Doug Weller

Helping Journalists Get It Right

Doug ABC Helicopter 300x200px
By Doug Weller

When I began my media career in the mid 70’s as a cub reporter in Brisbane, the world of journalism seemed very scary.

Fronting up to the news room each morning to be given a complicated story to follow was a terrifying prospect.

Sometimes as a young reporter I started writing a news story without fully understanding the details of the issue.

The enormous pressure to meet the deadline was the main driving force.

As journalists mature into the job they quickly learn how to get their heads around complex information.

However, understanding the precise details of various topics can be challenging even for experienced journalists.

Later in my career I attended a media conference at a major Melbourne hospital. About 15 minutes into the media conference I leaned across to a colleague from another network and said, “Do you understand what these people are saying?” She looked at me and replied, “No, I can’t work it out.”

Many people make the mistake of believing the journalist understands their issue as much as they do.

Reporters, especially those new to the job, often need issues explained in detail so they can produce an item that their audience can understand.

The more a journalist understands your issue or news item, the more chance they have of getting it right.

Journalists do make mistakes when compiling news items. You can help reduce those mistakes by giving them clear background information and explaining the ins and outs of the story.

You may understand the history of a particular issue – the journalist often doesn’t.

A journalist with limited knowledge of an issue and under pressure to produce a news item to a precise deadline, can be a bad combination.

In my experience most journalists are doing a tough job in a tough environment and are trying to get the story right.

Allocating time to educate a journalist about your issues will help the entire communication process.

Informing and educating a journalist about an issue:

  • Clearly explain the history of the issue and where it currently stands – This is called a ‘backgrounder’
  • A ‘backgrounder’ can be done verbally – backed up by any relevant documentation, statistics and visual information
  • Refer journalists to resources such as web pages and social media sites

 Information Only

Any information presented on our website is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Further Assistance

If you want to know more about engaging with the media, contact Corporate Media Services for more information about our media training programs and services. Make an email enquiry now… or call 1300 737 913

Thorpe Parkinson Tell All Interview

Ian Thorpe’s Strategic Outing

Thorpe Parkinson Tell All Interview
By Corporate Media Services

It must have taken a lot of guts for Olympic swimmer, Ian Thorpe, to out himself on international television.

Thorpe chose to be an athlete, not a celebrity. His talent brought him fame.

With fame comes a heavy price – a loss of privacy.

In this age of social media, 24 hour news cycles and audiences hungry for information about well-known people, that privacy can be more and more difficult to control.

The way Ian Thorpe chose to go public with his announcement was really interesting.

In the media trade it’s called being ‘strategic’.

There are two main ways you can make a major media announcement

The first way is to do it in one hit with a media conference and associated media release.

Media conferences allow you to announce your message or information to multiple journalists and media outlets at once.

The downside of this is that you may face questions coming from all directions and even a hostile media pack.

The second way to make a major media announcement is to be strategic. Pick one person or one media outlet.

That’s exactly what Ian Thorpe did.

For Thorpe’s announcement, he chose renowned interviewer, Michael Parkinson.

Parkinson is one of the best interviewers of our time. Not because of what he says, but because of what he doesn’t say.

Michael Parkinson is smart enough to let interesting people tell their story.

Parkinson’s style is to guide his guests and allow them to open up. It’s called letting the interview breathe.

That’s exactly what Ian Thorpe needed; an interviewer smart enough and skilled enough to allow him to tell his story.

Media around the world picked it up and it became big news.

But Ian Thorpe was able to set the agenda and no matter what tact various journalists and media outlets took. He’d had his say in a controlled environment.

If you’ve got something really big to announce, think about the way you want to proceed.

Would you prefer fronting up to a potentially difficult or hostile media conference? Or, do you want a much more controlled environment in a one-on-one interview situation?

Yes, you may need to participate in a range of different interviews after your one-on-one but at least you’ve had your say.

Remember:

  • Think about the best way to make your announcement
  • Sometimes the one-on-one interview is a much better option than a media conference
  • Whether you choose a one-on-one interview or a media conference, make sure your messages are organised – know what you want to say and why
  • Be prepared

 

Information Only

Any information presented on our website is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Further Assistance

If you want to know more about engaging with the media, contact Corporate Media Services for more information about our media training programs and services. Make an email enquiry now… or call 1300 737 913

Ricky Muir struggles

Ricky Muir Fights Back

Ricky Muir struggles
By Doug Weller – Corporate Media Services

Call me unusual if you like but I find politics really interesting.

