Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s portfolio has again been extended – he will now host ABC’s seven o’clock bulletin, in a move designed to ensure Australians hear the right news.
The move is seen as a common sense compromise after the backlash to the Liberal Party’s idea to sell the national broadcaster.
Mr Dutton – who will take on the role in addition to his existing responsibilities – has extensive media experience and is seen as having a better grasp than his predecessors of the types of stories Australians should hear.
“He will decide what news comes in, what news stays and what news gets turned back. The ABC will really set the agenda with Dutton behind the desk,” one colleague said.
A senior ABC executive said it was a positive step for the national broadcaster, and part of the ABC’s vision to appeal to a broader range of Australian MPs. “I think it’s true that we have become a bit niche. I think it’s true that we’ve been slow to modernise. And I think it’s fair to say we’ve lost sight of what Australian Governments in the 21st Century want from their news”.