Chris Kenny (journalist)

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Chris Kenny (born 1962) is a commentator, author and former political adviser from South Australia.

He won the National Tree Program Media Award in 1985 working for The Murray Pioneer in Renmark, South Australia, before going on to work for the now defunct The News in Adelaide. He began his television career at the ABC's 7.30 Report, moving to Adelaide's Channel 10 in 1989 and Channel Nine in 1997. At various times a columnist for The Adelaide Review, The Sunday Mail and The Advertiser, he also published two books: State of Denial, about the downfall of the Bannon government, and Women's Business, on the Hindmarsh Island bridge controversy.

Kenny became a political adviser in 2000, as Director of Strategic Communications for Liberal Premier of SA, John Olsen. When Olsen was replaced by Premier Rob Kerin, Kenny became Chief of Staff. In 2002 he joined Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's office as media adviser, and was prominent in the handling of issues such as the Iraq War, the Bali terrorism attacks and the AWB scandal. Eventually he was appointed chief of staff to the Foreign Minister. Kenny also stood for Liberal Party preselection for the Adelaide seat of Unley, but was defeated by David Pisoni, who went on to win at the 2006 state election.

After the defeat of the Howard Government, Kenny worked as a columnist for The Advertiser, as a television reporter for the Adelaide edition of A Current Affair, and as a fill-in morning talkback radio host for Leon Byner on 5AA. In January 2009 Kenny was employed as chief of staff for then-Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull. When Turnbull lost the Liberal Leadership, Kenny resigned. He subsequently provided opinion pieces and analysis for The Australian, ABC The Drum and SkyNews. In 2010 Kenny was appointed General Manager, External Affairs, for transport giant Asciano, but left at the end of the year to return to media work.[1]

On Monday, 11 April 2011 Chris Kenny appeared on the ABC Television show Q&A alongside politicians and community figures. In 2012 he argued that the Q&A show was biased, left wing, and should be cancelled. He has also called for large parts of the ABC to be shut down whilst at the same time defending Rupert Murdoch's News Corp as an unbiased media organisation.[2]

In September 2013, the ABC broadcast a concocted image of Kenny having sex with a dog. At the end of 2013, Kenny launched defamation action against the ABC program involved, 'The Hamster Decides', and one of its hosts, Andrew Hansen. In April 2014, the managing director of the ABC apologised to Kenny for the incident, and expressed regret for "the delay in making this apology".[3]

Published works[edit]


  1. ^ "Turnbull hires Downer's former top adviser". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2014-03-07. 
  2. ^ Kenney, Chris. "Looking for Budget Cuts? Try the ABC". The Australian. 
  3. ^ Benns, Matthew (14 April 2014). "ABC boss Mark Scott apologises to The Australian’s Chris Kenny over Chaser skit depicting him having sex with a dog". The Daily Telegraph.