In order to cope with the recently announced cuts to the ABC and SBS budgets
, the Friday night state editions of the ABC's 7.30
current affairs program are set to be cut. It's been reported that as a “face-saving exercise”, local editions will be replaced by an extended 40-minute Sunday night state news broadcast. Some journalist staff will be retained, but savings are being sought by dismantling the fixed infrastructure and staff production costs. If the local editions of 7.30
are scrapped, what will actually be lost for the communities that the local editions service?
To get a sense of what these cuts will actually mean, we have carried out a brief analysis of all content from each of the separate local editions of 7.30
from January to June 2014.
Across the eight separate local editions of 7.30
there were 709 separate pieces of content produced, including features, hard news and studio-based interviews and discussions. The local editions are broadcast every Friday evening, but each local edition team has the capacity to produce extra or "extended" content that can be published through the ABC's website. An appreciation of the journalistic output of each of the local editions should take into account the online material as this, too, will be lost when the local editions are cut.
There were 21 possible broadcast dates during the sample. Some local editions got bumped for whatever reason (such as Western Australia's on May 23).