May 14, 2014

ABC’s foreign bureaux in danger after Australia Network budget axing

Many of the ABC's foreign correspondents are funded by the Australia Network contract. Its axing has them fearing for their bureaux and the future of international coverage.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

The closure of the Australia Network will lead the ABC to review its entire international operations. The network’s foreign correspondents fear this will lead to the closure of some of its foreign bureaux, resulting in a loss of nuanced understanding of global events as well as greater dangers for staff who fly in and out of conflict zones.

Last night’s federal budget revealed that, from July 1, the ABC will be funded on $29 million a year less than current levels. Of this, $8.8 million will come from a 1% reduction in total funding, which also applies to SBS’ budget, totalling up to some $43.5 million from the two broadcasters over four years. The rest will come from the Australia Network, which the government is axing. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop last night said the network, awarded to the ABC for 10 years last year in controversial circumstances, had “failed to deliver a cost-effective vehicle” for soft diplomacy into the region.

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9 thoughts on “ABC’s foreign bureaux in danger after Australia Network budget axing

  1. Electric Lardyland

    Strange, I seem to recall an explicit Abbott pre-election promise of no cuts to the ABC. Let’s see if the phalanx of Ltd News hacks start frothing at the mouth over this one.

  2. Raaraa

    News or Sky will announce a contract for broadcast in China and other parts of Asia sometime in the future, I guarantee it.

  3. DF

    As Kevin Andrews said, with that vindictively smug look, “What goes around comes around”. So the ABC’s budget is being cut by the same amount per annum as the cost per annum of the Chaplains in Schools program, whose budget also happens to be twice that (at $50m per annum) of the Australia Network, which reaches into 44 countries in the Asia Pacific Region.
    But why bother with soft diplomacy when you can buy Strike Fighters that will never be deployed in anger. China will never invade Australia – it’s cheaper to keeping buying us, and less mess to clean up afterwards.

  4. David Hand

    Rather than the foreign bureaux, I reckon just axing Q&A would save the money.

  5. AR

    Trooth will be the first frippery discarded when (not IF) Mudorc controls the external service. Just as with his SKY broadcasts into China.

  6. Graeski

    So much of this budget is simply a payoff to Sir Rupert and Lady Gina from Phony Joe and To-rag for their previous and on-going electoral support. The Liberals are rotten to the core.

  7. wormwoodscrubs

    Cuts to ABC suck and Australia Network adored overseas. But why does ABC need so many foreign correspondents in USA and UK? Taking two out of America would save $250,000

  8. Jakob Landis

    Perhaps it is a matter of ABC coverage and commentary that seems to the Coalition to be adverse to them. If serious coverage of politics is stopped, perhaps the cuts will stop.

  9. Recalcitrant.Rick

    Abbott and his cronies have a “Fox News” view of the world, and as we all know, people who watch Fox News know less than people who watch no news at all.

    Fox News Viewers Know Less Than People Who Watch No ……/fox-news-viewers-less-informed-people-fair...
    Nov 21, 2011 – Fox News viewers are less informed than people who don’t watch any news, according to a new poll from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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