Examiner editor Fiona Reynolds has accepted a position as State Director, ABC Tasmania. Ms Reynolds will not be doing the job from Hobart, as would be expected, but from Launceston.
She starts on June 7.
While this move from the Examiner to the ABC might not be that noteworthy when viewed from afar, it is, in the context of what has happened in Tasmania over the past several decades, significant for several reasons.
It was only a short while ago that Ms Reynolds moved from the ABC to the editorship of the Examiner, a position of power and influence in a town dominated by a particular company and a particular set of interests. Her move back to the ABC, albeit to a position further up the ladder than the one she left at the ABC, seems, on the surface, a lesser position than the Examiner editorship.
A public grown accustomed to how things are done in Tasmania, might have expected Ms Reynolds to take the natural path from the Examiner into the darkened offices of the State government. This she has not done. Perhaps she was not offered a job there, which is rather unfair, because I believe she did steer the Examiner true to the course of service to a particular set of interests that are invariably rewarded in Tasmania.
The public will be wondering whether Ms Reynolds will be able to enjoy the same degree of editorial latitude at the ABC as she exercised at the Examiner. Would the ABC be prepared, for instance, to wear the sort of odium the Examiner attracted when Ms Reynolds so blatantly attempted, against all the evidence, to pin the blame for the “attack” on John Gay’s house onto the community group TAP Into A Better Tasmania?
Time will tell. Meanwhile the show rolls on.