Fiona Moves On From The Examiner - Bob McMahon -23.04.10 3:20 am
Examiner editor Fiona Reynolds has accepted a position in charge of radio and television news for the ABC in Tasmania. Ms Reynolds will not be doing the job from Hobart, as would be expected, but from Launceston.
While this move from the Examiner to the ABC might not be that noteworthy when viewed from afar, it is, in the context of what has happened in Tasmania over the past several decades, significant for several reasons.
It was only a short while ago that Ms Reynolds moved from the ABC to the editorship of the Examiner, a position of power and influence in a town dominated by a particular company and a particular set of interests. Her move back to the ABC, albeit to a position further up the ladder than the one she left at the ABC, seems, on the surface, a lesser position than the Examiner editorship.
A public grown accustomed to how things are done in Tasmania, might have expected Ms Reynolds to take the natural path from the Examiner into the darkened offices of the State government. This she has not done. Perhaps she was not offered a job there, which is rather unfair, because I believe she did steer the Examiner true to the course of service to a particular set of interests that are invariably rewarded in Tasmania.
The public will be wondering whether Ms Reynolds will be able to enjoy the same degree of editorial latitude at the ABC as she exercised at the Examiner. Would the ABC be prepared, for instance, to wear the sort of odium the Examiner attracted when Ms Reynolds so blatantly attempted, against all the evidence, to pin the blame for the “attack” on John Gay’s house onto the community group TAP Into A Better Tasmania?
Time will tell. Meanwhile the show rolls on.
The ABC announced today that Fiona Reynolds had been appointed to the position of ABC State Director Tasmania.
“Fiona will make a great contribution to the ABC in Tasmania as she brings a strong range of leadership and media skills to the job,” ABC Communications Director Michael Millett said today.
“She is currently the Editor of the Fairfax-owned Launceston Examiner but the new position represents a coming home,” Mr Millett said. “Fiona is a former reporter with the ABC in Hobart and Canberra and has also worked as an editor, producer and reporter with news and current affairs, across radio and television, in Melbourne, Brisbane and Launceston. She was the successful applicant from an impressive field of internal and external candidates.”
Mrs Reynolds said she is looking forward to working with the community to help further strengthen the public broadcaster’s connection with local audiences.
“The ABC has always been renowned for quality journalism, now it is interacting with audiences more than ever before, across different platforms, so this is an exciting time to be on board,” said added.
Fiona Reynolds has been a journalist for 22 years and has a Master of Arts (International Relations). She will start her role on 7 June 2010.
The Tasmanian State Director position became vacant on the retirement of Rob Batten from the ABC in early 2010.