I started covering politics when I was a cub reporter and I’ve been following politics ever since.

So forgive me for having another chop at the Ricky Muir/Mike Willesee interview, but the debate which has followed the airing of that exchange is an interesting lesson on dealing with media interactions and interviews.

Since my last blog on the topic, Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator, Ricky Muir, has come out fighting over his interview with Mike Willesee on Channel Seven’s ‘Sunday Night’ program.

In the interview Ricky Muir had trouble answering questions and required breaks to regain his composure and consult his advisors.

Mr Muir has now reportedly described the interview and his treatment as unethical.

Muir’s political advisor, former NSW independent MP and qualified media defamation lawyer, Peter Breen, wanted to lodge a formal complaint with the Australian Communications and Media Authority over Mr Muir’s treatment. Muir blocked that move saying “… I can either let this get me down or use it as initiative to get better.”

Mr Breen alleged that Channel Seven’s handling of the interview was unfair and allowed Mr Muir to become the focus of ridicule and contempt – “It contained the imputation that he wasn’t up to holding public office because he wasn’t a good media performer”, said Breen.

If you haven’t seen the interview make sure you find time to view it at least 2 or 3 times.

If you’re not involved in the media you might initially think that the interview is unfair or unethical.

But to describe the interview in that way is absolutely ridiculous.

Why?

If you’re going to interact with the media and put yourself forward to do media interviews, you need to have a basic understanding of the role of the free media in a democratic society.

In a nutshell, the role of free media is to observe and report.

You may think some media outlets do that badly but that’s another discussion.

Be very clear about this, journalists who work in mainstream media are not public relations or marketing practitioners. Nor are they involved in advertising -they are journalists.

It’s crucial that you understand that point.

Journalists have access to a wide range of powerful and influential people, including politicians. The vast majority of the population will never have access to these people.

So it’s up to journalists to interview these powerful people and deliver the results of those interviews to the public.

Ricky Muir is in an incredibly powerful position. He’s been elected to the Australian Senate.

He is now voting on laws which will have an impact on every Australian citizen and in some cases, citizens of other nations.

He is accountable to the Australian public.

The questions that Mike Willesee asked Ricky Muir were totally appropriate for someone in Muir’s position.

The interview was not a brash, hard hitting, ‘shock-jock’ style interview; Willesee was not aggressive, or pushy.

Experienced journalist and Executive Producer of Channel Seven’s 7 ‘Sunday Night’ program, Mark Llewellyn, has said that Mike Willesee was actually very kind to Ricky Muir.

Llewellyn is right. The questions were asked in a respectful and even gentle way.

In an interview with Crikey Llewellyn also said that Mr Muir’s assumption that parts of the interview would not get used were unfounded and there had been no deal for Mr Muir to go ‘off the record’.

“When did that kind of cosy deal become journalism — ‘the wink, wink, nudge, nudge, I’ll look after you if it all becomes a little too hard, possum’? What, by the way, are the ethics of censoring interviews and depriving audiences of the complete story? To in effect be part of that cosy club that shields politicians and keeps everyday Australians in the dark.” Llewellyn said.

When Ricky Muir had trouble answering the questions and took a break, this was broadcast as it should have been.

For Mike Willesee or anyone else involved in that interview to edit out any of that material in order to make Ricky Muir look better than he actually was would have been a disservice to the Australian people.

It was up to Ricky Muir and his advisors to ensure that he was adequately prepared before the interview.

As I said in my last blog on this issue, Ricky Muir should never have started his media exposure in a high profile television interview of this type.

He wasn’t ready for the questions and he wasn’t ready for the lights and cameras of a broadcast interview environment.

What Mike Willesee did was ask the questions and show the responses.

Remember:

  •  Make sure that you’re prepared for any questions that may be asked of you in an interview, especially the obvious questions.
  •  If you’re not ready for a daunting media environment such as an intimidating studio style TV interview, don’t do it.
  •  If you ever stuff up in a media interview don’t kid yourself that the interviewer was unethical. Look at your performance and learn from any mistakes. Interesting to note that’s what Ricky Muir said he will do, so good on him for that.

Further Information

Mike Willesee Interview Was Unethical: Ricky Muir

Information Only

Any information presented on our website is of a general nature only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

Further Assistance

If you would like further information about dealing with the media contact Corporate Media Services for more information or training.

