‘The Drum’ ABC Opinion Site Axed: Michelle Guthrie’s Decision Political?

‘The Drum’ ABC Opinion Site Axed: Michelle Guthrie’s Decision Political?
The DrumABC The Drum/ Facebook

In a shocking move, ABC closes opinion website “The Drum.” The effects were significant and instantaneous, probably Michelle Guthrie that her decision was to rash and not well thought out.


In a reportedly cost-saving move, ABC new managing director Michelle Guthrie ordered the shutdown of the opinion website “The Drum.”

The ABC is reportedly insisting that the move was largely decided upon by the head of news, Gaven Morris. Allegedly, this is to ensure that the news division’s online output will all be under one website already, at the expense of “The Drum.”

This decision however, looks a bit odd. According to the Guardian, the axing of “The Drum” will not really save ABC that much money. First, “The Drum” only has two staff. Contributors working for “The Drum” are reportedly not even paid that well.

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The real reason must be is that Guthrie will rather streamline ABC’ online analysis by focusing more on news analysis only and no more outside opinion (or at least significantly less.).

The Drum” had its fair share of controversies and critics. In 2010, Crikey publisher Eric Beecher slammed it for overstepping its boundaries to step on other sites (particularly Crickey).

“Operating in the commercial space, we expect vigorous competition from other commercial publishers,” Beecher said. “But to see the ABC tanks roll up on our lawn was bewildering.”

Well known personalities and ordinary fans of the site are split. Some agree that it was time to let “The Drum” go, but others smelled something fishy with the move. Many assert that Guthrie must be moving in accordance to Rupert Murdoch’s machinations. See some of the tweets below.

it becomes clear Guthrie really is a Murdoch stooge & Murdoch has now infiltrated @abcnews @ABCthedrum @ABCNews24 https://t.co/Qch1MipPdE

— luke mcavenna (@rhythmnation) July 5, 2016

So the dismantling of the ABC has began. 1st FactCheck, now The Drum. What’s next? The IPA/Murdoch take over of the media is almost complete

— Craig (@Sutto2606) July 5, 2016

Murdoch gets his way : ABC closes opinion website the Drum with immediate effect https://t.co/tSu4GCda7E

— JohnPaul (@jpcenzato) July 5, 2016

Bad news for freelance writers, and a strange move by the ABC https://t.co/rF0uFvPOBB via @smh

— Ben Cubby (@bencubby) July 5, 2016

Hoping The Drum’s final opinion piece is “Why I axed The Drum”, by Michelle Guthrie.

— Mark Humphries (@markhumphries) July 5, 2016

Others just praised “The Drum” for what it has accomplished.


  • Mat Dub

    It was one of the few websites I visited regularly. I certainly wont be heading over to crikey as a result.