Monday 26th of October 2020

killing it in front of you...

the murder of the ABC...

After days of high-pressure emergency broadcasting at the height of the bushfires sweeping through East Gippsland last summer, this was a moment that brought ABC Gippsland presenter Mim Cook to tears.

"It was like the whole of East Gippsland shutdown overnight when the fires hit," Cook recalls.

"Power was out, there was no landline or mobile coverage, roads were cut and there were lots of isolated communities we couldn't get in touch with," she says.

"We were trying to find out what had happened in each pocket and slowly managing to get in touch with people.


"At one point a woman rang in to ask us to if we could broadcast a message she'd received from 'Jock in Combienbar' who wanted to let his mum, 'Iris in Cann River' [50 kilometres away], know he was alive and safe.


"The phones were all down and he was stuck there, but OK.

"It was quite emotional, and I tear up even now talking about it."

Home to a handful of permanent residents, the remote Combienbar farming settlement is situated in a picturesque valley surrounded by mountain ranges.

On New Year's Eve, as a large blaze threatened the community, Peter 'Jock' Millage and four neighbours were stationed at his home with a water tanker and pumps, preparing to defend their properties.


"It was pretty scary stuff — I've seen bushfires before but nothing like the size and speed of this one," the 64-year-old says.


It came through in the early hours of the morning, sounding like a jet taking off.

"It was a horrific noise and the worst thing was that the smoke was so thick [even when the sun rose] you couldn't see anything — it was pitch black.

"You could hear the fire, you knew you were surrounded by it, but you couldn't' see it.

"We had three days of complete blackness, even at midday you had to get around with a torch.

"But we were lucky — it dodged us and burnt the mountains around us."


Read more:


Click on the picture to the link of the times when Abbott and his gang, now the Scummo gangsters, started to destroy a gem, by starvation. Has there been a statement by Ita about the latest sackings at the ABC due to funding cuts?...


The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), whose members include ABC staff, has issued a statement criticising the latest job cuts. It says it is a case of “death by a thousand cuts for ABC staff”.

The CPSU says the latest plan will hit Australian content creators hard, as well as see an end to flagship ABC programs. It has called on the government to halt the funding freeze and commit to a five-year ABC funding model.

The union says the cuts will affect technology, news, entertainment, specialist and local teams, and will have “major impacts on content makers and specialist teams, stripping seniority and experience from the organisation”. It says the $5m cut to independent production “means less Australian drama and content on our screens”.

The secretary of the CPSU’s ABC section, Sinddy Ealy, said everyone could see that the media and arts industries had been hit hard by Covid-19, and they needed the ABC to assist in the recovery. 

Cutting jobs now is utter madness.

Ealy added:

The ABC has delivered through all major crises of this year. The ABC has provided in some cases lifesaving information throughout the droughts, fires and now a health pandemic. It is clear that Australia needs a strong ABC now more than ever.


Read more:

destroying the ABC is on the liberals' (CONservatives) agenda...



Click on picture to get the link...

unfortunately not...

Kevin Harris of Beecroft has a letter published in today's SMH (25/6/2020...


Upside to Aunty cuts

Will the proposed ABC changes result in the demise of the endless vacuous British panel shows in which ‘‘celebrities’’, largely unknown to Australians, jolly on with each other to the apparent delight of mostly unseen studio audiences (‘‘ABC outlines plans to cope with freeze’’, June 24)?

Kevin Harris, Beecroft



It is most likely that the ABC will get more of these, Kevin, for the single reason that these programs are cheap to buy while creating original material is expensive... So, the less money for the ABC, the less the ABC can produce, and the more it has to buy in... But the ABC budget cuts are a scandals as much as unnecessary. The ABC provides a great service to the nation and should be able to continue rather than being forced to destroy itself... 


The Libs are morons...

lean and starved...






dealing with budget cuts...

ABC to cut national head of emergency broadcasting position despite bushfires success

ABC management wants to eliminate the national position and instead run emergency broadcasting on a state-by-state basis

The ABC plans to make its national head of emergency broadcasting redundant following a deadly fire season during which Australians credited the organisation with saving lives.