Make an email enquiry now… or call 1300 737 9131300 737 913

New Media Old Rules How one quick quip can destroy your reputation

New Media – Old Rules How one quick quip can destroy your reputation

New Media – Old Rules. How one quick quip can destroy your reputation

Published: 10 November 2010
Publication: ArticlesBase
Author: Doug Weller
Words: 473
Image of article: Shown below
See it online at: http://www.articlesbase.com/journalism-articles/new-media-old-rules-how-one-quick-quip-can-destroy-your-reputation-3639396.html

More than 30 years ago when I began my journalism career, we didn’t have Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn or any of the other new communication tools that we have today.

But we did have senior editors who gave good advice. Some of that advice has lasted a lifetime for me. It should be taken on board by those using new media and social media today.

I can remember on my second day as a “cub reporter”, an editor said (or screamed), “If in doubt, leave out”.

Throughout the years, I have passed those words on to younger journalists and I now find myself giving the same advice to clients who need to deal with media situations.

That advice is even more relevant now as we all try to grapple with and use social media and social networking.

We began talking about social media and social networking in our media training courses when it became clear that clients could use these tools to extend their media reach, but more importantly, when it was clear the damage that could be caused when not controlled.

Every day, the list of those being hammered by the misuse of new media grows:

•A Professor from the University in Pennsylvania sacked after making “light-hearted” comments about looking for a hit man after a bad day in the classroom.
•Two employees at Domino’s Pizza sacked after doing “vile things” to food and posting it on You Tube.
•An Age newspaper journalist sacked for sending out “offensive comments” on Twitter during the Logies.
•Recently, Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice was reduced to tears during her apology for a quick “tweet”.
While new and social media expands our ability to reach new and larger audiences, it needs to be treated with extreme caution. The absence of journalists or interviewers can lead people to relax to the point where little thought is put into what is being posted or broadcast.

The problem is compounded by the ability of these networks to go “viral” and send the information rapidly to hundreds, if not millions, of people. Journalists are also using sites like Facebook for research as hot issues arise.

While on Facebook, don’t think that limiting the number of people who can access your Facebook site is a safeguard – it’s NOT. Text and pictures can be copied in a moment and spread far-and-wide and you have no control over this.

There is one simple test for new and social media postings for you and your team.

Would you be happy to see your new and social media offerings on the front page of the newspaper or on the TV news?

If so, go ahead and hit “send”.

If not, think about it.

As my crabby old editor said more than 30 years ago – “If in doubt, leave out”.

New Media Old Rules How one quick quip can destroy your reputation

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Corporate Media Services Finding the right voice

Finding the Right Voice

Finding the Right Voice

Published: 23 January 2008

Publication: Herald Sun

Author: Paula Beauchamp

Words: 148

Image of article: Shown below

**START TRANSCRIPT**

Finding the right voice

More and more organisations are looking to engage with the media and seek out media training to improve the outcome, experts say. Media trainer Doug Weller says much of the focus today is on crisis media management.

“I think organisations realised, more and more after 9/11, that any organisation can be hit with a crisis, that it can happen in a moment”, said Mr Weller, who runs Corporate Media Services.

Organisations want to know what they need to do to communicate quickly and effectively. Most crisis media training courses explain the pressures journalists work under and the steps organisations must take to effectively deliver their message.

If a crisis hits, Weller recommends speaking to the media as soon as possible, even if you don’t yet have all the information at hand. Organisations that seek out media training typically range from medium-sized to very large corporate or government entities.

**END TRANSCRIPT**

Corporate Media Services Finding the right voice

Make an enquiry now or call us on 1300 737 913 or +61 412 298 905

 

Articles Published

Corporate Media Services Articles Published

Corporate Media Services Articles PublishedThis page links to articles that have been previously published by Corporate Media Services or where Corporate Media Services’ media trainers have been quoted.

A transcript is available by clicking on the link in the ‘Title’ column.

