ABC political correspondent Jim Middleton is leaving the national broadcaster after four decades.
He has been the face of the ABC’s political coverage and one of the ABC’s most well known foreign correspondents for the past twenty years, but before that he played an important part in one of the ABC Radio’s most sigificant steps into the modern era.
Middleton is known in the press gallery for being a straight shooter and has covered seven federal elections, three eras of government and countless leadership battles. He was an accomplished foreign correspondent in North America.
Before that, it was radio – at a little station called 2JJ which he helped transform into the behemoth that is now triple j.
Reflecting on 44 years at the ABC, Jim described the work he did at 2JJ as a defining time in his career, saying he was particularly proud of the part he played its transition to triple j.
He leaves this week, after accepted redundancy as a result of the Federal Government’s cancellation of the Australia Network contract.
“It’s always sad to leave an organisation which has taken up such a large part of your life, which I have enjoyed wholeheartedly having had so many great opportunities,” Jim said.
He said he had enjoyed “spending so much working time with so many terrific people” as well as the benefits of “working for a fine institution such as the ABC, with the range of opportunities it provides”.
Director of News, Kate Torney says Jim was synonymous with everything the ABC stands for: independence, trust, fairness and integrity.
“He has become a respected media leader in Asia and earned the opportunity to interview heads of government and senior government ministers across the region. Some of his best work has been some of his most recent including his interview in Naypyidaw with the president of Myanmar.”
Current Affairs Canberra reporter Catherine McGrath is also leaving the ABC this month, after 25 years in a range of roles including the ABC’s Asia Editor. She was regularly heard on AM, PM and The World Today. Torney says the ABC is losing two of its finest journalists.