As part of cuts announced by the national broadcaster this week, ABC management wants to eliminate the national position and instead run emergency broadcasting on a state-by-state basis.

Axing the national role will leave the ABC in a similar position to state fire agencies, whose parochial approach to information distribution caused confusion and misinformation in the border between New South Wales and Victoria this summer, the royal commission into national natural disaster arrangements has heard.


Read more:



Read from top. Liberals = idiots...

taking over the propaganda...

Now you might think that Tony Abbott was a clever man, standing up to China, Russia and making a fool of himself with Pommy Honours, but his lies about "not defunding" the ABC were some of the vilest actions of this stupid man.


Place this in your head: this vile character (who just got a gong for idiocy) categorically claimed he would not defund the ABC, before being elected — unless he meant "he would not defund the ABC before being elected" (a comma makes a big difference in the intentions of a con-man). Once elected he did exactly the opposite and took large amount of funds away from the ABC (talk about 700 millions over 7 years) to the clamour of his Liberals* mates and of course Rupert Murdoch who HATES the ABC. And as shown in the mischiefed picture at top, Malcolm Turnbull, as the Minister for decommunitating, obliged (Malcolm's NBN is a farce as well).


One of the "cleverest" parts of this defunding was to eliminate "Radio Australia" and such, which was transmitting to the Pacific nations and to the Asian nations, balanced news and views from Australia — on short waves. Note: unlike UHF, VHF and FM, short waves transmissions are the preferred means of listening to radio in most remote parts of the world... As well, the TV broadcast was then given to Channel 7, if my memory serves me right, to bore the people with commercial crap and advertising until it was shut down...


Meanwhile, the Chinese saw an opportunity. They took over the short wave broadcasting to the pacific nations in their own language (not in Chinese not in English)... The Australian propaganda was replaced by Chinese propaganda... So now our Liberal* government, the descendant of Tony Abbott's misery-guts, is up in arms about this... HELLO? As well, the decent Pacific diplomacy by Labor was soon replaced with Liberal* disdain... Remember Julie Bishop fucup joke about Kiribati and rising sea levels?...




A tiny Pacific country delivered China an important victory this week.


Key points:
  • Kiribati's Government wants to develop infrastructure at their atolls to boost tourism
  • Canberra and Washington are worried about China's financial support in the Pacific
  • Kiribati and the Solomon Islands abandoned alliances with Taiwan last year


Kiribati, an archipelago of atolls scattered along the equator, re-elected President Taneti Maamau to serve a second term after a robust election campaign.

The man responsible for the switching Kiribati's allegiance from Taiwan to China survived the challenge to both his leadership and his diplomatic manoeuvring.

The nascent relationship with Beijing now has space to grow, but the continuity doesn't mean calmness.

There are concerns China's growing presence in Kiribati could prove disruptive, both among the atolls and between superpowers.


Read more:



Read from top. Note Liberal* denotes that they are not liberals but CONservatives. This Liberal moniker is a misnomer created by Menzies and designed to confuse people about their rabid reactionary intent...

no effing merger please!

ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose has lashed out at Communications Minister Paul Fletcher over the Morrison government's handling of its multimillion-dollar budget cuts and accused him of lying about the national broadcaster's efforts to collaborate with SBS.

In a fresh war of words between the taxpayer-funded broadcaster and the Coalition government, Ms Buttrose has accused Mr Fletcher of twice failing to provide the ABC board and management with the critical data that informed an independent report proposing the closure of two broadcast channels and the sharing of back-office and support services with fellow public broadcaster SBS.

Ms Buttrose has also said the government misrepresented the ABC's efforts to work closer with SBS.

In a strongly-worded letter to Mr Fletcher, seen by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Ms Buttrose said the ABC's board had asked her to "convey its concerns" about Mr Fletcher's lack of response to correspondence between the pair in September last year.

"We raised a number of issues but were particularly interested in seeing 'the information - data, models and assumptions - which formed the basis for the savings estimates provided in the report'," Ms Buttrose wrote.

"I appreciate you have a busy schedule but we would appreciate an answer to our queries."

