ABC launches digital initiative to connect regional communities

The government has unveiled the public broadcaster’s latest digital initiative aimed at developing the digital skills of regional and rural communities.  

ABC Open will allow communities to create and share their ideas and tell their own stories in forums most relevant to them.

The material will be featured on the ABC’s new local websites and across its other sites. There will also be potential for content to be made available on other broadcast platforms including mobile, radio and TV.

ABC Open is being funded as part of the government’s allocated budget to support the roll-out of the National Broadband Network.

Last year’s federal budget saw the ABC provided with $15.3m over three years under the Regional Hubs Initiative to build the project, purchase equipment and recruit staff.

More than 50 editors and producers will be brought in and based in local radio offices across the country. They will be charged with helping communities design and post their own content, and develop media-rich local stories that encourage the further interactivity.

The ABC Open pilot project will launch in the Tasman Peninsula on 11- 17 January.

Mark Scott, ABC managing director, said: “ABC Open will help bridge the digital gulf experienced by many Australians outside the main population centres.

“The aim is to equip them with the digital skills necessary to exploit the full potential of the new digital environment.”

Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, launched the project in Parliament House today.


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