though I did find this gem below which tosses the ignorant punter a crumb of respect:

‘Making sure Australia’s currently woeful level of media diversity doesn’t get worse, and journalists conform with their own avowed professional standards are, after all, worthy public policy objectives in this country – uncontentious to anyone outside the industry.’

I know if you read the papers you might have missed this very salient point, but these reforms are actually supposed to help us – the customer, voter, citizen, the distracted masses outside of the seats of power who actually rely on the media to inform us.

The vast majority of the public still get their information from the mainstream media, not social media as Malcolm Turnbull maintains.  He also maintains that the public can ‘discern where truth lies’. I suggest that they cannot. Given full information from the media yes they could, though when it is the media themselves deciding what they will or will not tell the Australian public, we poor punters have no idea what the truth is at all.

The sad state of the likes of Meet The Press is a perfect example. The re-vamped version is produced by News Limited using News Limited resources and staff. The title is perilously close to false advertising because you are not meeting the press, you are meeting the News Limited press. Anyone else see an issue with this?

The great unwashed are, in general, blissfully unaware of the fact we really do not have any diversity of media in this country.  Looking at Queensland alone, punters are amazed when they find out that ONE company owns or has an interest in The Australian (our major national paper), The Courier Mail (our only state-wide paper) and Foxtel (popular in regional Qld due to poor TV reception)./ Even the NRL does not escape the News Ltd clutches. How can any one person with even the smallest dose of common-sense think that ONE person owning that much power to influence the public is a good thing?
“There is a reason that the charming Mr John Birmingham refers to this company as “News Ltd Death Star”, the pop culture reference is extremely apt.”

Murdoch apology front page on #NOTW

Murdoch apology front page on News of the World

Would we think that having one company supplying 75% of food to the nation as a good thing? Basically News Ltd rules our media. There is also Fairfax. The average person on the street is already cranky about the Coles Woolworths duopoly, so why the hell do the media think that only having two main players in the print media sector is ok and not being abused? Read the rest of this entry »

Conroy demands ABC transparency after second pro-Coalition slap down of strong journalism

In ABC, John Faine Affair, NBN, Peter Clarke on March 8, 2013 at 1:35 PM
Nick Ross - ABC Technology & Games Editor

Nick Ross – ABC Technology & Games Editor

By Peter Clarke
March 7, 2013

The Federal Communications Minister, Victorian Senator, Stephen Conroy, has accused the ABC of  a ‘lack of transparency and fairness’ over its reported disciplining of its online technology writer Nick Ross, who has written extensively about the NBN.

The minister’s allegations, made to Jon Faine on Melbourne ABC radio this morning, echo much of the commentary around the ABC’s recent negative finding of ‘bias. against Faine himself:

‘Now this cannot go on. These internal procedures of the ABC have to be more open and more transparent. Journalists cannot work on a basis that they’re going to be bullied and intimidated, and have complaints lodged against them in a process that is not transparent and open.’

Senator Conroy also accused his opposition counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, of ‘constantly attacking and trying to bully some of your journalists’.

Conroy was responding to a report in today’s Australian Media section. It stated that in relation to NBN stories, an ABC spokeswoman said Ross had ‘been reminded of the need to ensure that his work in this area is in keeping with ABC policies’.

That report quoted from an opinion piece in the same edition of the newspaper by Kevin Morgan under the headline: ABC’s man leaves objectivity on the cutting-room floor to spruik NBN.

Morgan is an ‘independent telecom consultant’ and served on Kim Beazley’s ministerial committee on telecom reform.

Nick Ross, tweeting under @ABCTech has denied being reprimanded or disciplined but has so far been silent when approached to clarify the actual circumstances.

Ross did tweet that he was left ‘literally speechless’ by the Kevin Morgan opinion piece.

The ABC’s technology writer was further quoted via the twitter account @774Melbourne, as denying supporting one side or the other, ‘This is an 11,000 word article.. people have to make up their own minds on this.’

Ross was emphasising that this most recent of his articles, referred to by Morgan, is a detailed analysis piece.

The ABC now has two recent examples of internal “disciplining” of their own journalists for alleged breaches of their own Editorial Guidelines.

Jon Faine was found to have been guilty of a breach by the ABC’s own internal Audience and Consumer Affairs unit after complaints following his robust interviews with former Sydney shock-jock, Michael Smith, and The Age journalist, Mark Baker.

Faine very pointedly challenged Smith to provide facts to justify his ongoing campaign against Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, around her involvement in the AWU slush fund affair.