 

Date Title Publication Author
Words
10/11/10 New Media – Old Rules – How one quick quip can destroy your reputation Articlesbase Doug Weller
473
23/01/08 Finding the right voice Herald Sun Paula Beauchamp
148
01/11/07 Busting the Media Myths AAA Doug Weller
989
01/02/93 Here is the News Herald Sun Editor
66
15/02/93 ABC makes a new start Herald Sun Editor
173
07/02/93 ABC Close to 24-hour News Plan Herald Sun TV Extra Editor
234
06/02/93 Saddam on Toast TV Week Editor
441
05/02/93 Breakfast at Aunty’s The Age Green Guide Editor
1501
01/12/89 Is Washington ready for Doug? Queensland Wireless News Editor
122
01/12/89 Weller’s away to Washingtion Gold Coast Bulletin Editor
84
01/12/89 Overseas Posting Unknown Editor
236

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Busting the Media Myths 1

Busting the Media Myths

Busting the Media Myths

Published: November/December 2007

Publication: AAA

Author: Doug Weller

Pages: 66-67

Words: 989

Image of article: Shown below

**START TRANSCRIPT**

Busting the media myths

The media can often seem rude, pushy and difficult to understand. Doug Weller give’s a journalist’s point of view and explains why it’s crucial to cooperate with them.

According to some people, journalists are ‘thugs’, ‘parasites’ and ‘scum’. These are just some of the responses we have received when we ask participants what they think of the media at the start of our media training programs. In fact, some responses are even more colourful than this – so much so that they could not be printed here.

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years and even though there are some in the media industry who are not my bosom buddies, I would never describe them using the words listed above. In fact most of the journalists I know are great people – dare I say, some of my best friends are journalists!

So why do some people, particularly those involved in the aged care industry, have such a negative view of journalists and the media?

In a nutshell, it is a clash of cultures and a lack of understanding. In the general community, there is a lack of understanding of how journalists operate, a lack of understanding of what journalists require – especially in crisis – and a lack of confidence to deliver what the journalist wants and needs.

THE OTHER POINT OF VIEW

Journalists work in a pressure cooker. They face deadlines like few other professionals; ‘same-day-stories’ will be done no matter what! If the evening news on the TV is scheduled to go to air at 6pm, it will go to air at 6pm. Not at 6.05pm. Not at 6.01pm.

66 | NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2007 | AAA

All mediums face deadlines and they are sacrosanct. This means, as journalists get closer to those deadlines the pressure increases. And if you refuse to comment on a story, especially in a crisis, journalists will become hostile. They will gather what they require – comments, vision, photos – any way they can. By frustrating journalists who are under pressure to produce a story, you simply ensure the journalist is upset and angry with you when writing that story. That’s not a good move.

Journalists will always meet their deadline! There is no other option. If a journalist, cameraperson or photographer tells an editor they are unable to get what was required to meet the deadline, it is a career destroying move.

THE WRONG RESPONSE

After many years of training people how to deal with the media I believe that most people actually want to comment to the media in a crisis, yet instead, as the pressure increases it all becomes too hard and they say “lock the gates”.

Locking the gates, locking the doors, calling security or the police to keep the media away when you are dealing with a crisis, is an understandable and very normal human reaction. But it causes problems.

If the media is interested in a story relating to your aged care facility it will probably be because you are facing a very difficult situation. It could even involve the death of a resident. The bigger the issue, the bigger the story for the media and the less you may want to talk. However, it should be the other way around. The bigger the issue, the bigger the story, the more interested you should be in speaking to the media.

GIVING THE MESSAGE

You see, it’s not the media on which you need to focus, it is the audience. The media is simply the vehicle by which the message is delivered to that audience. By shutting out the media, you shut out the audience, often when you need to reassure that audience. “No comment” is not a good look, especially in a crisis.

What did you think of the company that last delivered via the media, a curt message of “no comment”? There is always something an aged care facility spokesperson can say. What you need is a formula: a set of words – a process if you like – that will allow them to communicate their message, even when they know very little about a crisis, or can only give very limited comment.

They need to respond quickly. They need to look in control, and appear neat, tidy and confident. They need to deliver a set of words which express concern and action being taken. It doesn’t have to be very long. It just needs to be delivered.

A TELLING EXAMPLE

Some years ago I was covering the story of a death in a residential facility. When I rang the complex the woman on the switch was obviously under pressure and she insulted me, hanging up in my ear. When I arrived with my TV crew we were insulted again and had the gates locked on us. The more the other journalists and I attempted to gain a comment, the more the aged care facility management resisted.

In the end we had TV news helicopters flying above the facility to gather vision. For verbal comment we interviewed family members of those inside the facility. Their comments about the facility were not complimentary.

Without much effort the facility management could have easily handled the situation in a way, which made them look professional, caring and pro-active. The opposite was the case. By the way, on that day we all met our deadline.

For more information contact Doug Weller at djweller@bigpond.net.au or visit his website: www.corporatemediaservices.com.au – see also Gerard Mansour’s state view on dealing with the media on page 25.

