The Doc doesn’t disappoint; I wrote a week ago that Michelle Guthrie’s honeymoon is well and truly over. And this week, ABC staff affected by cuts at Radio National have met to pass a no confidence motion in senior management.
I’ll get to allegations that Aunty is racist, and why the ABC got Fairfax to take down a story about Radio National from The Age and SMH websites in a minute, but first I had a long chat with an old friend from my ABC days this week. She’s still at the national broadcaster in a senior capacity and while her worries about “business school thinking” in management circles are very real, she still believes that the ABC is streets ahead of its commercial rivals.
That’s a good and important point to make. My friend points out that ABC journalists are among the best in the country and are still breaking stories despite the “constrained resources”.
To make things easier, I’m going to give my friend a name. Let’s call her Hermione Jones.
Ms Jones says that the issues facing the ABC today are the same ones facing all global media, particularly broadcasters:
- Ageing demographics.
- Teenage disengagement from “appointment media”.
- The need to chase audiences into online spaces and to have mobile, downloadable content available.
- Rising production costs and a shrinking revenue base.
The difficulty for the ABC, Hermione suggests, is that attempts to appease the corporation’s political masters and its critics will only hasten Aunty’s demise, reduce her independence and give succor to her enemies.
Read the rest of this story at Independent Australia