Ms Buttrose said several media reports, which ABC management believes were informed by Mr Fletcher, had suggested the ABC "had neglected to 'collaborate more closely with SBS'".

"This is incorrect," Ms Buttrose wrote. "David Anderson has had several conversations with SBS about sharing costs".

A Peter Tonagh-led review of the public broadcasters was handed to the Morrison government in March last year, but its details were kept confidential as the ABC developed plans to cut costs. Some recommendations - such as an increased focus on digital growth, improving the ABC's iview platform and reducing investment in products that are not central to the ABC charter - were effectively adopted in the plan announced yesterday, but an ABC spokesman said that if all had been implemented there would have been more cuts.


Read more:


Gus view:

Either Ita is naive, or she is playing a double-cross game... SHE HAS TO FIGHT FOR PROPER FUNDING OF THE ABC AND SBS, not try to fiddle the books by little management adjustments (data, models and assumptions) that might work in the commercial environment (though she failed with a lot of her own ventures, even with the best capitalist behind her: Kerry Packer), but this is a PUBLIC SERVICE, not a packet of cornflakes nor a male nudity contest. Ita, wake up or shooof offff... You are not helping.

It's obvious that the more cut the ABC can do to its PUBLIC SERVICE, the more the Liberal* government is going to cut funding and demand more cuts UNTIL THE ABC IS NO MORE. This is the ultimate game plan of the Liberals* (as per the IPA's wishes) — and Ita has to fight for the ABC, but her fiddles are piss-weak and to some extend deceitful, unless she's so naive!!!!.

Read from top.

hitting morrison with a wet lettuce...

Ita Buttrose rebukes Scott Morrison's claims the ABC's budget has not been cut

ABC chair says it ‘has been a devastating week for the ABC’ but the company refutes claims it is losing emergency broadcasting capacity

ABC chair Ita Buttrose has publicly refuted Scott Morrison over claims the broadcaster’s budget has not been cut, clarifying indexation freezes will amount to an $83m reduction over three years.

Buttrose’s claims come as the ABC’s former national head of emergency broadcasting responded to reports there are plans to make the role redundant, warning such a move could “put the lives of Australians at risk” following a deadly fire season during which the broadcaster was credited with providing critical safety information.

On Friday, Buttrose released a statement responding to the prime minister’s comments on Thursday that “the ABC’s funding is increasing every year” and that “there are no cuts”.

“If you’re working in the media industry, if you’re a journalist today, the safest place for you to be is actually at the ABC,” Morrison said.


Read more:


Yes, Ita... we all know that Scott Morrison is lying... You need to do more than this to save the ABC from the Liberal destroyers... 

They do it a small cut at a time... until:

no cuts, just slices...

No cuts, just slices...

Scott Morrison is a bullshitter...



Read from top.

scomo bullshits about the ABC funding...

The ABC costs the commonwealth half as much as it did in the mid-1990s, managing director David Anderson has said, in a rejection of the prime minister’s claim that ABC funding is increasing every year.

“In 2018/19, expenditure on the ABC represented around 0.2% of all commonwealth government spending,” Anderson told the National Press Club. “In the mid-1990s the level was around 0.4% – twice as much proportionally as today.”

Anderson said that despite receiving less funding the ABC was doing more across more platforms than ever before.

“The ABC is currently undergoing one of the biggest transformations in its 88-year history,” he said. “Its first wireless radio broadcast back in July 1932 was estimated to have reached 6% of Australia’s population. Today the ABC reaches 90% of the population each year.”

Anderson said the ABC did not have more than $1bn to spend each year as has been claimed by the government and rightwing critics. Once fixed transmission costs were removed it left $880m of operational funding to spend across all its services after the indexation freeze.

“From the 7pm news bulletin, news online, Four Corners, to local radio across 48 regional locations and capital cities, to dramas like Mystery Road,” he said. “From the sounds of Australia on Triple J, classic, RN, to iconic children’s content like Bluey. All of it.”

After the ABC responded to the Coalition’s budget cuts by announcing staff cuts and cuts to services last month, the prime minister said there were “no cuts” to the ABC’s funding and it was “increasing every year”.

