April 2024 news and updates

April 2024 news and updates

On 20 April I celebrated when Archie Moore won the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale with his monumental work Kith and Kin. 

He was the first Australian to win, but I learnt the news from The Guardian. Others heard about it from Channel 9 or social media.

The achievement wasn’t reported on the ABC’s evening news for another 24 hours. 

How could the ABC, with its unique responsibility to report and comment on Australia’s cultural life, miss such an important story? The answer lies in decisions made a year ago to declare its two most senior arts specialists redundant. There’s no longer a dedicated national arts reporter at the ABC.

ABC arts programming is at an all time low but that’s the case for original Australian content across all genres. Without extra funding, the ABC can only tinker at the edges in addressing program shortfalls.

If you haven’t already done so please sign our petition calling on the Albanese government to fund more original content on the ABC.

Thank you for supporting ABC Friends. We’d love to have you as a member. I encourage you to join us!

Become a member

ABC arts programming at an all time low

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In 2013-2014 the ABC screened around 80 hours a week of original arts programming on its main channel each year. By 2022-23 that had shrunk by 75% to 21 hours. 

We can see the results: fewer dedicated arts programs, almost no arts reporting on news and current affairs and no sustained commitment to bring the arts to the Australian public.

But without adequate funding the choices are limited. That’s why we’re calling on the federal government to fund more original content on the ABC.

Read more

Truth in political advertising bill gets closer

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ABC Friends has long campaigned to stamp out lies and fake news in political advertising. The Albanese Government is expected to introduce legislation in the next few months to create an independent regulator to enforce truth in political advertising.

We watch with interest.


We meet with Kim Williams

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ABC funding, transparency and impartiality were among the issues discussed when ABC Friends President, Cassandra Parkinson, and Vice-President, Carol Stuart, had their first meeting with the new ABC Chair, Kim Williams.

In welcome news, he plans to do some detailed analysis to better articulate the ABC’s purpose.

There’s a lot of work to be done to restore a real sense of performance of the ABC, to celebrate our  national identity,” Kim Williams said.


Podcast of the Month: The Music Show

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Gregorian chant or hip hop, kd lang or a rookie conductor — all get the rapt attention they deserve in this mix of conversation and music hosted by Andrew Ford.


Show your support for the ABC with our new caps!

ABC Friends caps

These nifty caps feature the "Strengthen the ABC" slogan and the ABC Friends logo on the side.


ABC most trusted international media in the Pacific

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Once again, the ABC has been rated the most valued news broadcaster across the Pacific, ahead of international heavyweights such as the BBC and CNN. 

The two-yearly Pacific research, commissioned by the ABC, showed that trust in the ABC across Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu is around 80%, which equals trust levels in Australia.


Vale Dr June Factor

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ABC Friends pays tribute to ABC Friends Life Member and former Victorian president, Dr June Factor, who recently passed away.


Major funding review for the BBC

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The British Government is conducting a major review of the BBC’s funding and its Director-General is calling on the British public to “champion” the broadcaster to secure its future.

“This is a precious ecosystem,” he said.


ABC Friends SA/NT get political

ABC Friends SA/NT haven’t been resting on their laurels since the very successful Adelaide Writers’ Week – turning their attention instead to political engagement.


World Press Freedom Talk by the ABC's Max Chalmers in Sydney

To celebrate World Press Freedom Day, Northern Suburbs of Sydney branch  invited ABC Radio National Breakfast program producer, Max Chalmers, to give a talk on the subject.

The event will be held in Roseville, NSW on Thursday 9 May.


Peter Greste Talk: Dying to tell the story

On 19 March 2024, Peter Greste, one of Australia’s most experienced foreign correspondents, delivered a talk at the University of Tasmania’s School of Creative Arts and Media, entitled: Dying to Tell the Story - why frontline journalism has never been more important and never more dangerous, and how correspondents cope. The link includes a summary and recording of the event.


Arts coverage absent from ABC news and current affairs programs

“Throughout the Australian media arts coverage has been shredded; arts journalists are a dying breed; arts news in major newspapers has shrunk. At the ABC there is no dedicated national arts reporter. Art stories are covered occasionally and randomly by different, usually junior reporters. The exception to this is TV News Breakfast.” 

Former senior national arts journalist, Anne Maria Nicholson, expressed her dismay at the ABC’s arts coverage in an address to ABC Friends NSW Central Coast.


I look forward to your support as we campaign throughout this year and next to restore quality programming on the ABC.

If you can, please consider making a donation to support our work.

Thank you again for all your support.

Warm regards,