News Archive

News Archive

Displaying media stories related to the ABC.

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ABC's Norman Swan denies 'rancour' with chief medical officer after PM's office intervention on coronavirus
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - March 25, 2020

The ABC broadcaster Norman Swan has said there is “no rancour” between him and the chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, after the prime minister’s office called the ABC to ask the two to discuss coronavirus strategy.

Scott Morrison’s office called the ABC’s news boss, Gaven Morris, last week suggesting Swan should speak to Murphy.

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Who is really in charge at the ABC?
Stephen Brook - SMH - March 23, 2020

This week was to be the most consequential of ABC managing director David Anderson’s 31-year career at the public broadcaster. It's the week in which the ultra-low-profile executive was poised to step out from behind the shadow of his celebrity chairwoman, Ita Buttrose, and, well, do something.

But the unveiling of Anderson’s ambitious five-year plan to push the ABC towards a digital future, fine tune some of his zany predecessor Michelle Guthrie’s restructuring, and slash about 200 jobs necessitated by the government’s $84 million budget indexation freeze, was postponed due the coronavirus crisis.

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ABC suspends Foreign Correspondent as Buttrose outlines emergency plan
Helen Pitt - SMH - March 21, 2020

The ABC will suspend its television show Foreign Correspondent and has put a travel ban on its overseas correspondents in light of the coronavirus pandemic, ABC chair Ita Buttrose says.

"Some shows will need to be suspended for now, like Foreign Correspondent ... we've told our international people they can't fly anywhere in the interests of their health and welfare," Ms Buttrose told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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'Whatever it takes': Ita Buttrose promises the ABC won't be muzzled
Helen Pitt - SMH - March 20, 2020

ABC chairman Ita Buttrose describes herself as a “news junkie”.

It’s no surprise, perhaps, after a journalism career of 63 years spanning newspapers, magazines, radio and television. What is a surprise, though, even to her now, is how she found herself at 78 at the helm of the national public broadcaster.

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ABC forced to delay five-year plan and job cuts announcement
Michael Lallo - SMH - March 19, 2020

The ABC has been forced to delay the release of its five-year blueprint – including job cuts – to prioritise its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The national broadcaster was due to announce its long-term plan at the end of this month. A three-year funding freeze that took effect last July, stripping $84 million from ABC's budget, will result in an estimated 200 redundancies.

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Democracy dies in darkness – but AAP closure shows it can be seriously hurt in daylight
Stephen Mayne - The New Daily - March 6, 2020

Can anyone else think of a situation when the two biggest players in a market, both of which are listed on the ASX, get together and agree to close a joint venture which is a key supplier to most of their smaller competitors?

Welcome to the News Corp and Nine decision to summarily shutter Australian Associated Press (AAP) on June 26, ending 85 years of history and jeopardising 600 media jobs.

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News Corp finds someone to blame after pulling the plug on AAP (hint: it's not News Corp)
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - March 6, 2020

The demise of AAP has unexpectedly ignited a war of words between media companies over who is to blame.

According to News Corp – one of the major shareholders who actually took the decision to close AAP – the shuttering of the vital news service is the fault of digital giants Google and Facebook … and the ABC and Guardian Australia. Wait. What?

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News Corp, Nine accused of closing AAP to damage competitors
The New Daily - March 5, 2020

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and fellow media giant Nine have been accused of closing news agency, Australian Associated Press, to damage their smaller competitors.

After repeatedly asserting that unfair competition from tech companies  Google and Facebook brought about AAP’s demise, new reports indicate News Corp and Nine might have had a more cynical motive for closing the decades-old news agency and putting hundreds of staff out of work.

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'You don't save money moving house': ABC boss resists call to shift
Jennifer Duke, Fergus Hunter and Zoe Samios - SMH - March 4, 2020

ABC managing director David Anderson says calls for the public broadcaster to move out of its offices in Ultimo, Sydney and Southbank, Melbourne are not realistic as it cannot afford to invest "hundreds of millions" into relocating.

Mr Anderson said the taxpayer-funded organisation was keen to better represent households in the outer suburbs of cities but noted this would present an additional cost and would not be an efficiency measure.

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AAP is Australian democracy's safety net – its closure will affect us all
Margaret Simons - The Guardian - March 3, 2020

The closure of Australian Associated Press, announced today, is a tragedy for our already under-reported nation. It underlines what was already clear: that the crisis in public interest journalism has reached a critical stage.

It affects us all, threatens our democracy and requires urgent and enlightened responses from our policymakers.

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Bushfires add $3m to ABC emergency broadcasting costs as Coalition cuts funding
Amanda Meade - The Guardian - March 3, 2020

The summer bushfires added an extra $3m in emergency broadcasting costs to the ABC budget at a time the corporation had to absorb an ongoing annual budget cut of $105.9m, the managing director, David Anderson, has told a parliamentary committee.

The ABC told the committee the Coalition’s $84m budget reduction announced in 2018 translated to a cut, but the defence minister, Linda Reynolds, insisted it was an “indexation pause” and ABC funding had been maintained.

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ABC urged to consider selling inner-city offices
Jennifer Duke - SMH - March 3, 2020

The ABC has been urged to consider selling its capital city offices in areas such as Sydney's Ultimo and Melbourne's Southbank and moving to "purpose-built" facilities elsewhere.

Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher "strongly encouraged" the public broadcaster to explore a sale of its inner-city premises as it grapples with a funding freeze projected to shave up to $84 million off its annual budget.

