August 2023 news and updates

August 2023 news and updates

Welcome to our August 2023 e-news


I was out of the country when David Anderson, the ABC Managing Director, announced the ABC restructure.

I must admit to feeling quite dispirited. Once again, there were cuts to jobs and programs. Once again, the ABC was trying to do the impossible – respond to a rapidly-changing media environment – within a reduced budget.

But you’ve restored my confidence. You rallied successfully to save the Sunday night news bulletins and, in doing so, reminded me of our strength.

We might be a small volunteer organisation, but we make our voices heard when we work together.

The ABC restructure reminded us that times are still tough at the ABC. Only the federal government can deliver the funds needed for quality public broadcasting and that’s something we’ll have to fight for.

With your support I’m convinced it’s a fight we can win. 

ABC independence: have your say

ABC Friends is calling on our members and supporters to let the Federal Government know your views on how the independence of the ABC and SBS can be strengthened.

Complete our poll or find out how you can send a written submission before 31 August.

This is your chance to have your say on this important issue. 



David Anderson, the Managing Director of the ABC, has reversed the ABC’s decision to abolish the Sunday state news bulletins. This follows a decision in July to scrap the bulletins as a cost-cutting measure. 


The cost of defamation

Defamation cases cost the ABC dearly. In a recent report to the Senate, we learnt that the ABC has spent more than $700k settling defamation battles since 2020. But the total costs are likely to be greater and they don’t include the personal pressure that’s brought to bear on the ABC’s investigative teams.


And the winners are...

It’s award season and, once again, the ABC’s producers, presenters, performers and journalists have won a host of national and international awards.


The ABC in the Pacific: trusted but underfunded

The ABC remains the largest and most trusted public media broadcaster in the Pacific, with a strong capacity to support democracy in the region - but funding cuts have taken a toll, a Parliamentary Committee has been told.


The ABC’s demographic cliff

How can the ABC keep faith with its loyal existing audience while seeking to engage new, younger audiences – all at a time when differences in viewing and listening habits are changing dramatically?

Denial is no solution to the ABC’s problems. But neither is panic, says Geraldine Doogue.


How can the ABC engage younger audiences?

The ABC recognises the need to increase its digital output to gain younger audiences, but there’s emerging evidence that it and other outlets must change the way they present news content if they want to win over young audiences.


Fact-checking the Referendum

With concerns raised about the Electoral Commission distributing unedited information from the opposing cases on the upcoming referendum, the ABC has provided a useful fact check of the material.


News and events from the states

Find out what's happening around the states and territories.


  • Our Winter Dinner with Michell Rowland was a huge success - read more



  • ABC Friends and supporters are invited to meet with Peter Vandeleur, ABC Friends National Treasurer and SA/NT Vice President when he is in Alice Springs on 18 and 19 August. Please email [email protected] if you would like to take up this opportunity.

  • Help ABC Friends SA/NT organise participation in the 2024 Adelaide Writers' Week. More info here.



  • Read this update from WA about the ABC's decision to retain the Sunday 7pm state news bulletins.

Thank you for your support.

Kind regards

Cassandra Parkinson
National President
ABC Friends