Andrew Probyn

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Andrew Probyn
Residence Canberra
Nationality Australian
Alma mater Monash University
Occupation Journalist, television presenter
Employer Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Spouse(s) Felicity Hamilton

Andrew Probyn is an Australian journalist and television presenter.

Life and career[edit]

Probyn spent his early years in Lancashire before moving with his parents, Meg and Clive Probyn, and two sisters, to Sokoto in Nigeria. The family migrated to Australia in the early 1980s.[1] Probyn attended Scotch College in Melbourne,[2] before studying law at Monash University.[3]

He worked at the Herald Sun for nine years[3] before becoming state political reporter with the ABC in Tasmania from 2003 to 2005. He was federal political editor for The West Australian newspaper from 2005 until 2016. Probyn has twice been named Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery Journalist of the Year and was named Western Australian Journalist of the Year for 2016. He also won a Gold Quill award from the Melbourne Press Club Awards, and was a regular guest on the ABC’s Insiders program. In late 2016, Probyn joined 7.30 as its political correspondent, replacing Sabra Lane.[4] When Chris Uhlmann left the ABC, Probyn became the public broadcaster's temporary political editor.[5]

Political views[edit]

Abbott-Turnbull Government[edit]

In 2017, Probyn described former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott as "the most destructive politician of his generation" in a report for ABC News. The comment was found by ACMA to be "declarative and not in keeping with the scope of the factual matters presented earlier in the report" about a speech by Abbott on climate change policy.[6]

Probyn has been a critic of the conservative Liberal leader and his legacy. He describes Abbott's term as Prime Minister as "hard line" and "divisive", and praised his successor Malcolm Turnbull for being "a self-made progressive, a free-thinking republican".[7] Probyn considers the first Abbott Budget to be a "disgrace" to Liberals.[8] Abbott's decision to call for a plebiscite on gay marriage Probyn called an "abrogation of responsibility",[9] and the subsequent enactment of same-sex marriage legislation as a "signature achievement of the 45th Parliament".[10]

Morrison Government[edit]

When the Liberal Party replaced Turnbull as leader in August 2018, Probyn reported it was "vengeance pure and simple".[11] He attributed Turnbull's loss to a "a billionaires' tug of war between the nation's most powerful media moguls" (Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes), telling the ABC: "Until the end, News Corp's The Australian had been unabashed in its advocacy for an end to the Turnbull prime ministership."[12]

In the wake of a large swing against the Liberals in the subsequent Wentworth by-election, Probyn opined: "The Liberal Party and the Coalition now stand on the edge of the electoral abyss. Political gravity drags at their toes, whistling a final ruin in just over six months' time, perhaps sooner... it looks very much like a presage of a much nastier blow next year at the general election. The Prime Minister must be wondering if he's caught a hospital pass in August's madness."[13] He praised the Liberal Party's main opponent Kerryn Phelps as "an eloquent cleanskin with a just-add-water political persona that oozes the trust and authority so lacking in the place she's poised to become tenant."[14]

Justin Milne Resignation[edit]

In 2018, the ABC Board sacked the organisation's Managing Director Michelle Guthrie.[15] It was later reported that Guthrie had received a series of complaints about the ABC's political coverage from Board Chairman Justin Milne.[16] Amid government complaints about Probyn's reporting, Milne allegedly told Guthrie that keeping him as the public broadcaster’s political editor was "putting the future of the ABC at risk".[17] These claims raised questions of potential political interference by the Tunbull appointed Chairman, and Milne resigned his position, acknowledging there had been discussion of the "Probyn issue" but denying he had ever emailed Guthrie to sack journalists.[18]

Family[edit]

Probyn is married to Felicity Hamilton, and has three children. They live in Canberra.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Probyn, Andrew (2014-04-01). "Racism from the other side". The West Australian. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  2. ^ "Andrew's 'consistently outstanding investigative work' is rewarded". Scotch College Melbourne. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  3. ^ a b "Andrew Probyn". Monash University. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  4. ^ Knox, David (2016-12-19). "Andrew Probyn joins 7:30". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  5. ^ Carmody, Broede (2017-08-31). "ABC's Chris Uhlmann to replace Laurie Oakes on Channel Nine". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  6. ^ ABC’s Andrew Probyn report on Tony Abbott judgmental, ACMA finds; The Australian; May 1, 2018
  7. ^ As the dreaded 30th Newspoll loss looms, Malcolm Turnbull waits for a sign from above; abc.net.au; 7 APr 2018
  8. ^ Federal budget 2017 Scott Morrison needs to prioritise health and education to turn Coalition's gloomy legacy around; abc.net.au; 8 May, 2017
  9. ^ Australia needs decisiveness from Malcolm Turnbull on same-sex marriage, not the indecision of his predecessor; abc.net.au; 4 Aug 2017
  10. ^ Same-sex marriage and a niggling energy problem: How Malcolm Turnbull made it through 2017; abc.net.au; 8 Dec 2017
  11. ^ ABC News, 24 August 2018
  12. ^ What did Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes have to do with the Liberal leadership spill?; www.abc.net.au; 19 Sep 2018
  13. ^ Wentworth by-election result a humiliating slap for the Liberals — but there could be worse to come; www.abc.net.au; 21 Oc 2018
  14. ^ Wentworth by-election result a humiliating slap for the Liberals — but there could be worse to come; www.abc.net.au; 21 Oc 2018
  15. ^ Why the ABC board sacked Michelle Guthrie; www.theguardian.com; 25 Sep 2018
  16. ^ ABC chairman Justin Milne wanted action taken against Andrew Probyn, Jon Faine; www.afr.com; 26 Sep 2018
  17. ^ ‘Shoot him’: ABC chairman told Guthrie to sack political editor; www.smh.com.au; 27 Sep 2018
  18. ^ Justin Milne resigns as ABC chairman amid growing fallout over Michelle Guthrie's sacking; www.abc.net.au; 27 Sep 2018