Just why did Q&A go to Switzerland? That’s the question that takes pride and place in today’s ABC Attack Missile otherwise known as The Australian Media Diary.
The column written by Sharri Markson and Michael Bodey reheats an old yarn regarding a trip taken by Q&A host Tony Jones and executive producer Peter McEvoy to Switzerland early last year for the Davos World Economic Forum.
Media Diary alleges that Jones and McEvoy made the journey at considerable taxpayer expenses yet failed to actually attend the conference. Diary goes on to claim that Jones and McEvoy had “had a lovely European holiday” and that the ABC's communication department had refused to answer questions regarding the trip.
When asked today by this website to clarify the purpose of the trip, an ABC spokesperson stated “the trip brought them in touch with key decision-makers and assisted Q&A in bringing international guests to the program.”
Asked to clarify exactly which guests appeared on the program as a result of the trip, the spokesperson confirmed that Jones and McEvoy “met directly with the IMF team and locked in the Christine Lagarde Q&A – a world exclusive."
The special episode featuring IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde was filmed in February at the Sydney University. The program featured an audience of students, academics and business people, and answered questions regarding the state of the global economy, women in power, the G20 and more.
Whether or not the trip represented good value for the Australian Taxpayer is a challenging question to quantify. However it would be helpful if The Australian could bring a few more facts to the table before publishing its next hit piece.