Those who watch new media will know that I have had a pitch on youcommnews about the true cost of the ABC’s new 24 hour news channel. I put a freedom of information request in a while ago, and have just received an acknowledgement. The correspondence is below.

Dear Ms Simons

Thank you for your email of 16 March 2011 seeking access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act. I will consider your request and provide you with a decision as soon as practicable.

As you are aware, under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 I am required to notify you of my decision regarding access no later than 30 days after the day on which the request was received. Accordingly, you can expect to have a decision no later than 15 April.


Judith Maude
Manager, Corporate Planning and Reporting
FOI Coordinator

From: Margaret Simons [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, 16 March 2011 11:14 PM
Subject: freedom of information act request

Dear Freedom of Information Coordinator,

Under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act 1982, I seek access to documents, which show the following things:

1. The total cost of the ABC’s Continuous News Centre from its launch date to the date of this request.
2. The costs involved in establishing and operating ABC24, the 24 hour digital news channel launched in 2010. I seek the additional cost of the service, not including the salaries of journalists and production staff already employed to service other platforms. The ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott, has been quoted as saying that ABC24 has been funded through cost savings elsewhere. I seek documents which show how and in what areas these cost savings have been achieved.
3. Procedures and protocols that govern the coverage of breaking news on ABC24, including the protocols and decision making process for abandoning scheduled programs in order to provide rolling or continuous coverage of breaking news.
4. Assessments, reports and records of internal communication regarding ABC24’s coverage of the Japanese earthquake of 11 March 2011, and its aftermath.
5. Any action taken a) as a result of the criticism of ABC24’s coverage by various media commentators b) as a result of internal assessments of the channel’s performance.

Should you wish to contact me to discuss this request, my email is [email protected] My postal address is PO Box 42, Flemington, Victoria 3031. I can be contacted by telephone on either 03) 9376 8907 or by mobile on 0411 254478.

Please send me an acknowledgement that you have received this request. I look forward to your decision within 30 days.

Yours faithfully,

Margaret Simons
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