The ABC has resolutely refused all requests to provide detailed reasons for that decision beyond a bald statement of the negative finding.

The Australian editorially, has been consistently critical of the NBN. There have long been public tensions with the ABC.

News Corporation boss, Rupert Murdoch, has long been a proponent of diminishing or ceasing the operations of public news organisations such as the ABC and the BBC.

Read the rest of this entry »

Transcript – 774 ABC Melbourne, Mornings, Friday, 8 March 2013 08:35 AM

In ABC, John Faine Affair, NBN, Telecommunications on March 6, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Audio of Jon Faine – Stephen Conroy Interview

[audio http://blogs.abc.net.au/files/hectic-half-hour-8-3-13.mp3]

JON FAINE:
We shall turn or attention to state politics in a moment or two, but first on the federal sphere, is it true that there is now a push within the Labor Party to replace Julia Gillard and look for a Denis Napthine style option? Stephen Conroy is the Minister for Broadband Communications, the Digital Economy, Digital Productivity – this is the longest title anyone’s every had surely, and leader of the Government in the Senate. Senator Conroy good morning to you.

STEPHEN CONROY:
Yes it is a very long title. Good morning Jon.

JON FAINE:
We’ll come to the NBN and its problems in a moment, where you’re being accused of pork-barrelling, but is it true the Labor Party are looking at Simon Crean as a Denis Napthine option to replace Julia Gillard before the federal election?

STEPHEN CONROY: No.

JON FAINE:
My information is that that’s now being considered as an alternative to a Kevin Rudd push which would be electorally toxic.
STEPHEN CONROY:
Julia Gillard overwhelmingly won a vote last year for the leadership…

JON FAINE:
Long time ago now.

STEPHEN CONROY:
She retains the majority support of the Parliamentary Labor Party, and she will take us to the next election. There’s lots of stories but bottom line is, the Prime Minister has the overwhelming support of the caucus.

JON FAINE:
In the last 24 hours, since the change in leadership in Victora, it’s been put to me by figures involved in the Labor Party that this may be an option as well for resolving the predicament you find yourselves in. And Kevin Rudd, unacceptable, that would make a mockery of your procedures and processes, and Simon Crean emerges as the Denis Napthine.

STEPHEN CONROY:
Look Simon’s doing a great job travelling the country, talking about the benefits of Labor’s policies, explaining them to people in regional and rural Australia, championing the National Broadband Network, and is doing a fantastic job. But, Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister, has the overwhelming majority of caucus supporting her. And this is just further distraction to getting on with – explaining, demonstrating, and ensuring that our policies are fully understood out there in the broader community. I mean we are focused on reforming the education system, we’re focused on introducing a National Disability Insurance Scheme, and continuing the roll out of the National Broadband Network.

JON FAINE:
And yet the opinion polls show, and they’re trending in a very awkward direction, they show that none of that is getting through. And I put it to you again, Kevin Rudd, absolutely electorally unacceptable as well as internally toxic, Simon Crean the Napthine equivalent.

STEPHEN CONROY:
Look, Simon, as I said, is doing a great job. But Julia Gillard has the support of the overwhelming majority of the Parliamentary caucus. And what all of the caucus members need to focus on – is if we keep talking about ourselves, if we keep just having conversations about what’s going on in the Labor Party, we will get a response in the polls that goes down. People are not interested in hearing about the ins and outs in the Labor Party, they’re interested in hearing about how we’re going to reform the education system so that every child gets a better education; about how we’re going to ensure that one of the segments of society, families with disabled children and family members need more support; and the National Broadband Network which will open up opportunities for small business, open up opportunities…

JON FAINE:
Speaking of the Broadband Network, you’re accused of pork-barrelling with the roll out of the Broadband Network, and yet again we’re seeing western Sydney getting a disproportionate share of not just the NBN, but all infrastructure promises because of its electoral sensitivity.

STEPHEN CONROY:

Look this claim about the NBN and pork-barrelling Labor seats has been debated and disproved. But let me really precise about this, the ACCC, an independent statutory authority, intervened in the process of building the NBN. They said, following lobbying from telecommunications companies, that there will be what we call 121 points of interconnect, or POIs in the jargon. And they ticked the, you know, physical sites of these points of interconnect, and said you will start building from here. And if you overlay the map of the roll out of the NBN, it pretty much follows the instructions from the ACCC. And the ACCC are an independent statutory authority, so suggestions that there’s one electorate favoured over another are absurd.

