Insiders (Australian TV program)

Insiders is an Australian news and talk television program produced by ABC News, and hosted by David Speers, airing at 9am Sunday mornings on ABC TV, ABC News and on demand via ABC iview.

Insiders title card
GenrePolitics, analysis
Presented byDavid Speers (2020–present)
Barrie Cassidy (2001–2019)
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons23
Executive producerSamuel Clark
Production locationCanberra, Australian Capital Territory
Running time60 minutes
Original release
ABC News (2010–present)
Release15 July 2001 (2001-07-15) –

History edit

The program debuted on 15 July 2001, and was hosted by Barrie Cassidy for 18 years until his retirement in June 2019. Similar in format to Sunday morning talk shows in the United States, Insiders analyses and discusses Australian politics with the use of a panel of political journalists and columnists and interviews with prominent politicians and commentators.

Broadcast on the ABC on Sunday mornings at 9am, the program also features many regular commentators from various Australian media outlets and think tanks. The show is part of the ABC's Sunday morning line-up, commencing with Insiders, followed by Offsiders, a sports program initiated[1] and formerly hosted by Cassidy, and now hosted by Kelli Underwood.

Fran Kelly hosted Insiders while Barrie Cassidy was on long service leave, and Chris Uhlmann, prior to his move to the Nine Network, also hosted the show in Cassidy's absence.

In March 2019, Cassidy announced he would be leaving Insiders after the 2019 Australian election and after eighteen years in the hosting chair.[2] His last show was on 9 June 2019; regular fill-in presenters Fran Kelly and Annabel Crabb alternated hosting duties until the end of the year.

In June 2019, David Speers was announced as Cassidy's replacement from 2020.[3]

In June 2020, the program received criticism for having an all-white panel discussing the Black Lives Matter movement.[4] An investigation by Junkee discovered that there seemingly had never been a person of colour on the panel in the show's history.[5] Consequently, ABC journalist Bridget Brennan accepted an invitation to be on the following week's program, seemingly becoming the first non-white person to ever appear on the Insiders panel.[6] Addressing the criticism, Speers admitted the previous week's edition of Insiders lacked an important perspective and that the program needed to do better in having more diverse insights into political debate.[6]

In May 2023, it was announced that the show would relocate from the ABC's Melbourne studio to Canberra later in 2023.[7] The first episode broadcast live from Canberra was broadcast on 9 July 2023.[8]

Format edit

As a Sunday morning talk show, the original format of the program usually started with Cassidy discussing the political issues of the week, followed by an interview with a current Australian political figure, usually an Australian politician. Each week in the studio, Cassidy discusses current political issues with a panel of three commentators/journalists of varying political perspectives.

The 2007 series included small changes to the format of the show: re-ordering the segments, commencing the program with the political interview, followed by "Your Shout". Paul Kelly's discussion (this segment was discontinued in 2010) was then used as a starting point for the panel discussion. "Talking Pictures" continued to provide a break point within the panel discussions, with the show concluding with its customary sign-off where Cassidy asked the three panel members for their "final observation and predictions".

In 2011, the usual program format began with a brief monologue from Cassidy followed by a brief video summary of the major events of the preceding week. Cassidy then reviewed the Sunday papers with the studio panel before moving on to the studio guest. If the guest is present in the studio the interview is introduced by a short video clip relating to the first interview question. The interview usually lasts until midway through the hour and is followed by a video clip which concentrates on events surrounding a major news topic of the week. This was followed by a panel discussion between Cassidy and his studio guests. Cassidy introduced "Talking Pictures" towards the end of the hour, which is followed by more studio discussion. The show usually wound up with Cassidy introducing amusing or otherwise interesting media clips followed by an observation or prediction from each panel member before Cassidy ended the show with a final media clip or two.

The program's editor, Huw Parkinson, has produced dozens of video mashups compositing the faces of political figures onto films and other pop culture footage.[9] Parkinson's videos won him a Walkley Award for multimedia storytelling in 2015.[10]

Since David Speers became host the format has remained relatively consistent, with an opening edited video compilation that frames the weeks key events, opening remarks and discussion with the three panellists, a look at the Sunday newspaper stories followed by a political interview of around 15 to 20 minutes in duration. The discussion returns to the panellists for around 20 minutes then breaking to a prerecorded Talking Pictures package (hosted by Mike Bowers with a weekly guest), then returns to the studio for closing comments and observations.

