Andrew Probyn

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Andrew Probyn
NationalityAustralian
Alma materMonash University
OccupationJournalist, television presenter
Years active1994–present
EmployerABC (Australia)
TelevisionABC News Australia
Spouse(s)Felicity Hamilton

Andrew Probyn is an Australian journalist and television presenter, well known for his role at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and his feature as an internet meme relating to a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Life and career

Probyn spent his early years in Lancashire before moving with his parents 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 st 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 political editor.[5]

In early 2020, Probyn became the feature of an internet meme, initially gaining popularity from a video by comedian Brooke Taylor on social media platform Tik Tok, after an encounter with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a press conference regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, where Morrison stated “Andrew, I know, but you don’t run the press conference, okay?”[6][7] In response to these memes, Probyn added “if something like that encourages people to at least watch press conferences where some serious stuff is being discussed, all the better.”[8]

Political views and complaints

Abbott-Turnbull Government

In 2017, Probyn described former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott as "the most destructive politician of his generation" in a report for ABC News. A complaint was made to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and Probyn's 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.[9][10]

Morrison Government

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 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."[13]

Justin Milne Resignation

In 2018, the ABC Board sacked the organisation's Managing Director Michelle Guthrie.[14] It was later reported that Guthrie had received a series of complaints about the ABC's political coverage from Board Chairman Justin Milne.[15]

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".[16] These claims raised questions of potential political interference by the Turnbull 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.[17]

Personal

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

References

  1. ^ Probyn, Andrew (1 April 2014). "Racism from the other side". The West Australian. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Andrew's 'consistently outstanding investigative work' is rewarded". Scotch College Melbourne. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Andrew Probyn". Monash University. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  4. ^ Knox, David (19 December 2016). "Andrew Probyn joins 7:30". TV Tonight. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  5. ^ Carmody, Broede (31 August 2017). "ABC's Chris Uhlmann to replace Laurie Oakes on Channel Nine". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  6. ^ Convery, S. (25 March 2020). "'Andrew, I'm sorry': ABC's Andrew Probyn becomes TikTok meme after coronavirus press conference". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  7. ^ "TikTok is connecting a new audience to federal politics, by turning it into a meme". ABC. 17 April 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  8. ^ Probyn, A. (16 April 2020). "ABC political editor Andrew Probyn reflects on the coronavirus outbreak and becoming a TikTok meme". ABC. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  9. ^ ABC’s Andrew Probyn report on Tony Abbott judgmental, ACMA finds; The Australian; May 1, 2018
  10. ^ Media regulator slaps ABC; Media Watch; 7 May 2018
  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. ^ a b 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. ^ Why the ABC board sacked Michelle Guthrie; www.theguardian.com; 25 Sep 2018
  15. ^ ABC chairman Justin Milne wanted action taken against Andrew Probyn, Jon Faine; www.afr.com; 26 Sep 2018
  16. ^ ‘Shoot him’: ABC chairman told Guthrie to sack political editor; www.smh.com.au; 27 Sep 2018
  17. ^ Justin Milne resigns as ABC chairman amid growing fallout over Michelle Guthrie's sacking; www.abc.net.au; 27 Sep 2018