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Background Briefing

ABC (Australia)

Background Briefing is daring narrative journalism: Australian investigations with impact. Our award-winning reporters forensically uncover the hidden stories at the heart of the country’s biggest issues.

Background Briefing is daring narrative journalism: Australian investigations with impact. Our award-winning reporters forensically uncover the hidden stories at the heart of the country’s biggest issues.


Melbourne, VIC


Background Briefing is daring narrative journalism: Australian investigations with impact. Our award-winning reporters forensically uncover the hidden stories at the heart of the country’s biggest issues.




Background Briefing ABC Radio National GPO Box 9994 Sydney 2001 (02) 8333 1385


'The ghosts are not silent'

An awkward Christmas lunch conversation sends reporter Sam Carmody on a search for answers about his family history. The stories he finds out about are so disturbing, they have implications not just for his family but for the entire region, where his ancestors have a statue in their honour, a highway and even a town named after them.


What it's like to face terrorism charges

Since the September 11 attacks, Australia has enacted a staggering number of laws to counter the threat of terrorism. Over one hundred people have been charged with terror-related offences here, but very few have spoken to the media. One Australian man who was charged with offences that can carry up to 25 years in jail, shares his story with Mahmood Fazal for the first time.


Inside the epicentre of Australia's Delta outbreak

As COVID-19 cases surged in Sydney's south-west City of Fairfield, the government enforced tougher restrictions on residents there. But as Geoff Thompson discovers, these constraints have had some devastating repercussions on one of Sydney's poorest areas and where more than half its workers are in industries which can't work from home.


Reality TV's reckoning

Reality shows are a central pillar of the television industry, but for the people who appear on them, the productions can be a gateway to years of mental anguish. As Naomi Selvaratnam found out, for some reality TV stars their moment in the spotlight nearly cost them their life.


A far-right troll's journey from an Ipswich bedroom to global infamy

A young Australian far-right troll was known to his online fans as 'Catboy Kami'. Thousands followed his 'edgy' videos where he targeted children online with a mix of racial stereotypes and hardcore shock tactics. With that fame and notoriety, he's become a useful recruitment tool in the expansion of one of the globe's most extreme social movements. Alex Mann reveals Catboy Kami's true identity and how this young live streamer from south east Queensland ended up in the United States mixing...


Myanmar: The Spring Revolution

In Myanmar, after a military coup in February this year, mass protests were met with brutal force. Borders were shut, the internet was blocked and it is estimated that around 900 people have been killed by the military. But some brave, young activists have filmed their acts of resistance. As their options close, what hope do they have to win back democracy? Due to copyright restrictions there will be no Background Briefing podcast or transcript for this program. You can listen to the full...


Unmasking Monsters

Bob Montgomery was one of Australia's most famous psychologists. But he was hiding a dark secret. Josh Robertson has the story of how he got away with it for so long.


Her name was Mhelody Bruno

She died in tragic circumstances, but it seems that the public, her family, even the court may not have been given the full story. Elise Kinsella investigates why.


The death Uber Eats disowned

Relatives of a dead food delivery rider say he was at work when a truck hit him. Uber Eats says he wasn’t. Patrick Begley investigates


The killer we've invited into the lounge room

When winter arrives there's nothing like curling up in front of a fire heater with a glass of wine. But there's something disturbing in this cosy picture. As Alison Branley discovers, there's a huge risk to our health that we seem determined to ignore, even though it's estimated to kill hundreds of Australians every year


How Australians are escaping India's Covid catastrophe

Thousands of Australians went to India back when it seemed like coronavirus was under control. Some went to care for elderly parents. But, as Alex Mann discovers, their noble intentions counted for nothing when they were locked out of Australia and found themselves in a fight to survive and find a way home.


The rural stoush fuelled by our chicken meat obsession

As Australians eat more and more chicken, we need to find places to raise the animals. But as broiler sheds pop up across rural Victoria, the neighbours are learning that there are more downsides than the smell. A chicken shed next door can stop you building on your own land. Rachael Brown heads to Gippsland to investigate why Rosedale locals are worried that their area will soon be nicknamed 'Chickendale'.


The memo that erased a scandal

Ballarat orphanage superintendent Hylton Sedgman was due to face nine child abuse charges. Buried in a 1964 file is the reason he never stood trial. Charlotte King investigates why.


The Archbishop, the luxury pad, and the COVID-ravaged aged care home

It was the site of Australia's deadliest coronavirus outbreak. This week, Ashlynne McGhee investigates how Melbourne's St Basil's Homes for the Aged has been funnelling tens of millions of taxpayer dollars into the Greek Orthodox Church.


The hidden park of last resort

It’s one of the last affordable caravan parks near Sydney's CBD where people can actually make a home. Many of the residents were driven here in one of life's desperate moments, but as Mridula Amin discovers, not everyone wants to leave.


The Base Tapes | Part 2

In the second and final episode of his investigation, Alex Mann tracks down the two youngest candidates who applied to join the neo-Nazi group and tries to find out how they were radicalised.


The Base Tapes | Part 1

Secret recordings reveal how a global white supremacist terror group dedicated to inciting a race war recruited young Australian men. Alex Mann investigates.


The small town torn apart by big bets

Peter and Kath were investors in a secret punters' club that turned out to be a multi-million dollar scam. When the kingpin pleaded guilty, there were nearly two thousand victims left desperate to find out where their money went. Rachael Brown investigates whether the middlemen know.


The place where people mysteriously disappear

Warren Meyer was a keen bushwalker who always came prepared for a hike. When he vanished in the wild terrain of the Yarra Ranges, police were baffled. Ashlynne McGhee investigates whether his disappearance could be linked to the other unsolved mysteries of Victoria's high country.


The chilling secrets of a Melbourne guru

For decades people have flocked to a bucolic ashram in one of Melbourne’s most exclusive suburbs to hear Russell Kruckman spin his folksy brand of meditation, yoga and spirituality. But as Dan Oakes reveals, there's something rotten in this Shangri La: a horrific list of sexual abuse allegations.