“The ABC would be the only media company or organisation in Australia today whose revenue – their funding – is increasing,” Scott Morrison said.

In May, a Per Capita report found that the ABC had lost $783m in funding since the Coalition came to power. According to the budget papers, the government saved $84m on ABC funding between 2019 and 2022.

Anderson addressed the dispute, referring to “broad public commentary about the cost of the ABC”.

“It is often mentioned that the ABC’s budget is over a billion dollars per year,” he said. “This is a significant investment from the taxpayer for which we provide great value in return.

“To break the budget down, roughly $185m is spent annually on transmission and distribution. This includes long-term contracts with third parties that stretch out to 2035.”

Anderson’s comments backed up those from his chair, Ita Buttrose, who earlier had publicly refuted Morrison and clarified that indexation freezes amounted to an $83m reduction over three years.

Anderson called for the ABC triennial funding model to be changed to a five-year funding cycle.

“We believe a five-year funding cycle would take the ABC out of the politics of the three-year federal electoral cycle and further safeguard its independence,” he said.

“Longer term planning is required for the task of modernising the ABC, which includes shifting our focus towards on-demand programming, while maintaining our high editorial standards.”


Read more:



Either Scotty from marketing is ignorant, does not know how to count or is bullshitting... The odds are Scomo is BULLSHITTING... BIG TIME... and he gets away with it because the Murdoch media let him off the hook. The murdoch media hate the ABC all around...



Read from top.

"Australian Spies Political Interference" (ASPI)...

The underfunded ABC is at the mercy of well-funded, anti-China organisations

By JOHN MENADUE | On 15 September 2020

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is funded by the Defence sector including US arms manufacturers. They call the tune in their anti-China campaign. Yet ASPI pretends it is ‘independent’. The ABC and others fall for the anti -China paranoia.


Would Ita have any clue?...

Meanwhile the government is defunding YOUR ABC at a rate of knots... More to come...



Read from top.

a five year plan to oblivion...

Les Miserables – Killing the ABC in a time of national emergency



By QUENTIN DEMPSTER | On 16 September 2020


Empty chairs at empty tables … where my friends will sing no more. (Les Miserables – the musical).


The departure of many of the ABC’s most experienced journalists, producers and presenters has immiserated the public broadcaster. 


Eighty-six have gone or are going from newsrooms and current affairs programs in the latest round of budget cuts. They are among up to 250 staff made redundant as part of an ABC Board five-year restructure said to continue the ABC’s transformation to a digital content creator and distributor.

Many of the departed are in late career and are taking personal financial advantage of industry-standard redundancy packages based on years of service plus accumulated long service leave.  But many also are in early or mid-career and, given the vaporisation of media jobs through both digital disruption and the Covid-19 pandemic, inevitably, will be lost to journalism and content creation forever.

Apart from the obliteration of invaluable corporate and journalistic memory, the restructure is not the end of the decline. The ABC’s operational defunding by the Coalition government since the 2014 and 2017 federal budgets has forced the Board to strip locally made program and acquisition costs.  For example, it has taken another $5 million from recurrent factual/entertainment programming.

The ABC is unlikely to directly invest in commissioned documentaries in future, leaving all production costs to state and federal film commissions, production companies and lotteries funds, and would likely take only first release and some replay rights. The ABC’s drama budget, already at historic lows, will likewise be reliant on external investors who invariably have a commercial business plan based on pay TV sales or global distribution.  This will severely limit the original or risky Australian drama stories or series that can be broadcast on the ABC.  The ABC schedule is already flooded with acquired British murder mysteries.

On September 20 the 7.45am ABC radio news bulletin will end.  Traditionally opened with the full Majestic Fanfare, this bulletin, a comprehensive rundown of the latest national and international news and timed 15 minutes before the top of the daily work clock, has been part of the aural palimpsest of Australia since the Second World War. Its announced end came as a shock to many Australians.  The 7.45 bulletin’s termination was justified by the Board as too expensive at a time when busy Australians were accessing news instantaneously on their digital devices.

