ABC launches massive online and TV arts push

ABC ArtsLess than a fortnight after ABC boss Mark Scott staked out the organisation’s digital turf with a hard-hitting speech deriding Rupert Murdoch’s digital  plans, the public broadcaster has revealed its ambitious plans “to become the premiere online space for the arts throughout the country”.  

In an announcement this afternoon, the ABC said it was launching an arts portal, backed by a new weekly magazine show, Art Nation and several new series, documentaries and specials throughout 2010.

ABC Director of Television Kim Dalton said: “As more and more Australians rely on the internet for news and entertainment, ABC TV is responding by consolidating our arts presence in those spaces. This multi-platform approach to our arts coverage ensures we can utilise the full resources of ABC to provide the most comprehensive arts coverage in Australia, and give audiences more choice in how they consume that content.”

The platform was revealed at today’s Revealing The Arts conference. All arts programs and stories from ABC TV, news, radio and online will be available as video or audio podcasts. There will also be daily news and a weekly newsletter. The site will include video and photo blogs of artists and reporters worldwide. There is also an ABC Arts Twitter profile.

The ABC has also worked on the project with The Australia Council for the Arts, which is creating a Google Map-driven, geo-targeted Arts On The Map feature to link 185 arts organisations across Australia.

The new show Art Nation will feature  news, reviews, performance, features and interviews. It will run the whole year round,  without the traditional break for sport in September.

The ABC also revealed a string of new arts programs:

  • Bush Slam, a six-part series hosted by Greig Pickhaver, which follows a poetry competition throughout regional Australia
  • ABC2 Live presents – which will kick off with Opera Australia’s commission of Bliss, a collaboration with Peter Carey, Brett Dean and Neil Armfield
  • Art And Soul – a three-part Indigenous art series from the director of Samson and Delilah, Warwick Thornton
  • The Matilda Candidate  – a documentary exploring the theme of Australia’s famous song
  • Rudely Interrupted – a rock-doco that follows the band Rudely Interrupted on their first world tour
  • Re-enchantment – an interactive broadband project that explores why fairy tales continue to entertain adult audiences
  • Making Music, in which documentary filmmaker Bob Connelly follows High School students over 18 months as they prepare for classical music concert at the Opera House
  • Lost For Words – following Pitjantjatjara actor, Trevor Jamieson, as he sets out to bring his stage show Ngapartji Ngapartji to the remote community of Ernabella
  • Shawdowplay – Photographer Anton Corbijn and his celebrity portrait subjects such as Bono, Wim Wenders, Michael Stipe, The Killers and Depeche Mode
  • Indonesia Calling – a feature length documentary, focuses on the making of Joris Ivens’ 1945 film “Indonesia Calling”.

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