Regular segments edit

Your Shout edit

The Your Shout segment (which was dropped in 2010) gave a member or group of members of the public a chance to air a grievance or present opinions about topical political issues that concerned them, in a short, pre-recorded segment shown during the program. It appears that the program attempted to ensure that the members of the public selected from week to week represented a broad range of political opinion and were spread across different parts in Australia.

Talking Pictures edit

Presented by Mike Bowers, the Talking Pictures segment analyses political cartoons and photographs featured in the nation's newspapers, magazines and news websites from the previous week. Regularly appearing cartoonists and photographers have included Warren Brown, Bill Leak, Geoff Pryor, Bruce Petty, Alan Moir, Peter Nicholson, Mark Knight, Jon Kudelka, Matt Golding, David Pope, Paul Batey, Cathy Wilcox, Sean Leahy, Fiona Katauskas and Alex Ellinghausen.

Poll of Polls edit

Presented by Andrew Catsaras, the Poll of Polls segment aggregated and reviewed political polling from the previous month. This segment commenced in February 2012, appearing during the last week of each month in 2012, moving to the first week of each month in 2013.[11]

The Curve edit

Presented by Casey Briggs,[12] The Curve[13] started in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic providing weekly analysis and information graphics of infection and hospitalisation rates. The segment has evolved into other subject areas including electoral polling analysis and the 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice referendum called The Crunch .

Commentators and panellists edit

Regular panellists edit

Commentator Background Latest appearance
Lorena Allam Indigenous affairs editor, The Guardian 31 July 2022
Waleed Aly Presenter, Network 10 12 November 2023
Clare Armstrong[14] National Political Editor; Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Adelaide Advertiser, Courier Mail 11 February 2024
Bridget Brennan Indigenous Affairs Editor, ABC News 3 December 2023
Dan Bourchier Journalist and presenter, ABC News 8 October 2023
James Campbell Political Editor, Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Herald Sun and the Sunday Mail 27 November 2022
26 November 2023
Annabel Crabb Political journalist, ABC 13 August 2023
David Crowe Chief Political Editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald 18 February 2024
Phil Coorey Political Editor, The Australian Financial Review 4 February 2023
Tom Crowley[15] Journalist, The Daily Aus 2 July 2023
Katina Curtis Canberra bureau chief,The West Australian 3 September 2023
Rafael Epstein Presenter, ABC Radio Melbourne 2 April 2023
Osman Faruqi Culture editor, The Age and Sydney Morning Herald 13 August 2023
Anthony Galloway Chief Political Correspondent, Capital Brief 29 October 2023
Andrew Greene Defence correspondent, ABC News 30 April 2023
Jacob Greber Senior correspondent Australian Financial Review 11 February 2024
Peter Hartcher[16] Political Editor and International Editor for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald 5 November 2023
Anna Henderson Chief Political Correspondent, SBS World News 26 November 2023
Jennifer Hewett[17] National Affairs columnist, The Australian Financial Review 12 November 2023
Sarah Ison Federal Political Reporter, The Australian 13 August 2023
Stan Grant Journalist 20 November 2022
John Paul Janke Journalist, NITV 18 February 2024
Greg Jennett Political correspondent, ABC 29 October 2023
Jacob Greber Senior Correspondent, The Australian Financial Review 23 July 2023
Narelda Jacobs Presenter, Network Ten 3 July 2022
Patricia Karvelas Presenter, ABC Radio National Breakfast 1 October 2023
John Kehoe Economics editor, The Australian Financial Review 10 September 2023
Fran Kelly Journalist 10 September 2023
Paul Kelly Editor-at-Large, The Australian 11 September 2022
Sean Kelly Journalist, The Sydney Morning Herald 27 August 2023
Mark Kenny Senior Fellow at the Australian Studies Institute at the Australian National University 25 June 2023
Jack Latimore Indigenous affairs journalist, The Age 16 April 2023
Rosie Lewis Political Correspondent, The Australian 12 March 2023
Claudia Long Journalist, ABC News 10 December 2023
Samantha Maiden Political Editor, 4 February 2024
James Massola National Affairs Editor, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald 26 November 2023
Sarah Martin Chief Political Correspondent, The Guardian 3 July 2022
Shalailah Medhora Political Reporter, Triple J Hack program 20 August 2023
Karen Middleton Chief Political Correspondent, The Saturday Paper 4 February 2024
Dana Morse[18] National political reporter at ABC News 24 September 2023
Katharine Murphy[19] Political Editor, The Guardian Australia 8 October 2023
Andrew Probyn Former Political Editor, ABC News 14 May 2023
Ashleigh Raper Political Editor, Network 10 18 February 2024
Amy Remeikis[20] Political reporter, The Guardian Australia 30 July 2023
Niki Savva Author, political columnist (The Age and Sydney Morning Herald) and former Liberal staffer 10 December 2023
Greg Sheridan[21] Journalist, Foreign Editor,The Australian 30 July 2023
Annika Smethurst State Political Editor, The Age 20 November 2022
Cameron Stewart Chief International Correspondent, The Australian 9 October 2022
Lenore Taylor Editor, The Guardian Australia 5 November 2023
Laura Tingle Chief Political Correspondent, ABC and 7.30 program 27 August 2023
Peter van Onselen Contributing Editor, The Australian newspaper and Professor at Griffith University 8 October 2023
Shane Wright[22] Senior Economics correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald 20 August 2023
Panellists who have appeared since February 2022, Source: ABC Insiders website[23]

