ABC to axe 20 metro newsroom jobs as it restructures to adapt to ‘modern media environment’

The ABC will axe approximately 20 jobs in its city newsroom as it seeks to pivot to a structure which can cope with the ‘modern media environment’.

In a statement released today, the national broadcaster said it would re-structure eight capital city newsrooms.

According to a release published on the ABC news website, the changes are in response to audience demands, which include a 12% increase in mobile over the past two years to almost 5m Australian users.

The ABC’s proposed new structure includes the creation of an ABC Investigations team and a Specialist Reporting Team.

A further $15.4m will been invested in rural and regional areas, which will establish 80 jobs in the division. ABC is also looking to expand local radio streaming, with 42 communities able to listen to the stations online and through mobile.

Consultation on the proposal with unions and employees has commenced today.

Director of news, analysis and investigations, Gaven Morris, said the current newsroom structure did not fully support ABC staff to meet “modern audience needs”.

“Reshaping our newsrooms involves challenges. Overall, it is anticipated around 20 positions would become redundant, and we know this would be painful. Against this, new senior editorial roles would be introduced to add to the expertise and skills in the newsroom. At the end of this process we anticipate having the same number of editorial employees,” Morris said.

“Australians overwhelmingly trust ABC News for accurate and independent reporting that reflects their communities and brings their stories to the nation.

“The ABC’s responsibility to provide this valued service increases as other media withdraw from local news.”

ABC’s latest announcement comes a year after it was revealed between 150 and 200 jobs would go. The redundancies were part of a new strategy and transformation program which saw one in five ABC manager roles cut.

Earlier this year, the broadcaster flagged the launch ABC 2.0, a set of initiatives to change the way content is served to audiences.


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