ABC admits staff numbers are on the rise

Original article by Sophie Elsworth, James Madden
The Australian – Page: 3 : 23-Jul-21

The ABC has come under scrutiny after new figures showed that its headcount rose by 2.8 per cent in 2020-21, with the addition of 120 additional employees. This includes 95 temporary positions. ABC MD David Anderson recently told a Senate committee that he did not think the public broadcaster’s headcount had increased in the last financial year. Liberal senator Ben Small says the ABC has been exposed as deceiving the public on resourcing, and notes that it is taking on additional staff at a time when its commercial rivals are cutting jobs.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

ABC lashed over call to fund Milligan case

Original article by Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 18 : 5-Jul-21

The ABC’s policy on employees’ usage of social media is under renewed scrutiny after the public broadcaster advised that it will pay the legal costs of investigative reporter Louise Milligan in a defamation case. Federal MP Andrew Laming alleges that his personal and professional reputation were "irrevocably" damaged after Milligan posted a series of tweets regarding claims that Laming had taken a photo of a woman while she was bending over. Liberal senator Sarah Henderson has questioned the ABC’s decision to fund Milligan’s legal defence, adding that taxpayers have the right to know whether it would also pay up if damages are awarded against her.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

ABC pockets $30m in studio sale

Original article by Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 3 : 2-Jul-21

The ABC has sold its Gordon Street television studios in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick for an undisclosed price, which is believed to be about $30m. The public broadcaster had previously sold its Selwyn St properties in Elsternwick, which included studios and warehouse facilities. The ABC relocated its Melbourne headquarters and production facilities to inner-city Southbank after closing its historic Elsternwick studios, which were built when television was introduced in Australia in 1956.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

ABC hits pause on log-in rollout

Original article by Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 3 : 1-Jul-21

The ABC has advised that the introduction of mandatory log-ins for its iview streaming service has been pushed back to the end of 2021. The new system was to have been launched during July and August, but a spokesman says the public broadcaster will give users more time to understand how it will work and the benefits of creating a registered ABC account. Regional Communications Minister Bridget McKenzie has welcomed the decision to delay compulsory log-ins, and says the ABC should implement an ‘opt-in’ model.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

Four Corners morale is at an all-time low

Original article by James Madden
The Australian – Page: 19 : 7-Jun-21

The ABC’s decision to delay a ‘Four Corners’ program on the alleged links between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and a supporter of the QAnon movement is said to have caused a rift within the public broadcaster. ABC news director Gavin Morris referred the story to MD David Anderson, who decided that the story was not ready to be broadcast. The decision has angered senior journalist Louise Milligan and the executive producer of ‘Four Corners’, Sally Neighbour. The internal row follows the ABC’s recent legal dispute with former attorney-general Christian Porter.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

ABC says staff free to post opinions

Original article by James Madden, Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 4 : 27-May-21

The ABC’s MD David Anderson has told a Senate estimates hearing that the public broadcaster’s staff can post their opinions on their personal social media accounts without fear of being disciplined. However, staff must adhere to the ABC’s code of conduct when posting on its official platforms. Anderson has also advised that the ABC is set to secure commercial deals with Google and Facebook under the news media bargaining code. The new revenue stream will be used to boost the ABC’s news coverage in regional and rural areas.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, GOOGLE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED

Business brains bolster ABC board

Original article by James Madden
The Australian – Page: 19 : 17-May-21

Media industry veteran Peter Tonagh is one of three new appointments to the ABC’s board. The former CEO of Foxtel was recommended by the public broadcaster’s independent nominations panel, as was the former MD of the Seven Network’s Perth station, Mario D’Orazio. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher personally chose Fiona Balfour to fill the third vacancy on the ABC’s board; she has extensive experience across a range of business sectors. All three will have five-year terms at the ABC.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, FOXTEL MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

‘Completely excluded’: budget delivers $58.6m to media but ABC misses out

Original article by Amanda Meade
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 13-May-21

Former ABC bureaucrat Michael Ward has criticised the lack of funding for the public broadcaster in the federal government’s May 2021 Budget. He contends that the ABC is among the few media companies that are excluded from the $58.6m funding package. Amongst other things, SBS will receive a $30m funding boost, some $8m has been allocated to community broadcasting and the privately-owned AAP newswire service will receive $15m. The Australian Communications & Media Authority will receive an additional $4.2m to implement the news media bargaining code.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE (SBS), AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA AUTHORITY

ABC regrets unfairness in finance probes

Original article by Sophie Elsworth
The Australian – Page: 19 : 26-Apr-21

Liberal senator Andrew Bragg has criticised the ABC over a lack of balance in its business and economic reporting. It has been revealed that Bragg wrote to the public broadcaster in March to complain about its coverage of the federal government’s proposed changes to responsible lending laws. He contends that the article failed to present the government’s reasons for the legislative changes. The ABC has conceded that the article should have been more balanced. It has also recently corrected a series of reports about the alleged rorting of the JobKeeper scheme.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Fletcher rules out sacking Buttrose over ABC investigation

Original article by Ronald Mizen
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 14-Dec-20

The ABC continues to attract scrutiny in the wake of a controversial ‘Four Corners’ report on the personal lives of two federal government ministers. However, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has refuted suggestions that the government could sack ABC chair Ita Buttrose, stating that he has confidence in the way she is handling a "challenging and very important job". Fletcher has also defended his decision to send a letter to the ABC board in late November querying the decision to broadcast the news story in question.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS