David Weisbrot resigns from APC due to ‘personal attacks’ following Carla McGrath scandal

The chair of the Australian Press Council, David Weisbrot has resigned after three years in the role.

Weisbrot said his departure was due to “persistent personal attacks” and “misinformation” about the Council’s appointment of  Carla McGrath.

Weisbrot departs due to Carla McGrath appointment backlash

He reiterated that McGrath was appointed after a “fair and open process” and a vote by all of the Council.

While he was chair, McGrath was appointed as a member which sparked much debate due to her association with left-leaning political activist group GetUp.

This resulted in backlash from the wider publishing community with The Australian announcing it would boycott any APC decisions made by, or involving, McGrath.

“My heart is simply no longer in the job, and it’s a difficult enough job at the best of times,” he said.

“For the record, the basis of these attacks is thoroughly misconceived, suggesting that the appointment of a public member to the Council is within the gift of the Chair, and that I have the authority unilaterally to ‘rescind’ that appointment.

“In fact, the whole appointment process was carried out with careful attention to good process and the requirements set down by the Council’s Constitution,” he stated.

The vice-chairs of the APC announced his resignation with “deep regret”.

Weisbrot joined the APC in December 2014, succeeding former chair Julian Disney.

During his time at the Australian Press Council, Weisbrot tackled and advocated the issue of free speech within the media, speaking out about treasurer Joe Hockey’s defamation win against publisher Fairfax Media in 2015.

He also took a stance against the anti-terrorism laws and metadata retention laws and how they would impact the Press Council in 2016.

He also revamped the Council’s Press Freedom Medals to make them more relevant, developed the Council’s strategic plan and reconciliation action plan, increased memberships by recruiting the first Indigenous publication Koori Mail and online-only publishers including the Daily Mail, revised the guidelines on reporting on domestic and family violence, increased collaboration with journalism schools and organised international conferences.


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