Former panellists edit

Commentator Background
Piers Akerman Columnist, Sydney's Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph
Dennis Atkins Former National Affairs Editor, The Courier-Mail (last appeared 1 November 2020)
Andrew Bolt Host of The Bolt Report on Sky News Live, Herald Sun columnist and blogger
Tim Blair Opinion Editor, Sydney's Daily Telegraph
Malcolm Farr The Guardian Australia
Gerard Henderson Executive Director, Sydney Institute[24]
David Marr[25] Journalist, The Guardian Australia
George Megalogenis Author/columnist, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald (last appeared 13 May 2018)
Glenn Milne Political journalist, The Australian and News Corp Sunday publications (sacked as a panelist)
Gareth Parker Former Presenter, 6PR
Matt Price Sketch writer, The Australian (deceased)
Mark Riley Political Editor, Seven News
Lanai Scarr Former journalist, The West Australian (last appeared 13 March 2022)
Tory Shepherd Journalist,The Guardian Australia and former News Corp correspondent
Michael Stutchbury Editor-in-Chief, The Australian Financial Review
Brian Toohey Former columnist with The Australian Financial Review[26]

References edit

  1. ^ "Beyond the boundary". 16 February 2006.
  2. ^ "Barrie Cassidy to leave Insiders". TVTonight. 16 March 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ "David Speers to host Insiders from 2020". TVTonight. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  4. ^ Sutton, Candace (14 June 2020). "ABC's Insiders: Host forced to admit its failure to include Indigenous voices". Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  5. ^ Scott, Rob (12 June 2020). "ABC's 'Insiders' has not had a person of colour on its panel in at least a decade". Junkee. Retrieved 29 March 2023. The publicly available archives are patchy between 2005 and 2010, and there are no archives available before 2005, so it's impossible to be certain, but an ABC spokesperson was unable to nominate a single person of colour who had appeared on the Insiders panel in the show's history.
  6. ^ a b Knox, David (15 June 2020). ""Insiders does need to do better"". TV Tonight. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  7. ^ Meade, Amanda (4 May 2023). "ABC's Insiders moving to Canberra after 21 years in Melbourne". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Insiders moves to Canberra, expanded role for David Speers". About the ABC. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  9. ^ "ABC's Game of Thrones spoof unites Donald Trump lovers and haters". ABC News. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Huw Parkinson". The Walkley Foundation. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Poll of Polls". ABC News, Insiders. 1 December 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  12. ^ "Casey Briggs: Latest articles and reports". ABC News ( Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  13. ^ "The Curve". Facebook, Insiders page. 16 August 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  14. ^ "Clare Armstrong profile". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  15. ^ "Tom Crowley". The Daily Aus. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  16. ^ "Peter Hartcher profile". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  17. ^ Hewett, Jennifer. "Jennifer Hewett AFR Articles". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  18. ^ "Dana Morse". abc, Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  19. ^ "Katharine Murphy profile". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  20. ^ "Amy Remekis profile". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  21. ^ "Greg Sheridan profile". The Australian. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  22. ^ "Shane Wright profile". The Sydney Morning Heradl. Retrieved 30 July 2023.
  23. ^ "Insiders - About Us". ABC. Australian Broadcasting Commission. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  24. ^ "Conservative commentator Gerard Henderson dropped from ABC's Insiders program". 24 February 2020.
  25. ^ "David Marr Profile". The Guardian Australia. Retrieved 12 July 2023.
  26. ^ "Brian Toohey profile". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 12 July 2023.

External links edit