F.Y.I.

ABC News hires Freedom of Information editor

ABC News has created a new role for a Freedom of Information editor, to help make and coordinate FOI applications for ABC News and current affairs.

The announcement:

Today it was announced that Michael McKinnon will be joining the ABC News Division as the corporation’s Freedom of Information Editor. This is a new role for the ABC.

Acting Director of ABC News, Alan Sunderland said, “Michael McKinnon is the most experienced and highly regarded FOI Editor in the country. In fact Michael virtually invented this role in Australia and over the years has extracted thousands of documents from State and Federal governments and public bodies.”

Michael McKinnon has worked for The Courier Mail, The Australian and most recently the Seven Network.

“Michael sees an FOI application, not as an end in itself, but as part of the journalist’s task of seeking public accountability. Michael is by trade and training a journalist interested in strong stories. Along the way he has refined specialist FOI skills. He will help make and co-ordinate FOI applications for ABC News and Current Affairs and will act as a mentor in passing on skills and advice to others. We are fortunate to have him on board,” Alan Sunderland said.

Michael McKinnon said, “I am tremendously excited to be moving to the ABC. I see my role as breaking as many stories as I can for the national broadcaster.”

McKinnon is a multi Walkley Award winner. In 2009 he received two Walkley Awards, one for Investigative Journalism with the Seven News team, as well as the prestigious award for Journalistic Leadership. And last year he collected his third Walkley with the Seven News team for the ‘TV News Reporting’ category.

Michael McKinnon will start in the new ABC position early in 2014 and will be based in Brisbane where he lives.

Source: ABC News press release.

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