Lateline Cleared…but the rats keep chewing

June 14, 2008

Lateline was cleared this week by the ABC’s independent complaints review panel over 30 points of complaint regarding their expose of child sexual abuse in remote Aboriginal communities. 

The complaint, all part of an attempt by some with ulterior motives to prevent the reporting of this important issue have not taken their defeat lying down.

Chris Graham, from the National Indigenous Times newspaper, was at it again on crikey.com.au this week, suggesting that the ABC independent review panel was not independent at all.

When posters on the site criticised this baseless suggestion, he deomonstrated MacBeth style paranoia and refused to respond to arguments levelled against him. Truly spectacular to see.

In fact, the only complaint upheld was that a piece of footage should have displayed the tag ‘file footage’.   

Quelle surprise indeed!

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You’re watching Breakfast, with Virginia Trioli

May 4, 2008

whispers are that Virginia Trioli will host the new ABC Breakfast news programme on ABC2. If she does it will mean saying goodbye to Lateline (NO!) and possibly Sunday Arts (NOOOOO!) …as well as a return to Melbourne, from where the show will be produced.

If anyone can make it a success, VIrginia can. But how will she cope with the early starts?


Clarke To Be Put In Hall

April 21, 2008

Hugely popular ABC comedian, John Clarke, is to be inducted into the Logie Hall of Fame this year.

Clarke, who along with Bryan Dawe have entertained audiences for decades, including through their weekly 7.3O Report skits, has been living in Australia after migrating from his native New Zealand in the 1970s.

Well done to John, and here’s hoping we hear him for many years to come.


ABC: 2020 Vision

April 19, 2008

ABC logo

On the eve of the 2020 summit in Canberra, the ABC’s Managing Director, Mark Scott, has unveiled his vision for the state of the National Broadcaster in 2020.

Mr Scott aims to have 6 television channels, including the previously announced ABC3 children’s channel, ABC4: a 24/7 News Channel, ABC5: an educational channel and ABC6: a ‘best of’ channel.

Expansion of the radio networks is also planned, with new stations focussing on Country, Jazz, Swing, Hip-Hop, Metal, Childrens, Rural, Sport and Health.

Further expansion of online services is also advocated.

The central aims of the Corporation will be under the following banners: Universal, Local, International, Quality and Diversity, Innovation and Australian.

Of course all this is only possible if the ABC funding is increased to an adequate level, with July 2009 the date of the next triennial funding agreement starting.  

The full vision is avaialble to read here: http://abc.net.au/corp/pubs/documents/2020_ABC_in_the_Digital_Age.pdf


ABCTV Outsourcing Confirmed

March 26, 2008

TV 

Today ABC Managing Director Mark Scott revealed that recent rumours about ABC outsourcing television production were true.

 “I think the future for the ABC is to create some programs on its own, to create other programs of partnership,” he said.

“When we do that though, we need to ensure that all the productions we do – done in partnership or done internally – are done to the high standards that the ABC sets – our editorial policies, high standards for integrity and quality.”

However others, particularly the ABC staff union, are concerned that this will mean a loss of the ABC’s unique programming streams.

Graeme Thompson from the union explains: “If the ABC becomes nothing more than a broadcasting stick or tower for other people’s programs, it’s going to be increasingly hard to distinguish what’s different about the ABC from its commercial competitors.”

Worrying indeed. How would ‘Compass’ be altered if created by an outside production company? Less willing to be honest? Less broad in its spectrum of interest? We already know what a ‘Catalyst’ programme would look like if made by outsiders – it happened in 2001 when Jonathan Shier axed ‘Quantum’ and replaced it with a bought programme. The resulting disaster of a programme led to ‘Catalyst’ being commissioned. Let us hope that Kim Dalton learns the lessons of history…


“You’re watching ‘Breakfast’, on ABC2”

March 13, 2008

abc2logoblack 

Not quite, but as part of the previously mentionned ‘Continuous News Centre’, the ABC is planning to launch a breakfast news service on ABC2. This service, which will be quite distinct from ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Today’ will essentially use new means to deliver existing news content to the channel.

An example would be broadcasting an interview whcih aired on ABC Radio’s ‘AM’ programme. This type of delivery will be essential, as the ABC is funding all its new ventures from existing revenue.

Regardless, it will be an interesting development, and could be a stepping stone to a fuller service down the track. 


Channel explosion!

March 12, 2008

ABC Innovation 

The ABC today has begun the process of launching some brand new channels.

First was the launch of ‘ABC playback’. ‘ABC Playback’ allows internet users with fast (ADSL2) download speeds access to tv quality downloads of ABC programmes.

 Second is the ‘ABC Shop Player’, which allows internet users to purchase programmes which are on sale at ABC Shops. This service bridges the gap between the old style of retail, and genuine online trading. This service will expand in time and include many archived programmes.

Finally is ‘ABC Real’, which will allow users to watch the ABC’s huge natural history documentary archives, in all their glory.

A further, and some would argue more interesting development has also come to light – the ABC is launching a 24 hour news service….but only internally. Not in any way a traditional channel, more of a resource, however it lays the groundwork to enable a future news channel to operate. Something which would be most welcome by many people.

In addition, the local radio website relaunches, as mentionned in previous blog posts here has launched today, though with errors on most pages. Working to a deadline for a massive project can do that. No doubt the web development team will be hard at work over the coming weeks fixing the errors. Regardless, it is a fantastic addition to the ABC’s online presence.