DOUG WELLER will be speaking at the Retirement Village Association’s (RVA) National Conference on how to work with the media. The AdvantAGE 07 Conference will be held in Melbourne from 13-15 November at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Victoria. For more information, visit www.rvadvantage.com.au

‘The bigger the issue, the bigger the story, the more interested you should be in speaking to the media.’

‘Doug Weller’

‘By the way, on that day we all met our deadline.’

AAA | NOVEMBER – DECEMBER 2007 | 67

**END TRANSCRIPT**

Busting the Media Myths 1

Busting the Media Myths 2

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Here is the news

Here is the News

Here is the News

Published: February 1993

Publication: Herald Sun

Author: Editor

Words: 66

Image of article: Shown below

**START TRANSCRIPT**

Here is the news

If the bubble and squeak of Today and The Big Breakfast isn’t your style, you can wake up to hard news with the ABC’s new morning show, First Edition, which premieres next Monday at 6.30am hosted by Doug Weller and Kate Dunstan.

“This won’t be the traditional morning program, we want to concentrate on news and current affairs without the chit-chat in between,” Weller told Spotlight.

**END TRANSCRIPT**

Here is the news

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ABC Makes a New Start

ABC Makes a New Start

ABC Makes a New Start

Published: 15 February 1993

Publication: Herald Sun

Author: Editor

Words: 173

Image of article: Shown below

**START TRANSCRIPT**

ABC makes a new start

The ABC’s first ‘serious’ morning news and current affairs program, 1st Edition finally went to air today.

Technical problems delayed the show’s debut by a week, but presenters Doug Weller and Kate Dunstan were excited that today’s show went without a hitch.

1st Edition which covered 52 items including the latest national and international news, a live interview cross to Canberra, checks on what newspapers said, and business and law reports, was difficult to produce.

**END TRANSCRIPT**

ABC Makes a New Start

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ABC Close to 24 Hour News Plan

ABC Close to 24-Hour News Plan

ABC Close to 24-Hour News Plan

Published: 7 February 1993

Publication: Herald Sun TV Extra

Author: Editor

Words: 234

Image of article: Shown below

**START TRANSCRIPT**

ABC Close to 24-Hour News Plan

The ABC will next week strengthen its bid for a 24-hour news service with Kate Dunstan and Doug Weller at the forefront.

Dunstan and Weller will co-host First Edition (premiering tomorrow week and running weekdays at 6.30am) and take the network a step closer to covering national and international news around the clock in a timeslot traditionally dominated by magazine-type shows.

“It will focus mainly on politics and business, and aim to break news,” Dunstan said. The show will also help set up the main news for the day to be built on.”

While the mother-of-two hopes First Edition will appeal to all viewers, she said it would be aimed at people “including politicians and businessmen who lead busy lives”.

“The program should prove popular with those who work early in the morning, and don’t want to spend their evening assessing what has happened throughout the day,” she said.

Dunstan said Australia would not be the only continent to benefit from the show. But she said the ABC was still to negotiate a telecast into Asia.

Dunstan has vast experience in the news-gathering arena, having started with The Age and later moving on to Channels Nine and Seven.

Her First Edition co-host Weller also had penty of experience in the media. His last post was as a political reporter for ABC Radio in Canberra, reporting from Parliament House for the AM and PM programs.

**END TRANSCRIPT**

ABC Close to 24 Hour News Plan

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Saddam on toast

Saddam on Toast

Saddam on Toast

Published: 6 February 1993

Publication: TV Week

Author: Editor

Words: 441

Image of article: Shown below

**START TRANSCRIPT**

Saddam on Toast

There is good news for viewers wanting to wake up to something serious on television.

First Edition starting on February 8, is the ABC’s early morning offering for 1993.

Don’t expect cute-puppy stories or beaming presenters – this is one hour of hard news.

The program will screen on weekdays at 6.30, meaning a 3.30 start for presenters Doug Weller and Kate Dunstan, who say the only bonus is not having to be merry in the morning.

“It is going to be a much more serious program than morning television has been to date.” Dunstan says. “It will be hard news, a lot of international news and a lot of politics. It will be a really serious program.”

There are those who may argue few people will want to fall out of bed to watch the woes of the world on television. But Weller has a different view and points to the success of ABC Radio’s morning news programs, which have a large and faithful audience.

“I don’t think what we are doing is really brave,” he says.

