John Menadue. Media censorship and the NBN

The ABC’s outgoing editor of its Technology and Games subsite, Nick Ross, has claimed that he has been ‘gagged’ by ABC management from publishing further articles about the NBN. He has now left the ABC.

For link to an article on this latest gag on NBN coverage, see link at bottom to article by Renai LeMay of 14 January, in

There is a continuing pattern of failure by the mainstream media to expose the mess that Malcolm Turnbull has left us in the NBN. It has been almost entirely social media, including this blog, that has carried stories about Malcolm Turnbull’s failure in his administration of the NBN.

There has been an unfortunate habit of successive governments blaming a previous government for its failures on the NBN. But Malcolm Turnbull cannot avoid his responsibility for his decision on the multi-technology mix (MTM) model which incorporates Telstra’s copper network and also for his failure to continue with fibre to the home/premises. The MTM and FTTN are his and only his to own.  The ALP got one important thing right – and that was the importance of rolling out fibre to the end-user.

In September 2010 Abbott ordered Turnbull to ‘demolish the NBN’. Malcolm Turnbull seems to be doing his best to do just that..

The same media failure to research and analyse what has been happening on the NBN has been apparent on many other issues. In particular there was a failure to report and analyse government spin on boat arrivals. The ABC, and Radio National in Canberra was one of the west offenders.

We now know that boat arrivals had been reduced from 48 in July 2013 to 5 in October 2013 when Tony Abbott’s Operation Sovereign Borders came into effect.

Just as with boats, the media, including the ABC, has failed to properly research and analyse where the NBN is now headed.

The NBN failure is a major set-back. That is a major story in itself. But the failure of the media to professionally report on the issue is also a major story in itself. A compliant media pulled out all the stops concerning  pink batts and the school building program under the Labor Governments. But the problems with those programs were minor compared with the NBN mess which is now upon us.   The media prefers to turn a blind eye to what is happening with our most important infrastructure project.


John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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5 Responses to John Menadue. Media censorship and the NBN

  1. Avatar john tons says:

    Pity we cannot elect a new media for we are being let down badly by the current lot.
    The biggest infrastructure project and it escapes any reasonable scrutiny.

  2. Avatar Rosalind Lambert says:

    This is so true. The destruction of the NBN, ending the price on carbon, the treatment of asylum seekers and the non funding of our further hope for the future (Gonski) is an absolute disgrace. That will be the lost legacy of the Abbott/Turnbull government.

    • Avatar Fiona Reynolds says:

      ‘Lost’ legacy is mild. ‘Destructive’ legacy is closer to the mark. ‘Deliberately, viciously, destructive’ even closer.

  3. Eric Hodgens Eric Hodgens says:

    Turnbull’s NBN mess MUST be corrected.Not only embarrassing. It will flow on to productivity loss. Thankfully I have access to an alternative fibre broadband provider.

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