I did want to raise one issue, John, which is starting to concern me, and I know a number of listeners, particularly to the ABC – there now seems to be a policy of trying to intimidate ABC personnel. Malcolm Turnbull is constantly attacking and trying to bully some of your journalists. And today I read in The Australian, and I know you shouldn’t always believe everything you read in The Australian, but a very disturbing thing where another journalist on the ABC staff has been internally disciplined because they’re not prepared to just accept every policy pronouncement, or claim that’s made publicly.

Now this cannot go on. These internal procedures of the ABC have to be more open and more transparent. Journalists cannot work on a basis that they’re going to be bullied and intimidated, and have complaints lodged against them in a process that is not transparent and open. This is the second…

JON FAINE:
Well now by way of background, the ABC has disciplined one of its editors, who – a man called Nick Ross who edits a forum on the ABC’s online publications, who has been critical of the Coalition. Mr Ross has been critical of the Coalition’s broadband policy, and supportive of yours. And it’s been determined by the ABC internal complaints process that his reporting has not been even-handed.

STEPHEN CONROY:

Well what – I don’t agree with all of Nick Ross’s findings, he’s not someone I’ve ever met expect for I think at press conference. I don’t agree with everything that Nick Ross writes in his columns. But what he’s been prepared to do is compare policies, now that is the job of journalists. To be prepared…

JON FAINE:
No, he’s been accused of being part of your fan club.

STEPHEN CONROY:

No he’s been prepared to compare the Labor Government’s NBN policy, and Malcolm Turnbull’s pretend NBN policy. And he’s gone to great lengths to compare all of the claims backwards and forwards, he’s been critical of me plenty of times in the past. In fact he used to be very critical to my face at press conferences. But what you see here is he’s engaged in getting the facts together, demonstrating that the claims – just by having the facts, demonstrating that the claims that Malcolm Turnbull makes about his policies, are not – don’t stand up to scrutiny. And for this he’s attacked by The Australian, he’s vilified in The Australian today, and a campaign, through a process that is non-transparent, doesn’t give people inside the ABC a fair go.

JON FAINE:
Well you’re the Minister for the ABC, if you think the process is not transparent and unfair, why don’t you do something about it?

STEPHEN CONROY:

Well I don’t run the ABC, it’s got a board, it’s got an independent charter, and it’s got a managing director. But I think it’s time to call out, where you’ve got journalists inside the ABC are being disciplined in a process that does not – does not remotely give fair justice to the journalists involved. This is just an outrageous process.

JON FAINE:
I have to return to state politics in a moment, but just one final question Senator Conroy, and we’ll see if either the ABC management or others want to comment on that, we’ll see if Mr Ross wants to comment too. But you’re a key factional warlord in Victoria for the right.

STEPHEN CONROY: [Laughs]

JON FAINE:
Who are you going to install in Gellibrand to replace Nicola Roxon?

STEPHEN CONROY:
Well I expect that the party will open its nominations in the near future. I’m sure, given it’s a very traditionally safe Labor seat, there’ll be a lot of interest, and there’ll be many nominations, and the rank and file members, as they do in most occasions in the Victorian branch of the Labor Party, get an opportunity to vote.

JON FAINE:
Yeah that’s the theory, but the practice is that you will choose who you want to install. Who have you got your eye on? Why not just tell us?

STEPHEN CONROY:
The rank and file members of the Labor Party will get nominations, and they will get an opportunity to vote on who they think will be the best representative for Gellibrand. We’ve been extraordinarily lucky in the last 20 years, we’ve had treasurers like Ralph Willis, we’ve had health ministers, and attorney-generals like Nicola Roxon. We have been very very lucky in Gellibrand to have some high quality candidates. I’m expecting a whole range of high quality people will put their hand up as well.

JON FAINE:
Are you going to offer a parachute to Senator David Feeney who’s been put into an unwinnable position on the Senate ticket in Victoria? One of those who was instrumental in the removal of Kevin Rudd.

STEPHEN CONROY:
Look, the third position in the Senate is not unwinnable, it’s challenging. David Feeney won it last time, and I’m confident David can win it again.

JON FAINE:
You’re going to leave him on the Senate ticket, or are you going to move him Gellibrand?

STEPHEN CONROY:
We’ll look for Gellibrand nomination to open, but I think David won against the odds the third Senate posi last time, and I’m confident David will be able to win from there again.

JON FAINE:
Thank you. we’ll read between the lines, and undoubtedly we’ll get the chance to speak again soon. Thank you for your time.

STEPHEN CONROY: Thanks Jon.

JON FAINE:
Senator Stephen Conroy, Victorian Labor Senator, and the Minister for the Broadband Communication, and Digital Economy portfolio in the Gillard Government.