“There are a lot of serious-minded people who watch television at that time of day.”

“The audience we are after will be up at 6.30am and out the door by 7.30am. It’s going to be perfect for them.”

Executive producer Jill Singer, formerly with The 7.30 Report, hand picked the team, which includes reporters Kevin McQuillan and Lisa Backhouse with ABC Radio’s Pru Goward as a commentator.

Dunstan is a familiar face in the ABC TV’s newsroom, reading weekend bulletins and, in summer, the nightly seven o’clock news.

Earlier she was one of the original producers of the Seven Network’s Tonight Live news.

Jill Singer says First Edition will combine headline news with interviews and background stories.

She wants the program to set new ground rules for Australian morning television, which in the past has aimed mainly to entertain.

So what sort of news do you find at 3.30am?

The timeslot gives the first bite at international news and events developing in Canberra.

Singer also points to the way ABC radio news in the morning tends to set the agenda for the day’s news.

“If you listen to radio in the morning, a lot of it creates the news of the day,” she says.

“That’s what we want to do – it’s just that we’re on television.”

By the time First Edition goes to air the team will have had three weeks to make a series of pilots and organise their schedule.

Singer, Dunstan and Weller remain undaunted by their starting time.

Perhaps their zeal has something to do with the origins of First Edition?

**END TRANSCRIPT**

Saddam on toast

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Is Washington ready for Doug?

Is Washington ready for Doug?

Is Washington ready for Doug?

Published: December 1989

Publication: Queensland Wireless News

Author: Unknown

Pages: Unknown

Words: 122

Image of article: Shown below

**START TRANSCRIPT**

Is Washington Ready for Doug?

Sheer hard work and professionalism does pay on ABC Radio!

Brisbane staff, and no doubt many interstate, were thrilled last week to learn that Doug had been promoted to correspondent, Washington.

Doug is likely to take up his appointment in the early new year after seeing out the Queensland election campaign.

It’s a three year appointment and he will join another former Brisbane journo, John Cameron, in the US capital.

State rep Andrew Buchanan had this to say: “This is a great credit to Doug. We also see it as flattering to the Branch. Everyone appreciates the tremendous work Doug has performed for ABC Radio in his current affairs position, particularly over the last 12 months.” #

**END TRANSCRIPT**

Is Washington ready for Doug?

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Weller's away to Washington

Weller’s away to Washington

Weller’s away to Washington

Published: 16 December 1989

Publication: Gold Coast Bulletin

Author: Editor

Words: 84

Image of article: Shown below

**START TRANSCRIPT**

Weller’s away to Washington

ABC Radio’s Queensland chief Doug Weller will take up a senior position as Washington foreign correspondent early in the new year.

The three-year posting is considered the pinnacle of any ABC reporting career.

Weller is a Queensland political reporter with ABC’s AM, The World Today and PM.

In five years of current affairs experience at the ABC, Weller has worked closely with the Joh for PM campaign through to Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s demise, the Fitzgerald Report and the rise and fall of Mike Ahern.

**END TRANSCRIPT**

Weller's away to Washington

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Overseas Posting

Overseas Posting

Overseas Posting

Published: December 1989

Publication: Unknown

Author: Unknown

Pages: Unknown

Words: 236

Image of article: Shown below

**START TRANSCRIPT**

ABC RADIO, known for its excellent coverage of overseas events, is currently shuffling its correspondents around the bureaux.

The Washington job, vacated by Warwick Beutler, is to be filled by Doug Weller, who has been prominent in the coverage of politics in Queensland.

Agnes Warren will become the first ever woman ABC correspondent in London when she takes over from John Highfield. Warren joins the other two London correspondents, Peter Cave and Michael Dodd. Highfield is coming back to Australia to be Radio’s foreign editor.

And what about Warwick Beutler? Well, the Canberra current affairs job still has not been decided yet. However, I have it on good authority that Beutler is a strong contender for the position.

Also up for grabs later in the year are the Asian postings. In the near future there will be changes in Bangkok, Beijing, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

According to Ian Wolfe, controller of information programs (radio), ABC policy is to turn over the overseas offices much more than before.

“In the past, people frequently went to overseas posts and stayed a long time,” he said. “Now we try to share them around as much as possible and keep people on the move.

“One of the big things we offer at the ABC is the opportunity of an overseas posting. We have so many good reporters it’s wrong to say that just one or two people should be overseas.”

**END TRANSCRIPT**

Overseas Posting

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