News & Views

The latest news, analysis and opinion on the ABC & public media in Australia

Killing the ABC during a national emergency

Quentin Dempster says the departure of many of the ABC’s most experienced journalists, producers and presenters has immiserated the public broadcaster. 250 made redundant, many lost to journalism and broadcasting forever.

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Committee falls sadly short on media freedom.

Last week, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security published its long-awaited report on “the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press”. ABC Alumni press freedom spokesman Jonathan Holmes, finds its proposed solutions “fall sadly short”. . Read more

China, media freedom and rebuilding Australia’s voice in the Asia Pacific

The latest staff and program losses due to government budget cuts have affected almost all areas of the ABC. But things may be looking more positive in one area – ABC International. Read more

Watch Phillipa McDonald's last ABC News sign off

Everyone of the 250 ABC staff made redundant, as a direct consequence of the Federal Government's punishing budget cuts, has a story to tell of their careers at the ABC. At the Alumni, we're keen to hear what redundees have to say about their work and their reflections on the ABC.

One of the departing veterans of the Sydney newsroom is Philippa McDonald, universally admired for her ability to report every kind of story with the same degree of professionalism and humanity - skills honed over the course of 30 years.

Watch Philippa's last sign off

ABC and the digital revolution: what’s next?

The ABC has a long and proud history of pioneering new media frontiers. In the last couple of decades, it has been at the forefront of audio and video streaming, online news and information services, and catch-up video (iview).

So it’s disappointing that the ABC’s leading and innovative role in this critical area appears to have been overlooked in recent federal government policy.

The ABC now faces major budget challenges due to the requirements of digital conversion and the rapidly increasing rate of technological change, for which the government has not committed additional funding.

Already, services to some of Australia’s regional areas have been compromised due to problems with the local transmission towers.

As well, a recent report in The Land warns that regional audiences across Australia may soon be unable to watch ABC and SBS on their television sets due to lack of funding to maintain transmission equipment.

But with many new technologies emerging, decisions on which ones to embrace is a vexed task.

To help us understand this complex area, the Alumni’s tech guru and former ABC RN Breakfast technology editor Peter Marks has prepared this report.

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Call for Senate inquiry

Sign the ABC Friends petition calling for a Senate inquiry into ABC funding.