The ABC Board accepts that to fill the programming void in television it will have to rely on repeating more TV programs outside the still strategically important ‘prime time’.  And apart from the high cost of original programming, both locally made and acquired, this reliance on endless repeats confirms it can no longer fulfil its Charter obligation for comprehensive broadcasting services across all genres while it still hopes to retain a substantial audience through clever prime time scheduling and promotion.

On top of the re-prioritising necessitated by defunding, the TV prime time audience retention strategy is being implemented because Australians have taken up low-cost video streaming services such as Netflix, Stan, Prime, Apple TV and Disney with gusto over recent years.  While the ABC’s iView has been a hit with audiences watching ABC-made and acquired  programs at the viewer’s convenience,  iView’s  future success cannot be guaranteed without a critical mass of distinctive programs able to find an audience among the massive offerings of the video streamers, now also including SBS OnDemand with its very popular and free sub-titled movie catalogue. (SBS OnDemand breaks into movies at inconvenient times with ads to help cover its substantial operational costs).

Fallouts from the digital revolution

With the departure of experienced ABC staff there will be some recruitment and training for new jobs in digital platform content and distribution.  The ABC is now advertising to fill 12 positions for platform and software developers and engineers. Just how this shapes the ABC’s programming remains to be seen, but because of the operational cost pressures to deliver the five-year plan, radio current affairs and the comparatively high costs of remaining specialist programs on Radio National are expected to be further reduced.  There is talk of merging Radio National with News Radio as a cost-saving measure. There is also talk of closing a free to air TV channel to save on transmission costs.  (ABCAlumni is planning a briefing paper on future free-to-air radio and television transmission strategies).

The Federal Government has refused to cover the costs of the ABC’s multi-platform digital transformation, leaving the Board with the headache of restructuring within already defunded budgets. This has necessitated the sacrifice of what is called ‘traditional’ programming.

With the loss of Lateline and the Friday night 7.30 local current affairs shows from 2014, the cost cutting expediency has been in current affairs.  The latest casualty is The Business.  Foreign Correspondent has fewer scheduled offerings, as does the human interest features program Australian Story. Gardening Australia, shifted to 7.30pm on Friday nights with an hour format, also has had to interpose repeat and acquired programs mid-year to cut costs.

A guide to ABC management’s thinking about the institution’s survival and future through the digital revolution comes with the ABC’s now consistent industry leadership in online platform distribution.  Since the devastating bushfires of 2019-20 ABC online has raced ahead of its commercial rivals.  By August 2020, audience pollster Nielsen calculated ABC News websites had an audience of 13,002,012, now well ahead of (11,249,363); Daily Mail Australia (10,866,144); (10,316,528); 7News (9,903,280); (9,324,687); The Guardian (7,410,740); The Age (6,183,759); Australian Community Media Network (4,098,286) and The Australian (3,387,331).

If this industry leadership prevails it will be an historic structural change in audience appreciation of the ABC in Australian media.  But the ABC’s success in online has been a red rag to a bull to the big local media players News Corp and Nine Entertainment, now incorporating the old Fairfax mastheads. ABC content is free to air and free to browse and view. News/Nine content is behind a subscriber pay wall while Nine TV remains free to air.

Ongoing Government antipathy

While the ABC is obviously proud of the profound trust from audiences evident through the bushfire and pandemic national emergencies, its paymaster, the Morrison government, has not responded to ABC Board pleas for respite from defunding. Instead there has been ugly disputation with the ABC’s current Minister, Paul Fletcher. It is almost as if Mr Fletcher resents a taxpayer-funded media entity like the ABC outstripping commercial players in online audience terms. The hostility was compounded when Minister Fletcher announced that both the ABC and SBS specifically would be excluded from any financial benefit from his government’s proposed new mandatory revenue sharing code from digital platforms Google and Facebook. This remains a contentious issue as ABC (and SBS) copyrighted content is deemed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to have a demonstrable monetary value to the tech giants.

There is also informed speculation that Minister Fletcher’s hostility is being driven by an agenda to amend the ABC Act at a calculated future time to change the current Charter’s legislated requirement for ‘comprehensive’ broadcasting services, replacing it with a requirement for only regional and rural services. The indicia of this intention may lie in the Minister’s proposed legislation to set up a regional and rural ABC advisory board. The ABC Board, arguing that regional and rural services remain a top priority, had not sought any such legislation. Like its exclusion from Google/Facebook revenue sharing, it was all Mr Fletcher’s own work.

