May 2024 news and updates

May 2024 news and updates

Sometimes I wonder if the Albanese government thinks it's ‘fixed’ the ABC, that the increases it granted in its first two budgets have solved the problems created by 10 years of punitive funding cuts.

If only that were true. 

This year’s disappointing budget offered no new funding for the ABC and no way to repair the impacts of past cuts. Michael Ward’s recent report exposed the drop in original content across all genres, and we're all familiar with the decline in the ABC’s news and current affairs capacity. 

Since we wrote our budget submission earlier this year, the prognosis for the ABC has worsened. If the agreement between the ABC and Meta is not renewed, more jobs will disappear. That's on top of losses from the shortfalls we identified in our submission. 

Along with other Australians I benefited from the decision in 1932 to create an independent national broadcaster. I want this precious cultural institution to be there for many more decades, not as a pale imitation of what it once was, but as a public broadcaster that offers fearless reporting and original Australian content. 

We have a responsibility to leave a legacy for future generations: a proud independent ABC.

This month Quentin Dempster wrote urging you to join our campaign to sustain and rebuild the ABC. 

I encourage you to read his letter and I hope very much that you will join us in the task ahead.

End of Meta agreement likely to mean ABC regional coverage loss again

Quentin Dempster

Will Australia’s regions again lose their local coverage if the ABC no longer accesses media bargaining code revenue from Meta? ABC Alumni Director, Quentin Dempster, outlines why he fears this is unavoidable and the impacts that will result.


ABC’s children programming decline masked by Bluey

Children cutting out shapes

In 2015/16, the ABC delivered 259 hours of Australian children’s television. In 2022/23, this had dropped to 147 hours. Luckily for the ABC, the enormous success of Bluey has taken the spotlight off this dramatic drop.

But, unless there is more money provided to the national broadcaster, it is unlikely that Bluey will be followed by any other great Australian productions for children.


Podcast of the month: Squiz Kids

Podcast logo

ABC Friends members and supporters with kids and grandkids, did you know there is an Australian podcast which delivers seven minutes a day of news especially for primary aged children?


ABC Sydney moves west

People in a radio studio

The ABC has opened its new state-of-the-art broadcast facility at Parramatta in Sydney’s west as part of its commitment to move three-quarters of content staff from its Ultimo HQ by next year.

Chair Kim Williams says the new location is proof of the ABC’s ability to adapt to meet changing needs.


Democracy in Peril discussion

ABC Friends SA/NT representatives joined an informal gathering ahead of a panel discussion entitled Democracy in Peril, presented by the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and The Conversation at the University of South Australia.


ABC Excellence Awards 2024

ABC Friends NSW&ACT hosted the ABC Excellence Awards, in Sydney, Saturday 4 May. 

The recipients of the 2024 Excellence Awards were...


National Volunteers Week

As part of National Volunteers Week, SA/NT Secretary, Dr Judy Gonda and Committee member, Yi Li, attended the 2024 State Volunteering Conference on 22 May. The conference discussed trends in Australian volunteering and initiatives to improve volunteering uptake.

We say a big thank you to all our volunteers around the country!


Freedom of the press – where would we be without it?

On 2 June, ABC Friends Tasmania, in conjunction with the University of Tasmania, is hosting the annual Andrew Bent oration and a panel discussion on the future of public interest journalism.


ABC management to hear from Victorian Group meeting

Crowd watching a panel discussion

Congratulations to ABC Friends Victoria’s Geelong group which attracted more than 250 people to a public meeting calling for a Stronger ABC for Geelong on 28 May.

Crucially, the panel also included ABC TV Mornings presenter, Michael Rowland, who promised to take the ideas expressed by attendees back to ABC management.


{{recipient.first_name_or_friend}}, please donate to ABC Friends and join our campaign to sustain and rebuild our ABC.

Thank you again for all your support.

Warm regards,