News

ABC’s director of news, analysis and investigation Gaven Morris to depart

ABC’s director of news, analysis and investigations Gaven Morris is set to depart the ABC at the end of his contract.

Morris has held his current titled since 2015, having been with the ABC in various roles since 2008.

Gaven Morris

In an internal announcement to ABC staff, managing director David Anderson said: “Gaven’s contribution to the ABC has been enormous. His strategic vision and boundless drive and energy have been integral to a string of achievements, including leading the 2010 launch of the ABC NEWS Channel; spearheading ABC News’s rise to digital excellence ; creating the journalistic powerhouses of ABC Investigations and the Specialist Reporting Team; fostering News’s culture of diversity and inclusion; and driving the strategy to make News’s content and services more relevant to all Australians.

“As the very best leaders do, he has always led by example, with a huge work ethic, absolute integrity, fearless independence and a lot of courage.”

Morris said in the same internal announcement: “We’ve come an incredibly long way together in the past six years, undertaking two game-changing strategies in Equal Digital Life and More Relevant to More Australians. Their success has only been possible because of the dedication and teamwork of the talented people we have here – which is to say, all of you. You’ve done so much to respond to the rapidly changing habits of our audiences and to remain committed to serving the Australian public.

“The ABC has always been a pioneer, but the current level of our creativity and innovation across digital, audio and video platforms, in addition to TV and radio, is leading the industry in Australia.

“ABC News has now been Australia’s leading digital news provider for more than a year and well over half the population comes to our digital services every month, more than double that of six years ago. Given the ferociously competitive news market, that achievement alone is a remarkable tribute to your hard work. At the same time, our TV and audio services also reach huge audiences – in fact they continue to set new records as more Australians turn to us during the big events, most recently the COVID pandemic. In total, ABC News now reaches a bigger, broader, more inclusive and more diverse audience than it has ever done in our rich 90-year history.”

The ABC will begin the recruitment process for Morris’ replacement in the coming weeks.

During his time at the ABC, Morris led the launch of the ABC News channel.

Back in 2018, Morris also warned media companies of the dangers of getting too close to Google and Facebook. Recently, the ACCC inquiry found that Google’s dominance in ad tech supply chain harms both businesses and consumers. In terms of Facebook, the High Court of Australia recently found that media companies are to be considered “publishers” of comments left on their Facebook pages, opening potential liability for defamation cases.

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