Michelle Ainsworth


Michelle Ainsworth featured image

Michelle Ainsworth has dedicated her professional life to the pursuit of quality journalism. She understands the vital role played by the fourth estate in preserving the integrity of our democracy.

Michelle is an innovator in thought and action and is currently the Editor of Politics at ABC News. She has 30 years experience as a journalist, producer and news executive with commercial networks and public broadcasters.

Her roles included reporting politics for 2GB and ABC radio, Executive Producer of hourly bulletins at Sky News, and Canberra Bureau Chief at Channel Seven. She then entered management at ABC Canberra, driving collaboration between local radio, news and camera teams.

Michelle led the ABC’s federal election coverage in 2019 and 2022 and returned to the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery to witness the decline in trust in both the media and Australia's democratic institutions. She also observed the growing trend in misinformation designed to confuse Australia’s diverse communities as well as first time voters.

Michelle is passionate about democracy. She believes it is fragile and must be protected from those who seek to disrupt it for their own agenda.

Through the Churchill Fellowship, Michelle wants to explore how international media organisations are exposing political misinformation, to help citizens restore trust in their democratic institutions. She is keenly interested in the use of Artificial Intelligence in election campaigns and how the Australian media can learn from these challenges.

In 2022 Michelle was awarded a Public Service Medal for her leadership in advancing reconciliation in the ACT. Her initiative to incorporate the local indigenous language into ABC Canberra’s daily radio and television broadcasts has since been adopted by ABC news bulletins across the country.


To investigate declining trust in democracy and how the news media can slow this trend

To investigate declining trust in democracy and how the news media can slow this trend

United Kingdom
Public Service
Michelle Ainsworth

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