Judith Whelan
Judith Whelan (image - ABC)

Judith Whelan appointed ABC Editorial Director

ABC Managing Director David Anderson has announced the appointment of Judith Whelan to the role of Editorial Director, effective in February 2023.

Currently ABC Director of Regional and Local, Judith is one of Australian media’s most respected editorial leaders, bringing more than thirty years of journalism experience to the role.

Judith replaces Craig McMurtrie, who recently announced his retirement. 

David Anderson said the ABC’s editorial policies, standards, and processes were in good hands with Judith’s decision to take on this very important role.

“The ABC’s responsibility as the most trusted media provider is more vital than ever, and I am delighted Judith is taking up this important leadership position.

“The Australian public and ABC employees can have confidence that a journalist and editorial leader of Judith’s calibre will support fearless independent public interest journalism, while ensuring that the ABC continues to meet high editorial standards.

“With the newly announced role of the ABC Ombudsman, the ABC is committed to upholding the highest and most rigorous standards of journalism and production.

“Since joining the ABC in 2016 Judith has led her teams through change and growth and successfully delivered enhanced content and services to our audiences.

“As Director, Regional and Local since 2019, Judith has tirelessly championed the stories and reporting of our teams working in our capital cities and in rural and regional communities, ensuring Australians everywhere can access the content they need. This has been especially critical during emergency broadcasting events.

“I congratulate Judith on the contribution she has made to the ABC so far and look forward to working with her into the future.”

ABC Regional and Local has grown under Judith’s leadership from 56 locations across the country to 66, with the expansion of the regional network earlier this year. The R&L network includes the ABC’s Capital City radio stations, rural and regional teams and regional and local screen content, including Gardening Australia, Back Roads and Landline, sport, live events and ABC Emergency Broadcasting.

In her previous role as Head of Specialist Content she managed the ABC’s coverage across all platforms – television, radio and digital – in arts, science, health and technology, religion and ethics, education, society and culture.

Judith was formerly editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, as well as its news director and the editor of its weekend edition, following more than seven years as the editor of Good Weekend

Judith’s career in journalism also includes experience as a Walkley-nominated news and feature writer, senior editor and a foreign correspondent in both the Pacific and Europe.

Judith said she welcomed the opportunity to take on the Editorial Director role.

“Australians place enormous trust in the ABC to be transparent, accurate and balanced in our reporting. We have always set ourselves the highest standards of editorial accountability and that commitment has given us recognition as Australia’s most trusted media brand.

“With that trust comes responsibility to continue to meet the very highest journalistic standards. There are few media organisations better placed than the ABC to deliver on those expectations and I am honoured to have been given a leading role in this important work.” 

Judith will begin in the role in February 2023. Further arrangements will be announced in due course.

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