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ABC workers face anxious wait over job, program cuts
Michael Lallo - SMH - March 1, 2020

David Anderson did not mince words at a Senate Estimates hearing last October. “There will be job losses,” ABC’s managing director warned. “It's not something I can quantify at this point in time. There's still more work to be done.”

Towards the end of March, Anderson will reveal a five-year plan for the national broadcaster. To the frustration of staff, it’s unlikely to specify which parts of the organisation will bear the brunt of these cuts or how many workers they might lose.

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ABC staff fear bushfire funding boost won't be enough
Michael Lallo - SMH - February 29, 2020

ABC staff fear a potential boost in emergency broadcast funding could provide false reassurance to disaster-prone communities.

Executives at the broadcaster are lobbying the federal government to lift a three-year indexation freeze that took effect last July, stripping $84 million from its budget. Senior managers say the request is a long shot and that if ABC receives any additional funding, it's likely to be a smaller sum in the form of a tied grant, which can only be spent on emergency news coverage.

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Court ruling against ABC highlights the enormous deficiency in laws protecting journalists’ sources
Dennis Muller - The Conversation - February 18, 2020

The federal court’s rejection of the ABC case against the Australian Federal Police raid on its Sydney headquarters in June 2019 reveals two issues of great importance to freedom of the press in Australia:

If AFP raid on the ABC was legal the law is wrong
Editorial - The Canberra Times - February 18, 2020

Search warrant authorising AFP raid on ABC valid, court rules
Georgina Mitchell, Michaela Whitbourn & Fergus Hunter - SMH - February 17, 2020

A search warrant authorising the Australian Federal Police raid on the ABC's Sydney headquarters was legally valid, a Federal Court judge has ruled, prompting calls for an overhaul of laws to protect journalists' sources.

The decision, which may be the subject of an appeal, was handed down by Justice Wendy Abraham in Sydney on Monday. In a 103-page judgment, Justice Abraham comprehensively dismissed the ABC's legal bid to overturn the warrant and ordered the broadcaster to pay costs.

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Federal police raid on ABC over Afghan files ruled valid

Amanda Meade - The Guardian - February 17, 2020

The ABC’s legal challenge to the validity of a raid by the Australian federal police on the national broadcaster has been dismissed by the federal court.

The ABC’s news director, Gaven Morris, said the decision was “really disappointing” and a blow to press freedom and the public’s right to know.

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Senator James McGrath takes swing at ABC, as government rorts spiral out of control

Michael Pascoe - The New Daily - February 13, 2020

The dogs are barking at the ABC that its excellent disaster coverage over summer has blown the news budget.

That means more jobs will have to go.

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Australian federal police obtained six warrants to hunt down journalists’ sources in 2018-19

Josh Taylor - The Guardian - January 29, 2020

Australian federal police accessed the metadata of journalists 20 times and obtained six journalist information warrants to identify those journalists’ sources in the last financial year.

The data is contained in the federal government’s report on law enforcement agencies’ use of telecommunications data for investigating crimes and surveillance for the 2018-19 financial year.

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Clearest evidence that Morrison must reverse ABC cuts

Michelle Rowland MP, Shadow Minister for Communications - Media Release - January 23, 2020

Scott Morrison has received the clearest evidence yet that he must reverse his cuts to the ABC, with the ABC Managing Director this morning highlighting the whole of agency impact of the unprecedented bushfire season.
David Anderson today confirmed the ABC has covered 850 emergency broadcasting events since 1 July 2019 so far. That’s more than double the number of emergency broadcasting events they covered all of last year, and almost triple the year before that, and we’re only halfway through this year’s reporting period.

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'Life and death': ABC battles to restore damaged networks during bushfires

Zoe Samios & Fergus Hunter - SMH - January 11, 2020

The ABC's radio and TV networks have sustained heavy damage from the bushfire crisis across NSW and Victoria, forcing the national broadcaster to call on the military, commercial media rivals and members of the public to maintain emergency broadcasting.

With a range of radio and TV services knocked out in parts of the country, the broadcaster has been mobilising to restore local radio stations as the priority because of their critical role in providing information to communities during disasters.

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ABC’s coverage of the Australian bushfires
Public Media Alliance - January 10, 2020

ABC’s extensive emergency coverage of the bushfires in Australia across television, radio and online services is in no doubt lifesaving, with staff working tirelessly to provide accurate, reliable and rolling coverage under incredible pressure and in precarious conditions.

Since the bushfires began in early September last year, the scale of the crisis has been unprecedented. More than 20 people have been killed, close to 2000 homes have been destroyed and wildlife and livestock have been majorly affected across the country. Conditions are predicted to worsen. 

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Two media executives and lawyer passed over for Ita Buttrose as ABC chair, FOI confirms
Margaret Simons - The Guardian - January 9, 2020

Two senior media executives and an eminent media lawyer were passed over for appointment as chair of the ABC board last year in favour of prime minister Scott Morrison’s “captain’s pick” of journalist and businesswoman Ita Buttrose, documents released on Wednesday under freedom of information confirm.

Buttrose was appointed as the direct choice of the prime minister despite the fact she had not been through the arm’s length independent selection process.

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ABC under 'growing' cost pressure as bushfire emergency broadcasts surge
Jennifer Duke - The Age - January 3, 2020

The ABC's extensive coverage of bushfires ravaging the country threatens to push the taxpayer-funded news organisation into more budget strife with emergency broadcasting events on track to double in 2020.

There have been 670 emergency broadcasting events for the 2019-20 financial year so far, an ABC spokesman said, compared to 371 for the full 2018-19 financial year. In 2017-18 there were 256 events, a figure that had been surpassed by mid-September 2019.

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