Unprecedented staff ballot

In an all-staff email on September 11, ABC chair Ita Buttrose asked all ABC non-executive staff to vote Yes or No to their employer’s motion to defer a scheduled 2 per cent pay rise from 1 October 2020 to 1 April 2021.

This wage pause would deliver $5 million in one-off savings in the 2021 financial year. “It will not assist the ABC to achieve the ongoing savings requirements of $41 million per annum by FY22.  It will enable us, however, to make a significant investment in two of our most important functions: emergency broadcasting services and public interest journalism, which are both valued by the community.”

An email ballot of staff will be completed by September 29. If the pay deferral is rejected by ABC staff, as they are fairly entitled to do under their EBA, a full-scale attack is expected on them from ABC critics, particularly from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

In softening the blow of the Board’s unprecedented request, Ms Buttrose said managing director David Anderson had declined his contracted salary increase and offered a 5 per cent reduction in his pay for a set period. ABC directors had agreed to a 10 per cent fee reduction for six months and senior executive bonuses had been deferred. The exact quantum benefit of these pay sacrifices from the managing director and his executives has not yet been published to allow non-executive staff to determine the comparative equity of the Board’s request before they cast their vote.

As a consequence of this deficiency, there is resentment within the staff that senior management executives are already grossly overpaid, whereas there are now heavier workloads expected of all content creators.  This ill feeling has been exacerbated by the understandable angst through the latest redundancy round and the ABC’s recent admission that it had exploitatively underpaid its casual employees for many years, costing the employer millions of dollars in capped backpay.

And in what looked like a trade-off in return for the Board’s decision to trigger the pay freeze, Ms Buttrose wrote this: “The Minister asked us to consider the current situation across the media industry and the challenges other media organisations face, along with the Australian community, due to the exceptional economic consequences caused by COVID-19.  In recent correspondence, Mr Fletcher advised me that the ABC has the support of the government and our funding is stable and secure for the remainder of this triennium, through to June 2022.” Regrettably this correspondence between the Chair and the Minister has not been posted for all to see.

Stable and secure? We shall see if this claimed commitment is confirmed in the federal budget to be delivered by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on October 6.

Radical change threatens Charter obligations

Even if ABC funding is ‘stable and secure’ until 2022, the ABC we once knew is undergoing radical change.  As already noted, an audit of the ABC’s performance against the Charter’s ‘comprehensive’ obligations would undoubtedly conclude the ABC has been in breach of the Charter for many years.

In the 24-hour news cycle, particularly now with the success of ABCNews online, we could be looking at further sacrificial incursions into ‘traditional’ radio and television services such as the replacement of the state- and territory-produced 7 pm TV news with a consolidated nationally presented hour-long news program with state- and territory-based ‘windows’ for localism. The Sunday night 40 minutes NewsSunday with its longer investigative and feature items may be a template of things to come. This would mean the end of the national 7.30 program and its incorporation into a one-hour composite news/current affairs program with news presenters doing the political and other interviews instead of ‘current affairs’ presenters and political editors.

The fear from this cost cutting and consolidation is that the ABC’s once dynamic ecosystem of competitive, even rivalrous, current affairs programs on radio and television, each vying to break new ground in storytelling and exposure, will be replaced with more mundane, reactive or superficial ‘churnalism’. While the ABC’s cross platform investigations unit and the flagship Four Corners continue to do compelling work, it is the loss of this ecosystem which draws attention to the danger.  Such a change destroys a system that has developed the careers of courageous and resourceful editorial leaders through the news and current affairs program executive producer structure. End the ecosystem and you can also end up with less diversity of content and put an end to the ABC’s facilitation of the clash of ideas which better informs and engages the polity.

As more experienced professional staff now leave the ABC, the ABC Board and management are left to manage its decline, under cover of what is hoped to be a plausible five-year plan.

* This article was first posted by on September 15 2020.


Read more:



Read from top.