ABC gets $10m boost to budget
The ABC has been given a $10m boost in funding with the money to go towards the public broadcaster’s news budget.
The boost is funding is a one-off increase and will be used for fact-checking units, more specialist reporters, equipment and links to regional centres.
Staff at the ABC were addressed earlier today and told by management about the funding increase along with the announcement of a number of new senior roles.
Among the changes are the creation of new network rounds. Senior journalist Michael Brissenden will cover defence and national security, Sally Sara social affairs, rural affairs Peter Lewis, resources and business Sue Lannin, consumer affairs Amy Bainbridge, science and technology Jake Sturmer.
ABC’s MD Mark Scott said: “I am delighted that we will recruit more journalists to deliver more in-depth quality reporting on the stories and issues that matter to all Australians.”
Community and Public Sector Union has also welcomed the boost in funding.
CPSU national president Michael Tull said: “The ABC has been under greater pressure in recent years as it deals with the increased workload that a converged media environment demands. It successfully launched News24 with no additional funding and other areas of the corporation paid the price.”
“This money will go some way to alleviating the pressure that has been placed on staff and the wider organisation as the ABC expands its footprint,” he said.
The funding boost is not linked to the current round of negotiations over the triennial funding.
Mark Scott spoke about the ABC’s broader push for greater funding in a recent interview with Encore Magazine:
The ABC will enhance its trusted and independent reporting with a range of initiatives across its News operations that will better meet audience needs.
The moves follow the ABC’s news gathering review which repositions the organisation for the challenges of convergence. This process continues today with the announcement of key senior appointments to deliver news content across ABC radio, television and digital platforms.
The Government will invest $10 million to enable the Corporation to:
* recruit specialist reporters
* establish fact checking and investigative research units
* place more cameras and video links into regional Australia
This investment will result in the recruitment of more journalists and increase the ABC’s ability to deliver stronger coverage of local issues and better represent regional Australia.
More specialist reporters will lead to more investigative work, more analysis and an enhanced news service for audiences.
“Over the past 12 months, we have focussed on further building an efficient and agile news operation, by introducing new ways of commissioning and producing content for all platforms and all audiences” said ABC News Director, Kate Torney. “Today’s senior appointments are part of that process and the provision of additional funding is a welcome opportunity to build on this recent work.”
The recent Essential survey confirmed that the ABC is Australia’s most trusted news service, delivering local, regional and international news and current affairs programming on radio, television and across its digital platforms.
ABC’s Managing Director Mark Scott said: “I am delighted that we will recruit more journalists to deliver more in-depth quality reporting on the stories and issues that matter to all Australians.
The ABC’s News team will focus on increasing the ABC’s original local content, acknowledging that in a fragmented market audiences want information from a trusted independent source that is available to all sections of the community”, said Mr Scott.