The Prime Minister reflected on the outcome of the Voice referendum on an episode of ANU podcast Democracy Sausage.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has reiterated his commitment to reconciliation despite the defeat of the proposed Voice to Parliament, in a podcast with The Australian National University (ANU).  
 
The Prime Minister’s remarks feature in a special episode of Democracy Sausage, hosted by Professor Mark Kenny, marking Mr Albanese’s first two years as prime minister. It is the first time a sitting Australian prime minister has appeared on the ANU podcast.  
 
“We know referendums are always hard. And that’s the history of them in this country, and none have been successful without bipartisanship,” Mr Albanese said.  
 
“The referendum was very difficult, of course, for people because it was such a modest request, really, but it was one that wasn’t accepted by a majority of Australians. And we have to accept that.

“And I had to accept my responsibility as the leader of the country for that.  
 
“But it doesn’t diminish my determination to advance reconciliation. It will, of course, need to take a different path.”  

An ANU study found that 87 per cent of Australians think First Nations Australians should have a voice or say over matters that affect them, despite the outcome of the referendum. 
 
The Prime Minister also outlined his vision for some ambitious policy changes he and his government hope to achieve, including social media reform.

Mr Albanese highlighted his concern about the crisis of values being exposed on the internet.  

“I have found over recent times, perhaps because of the position I’m in, but the level of hatred, which is there, and the things that people say – on the internet, on social media, in comment sections – I find it quite extraordinary. 
 
“I can’t believe that people would, face-to-face, say that to anybody else. And they will make the most reprehensible, violent, threatening [comments].  
 
“And that is of real concern. I think that it requires a real debate opening up.  
 
“I think the debate about our youngest Australians and access to social media will broaden very quickly into a debate about social media in general, what the impact is, what the impact of the internet is, and to a debate about our society.”  

The Prime Minister was also critical of the speed of the news cycle and its effect on quality reporting. 

“Some of the articles are essentially about clickbait these days. Media organisations are under pressure, so you have quite dramatic headlines, and then you read the articles, and the articles can be reasonable. 

“There are some journalists who are more stenographers, in particular in the right-wing media, than actual journalists. 

“There are very few journalists who have the opportunity to write long form pieces.” 

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