The ABC has raided Fairfax and News Corp to beef up its news-breaking prowess. A new 24-member team has been revealed today, to file across TV, radio and online.
The ABC has moved to boost its news-breaking credentials by poaching top reporters from Fairfax, News Corporation and overseas networks to join a new national reporting team. Top foreign correspondents are also being reassigned to national news duties.
Journalists joining the ABC’s team include Sydney Morning Herald investigative reporter Linton Besser, The Age’s crime editor Dan Oakes and Courier-Mail senior reporter Mark Solomons. Foreign Correspondent reporter Trevor Bormann — who broke the Prisoner X story — and Tokyo correspondent Mark Willacy are also joining the national reporting team.
The 24-member team — funded through a $10 million ABC budget boost announced in February — will be led by former Media Watch executive producer Jo Puccini. The team, which includes nine external hires, will file across TV, radio and online.
Bormann and Besser will report from Sydney; Oakes will file from Melbourne; Willacy will work alongside Solomons in Brisbane. Andrea Jonson, formerly of the BBC and Seven Network, has been hired as a Sydney producer while TVNZ producer Dale Owens will work in the ABC’s Perth bureau.
The loss of the Walkley Award-winning Besser is a blow for the SMH given his record exposing Eddie Obeid’s front companies, lavish Defence Force spending and the secretive NSW Crime Commission.