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.
Many of you contacted us and many more contacted the ABC to express your dismay at the decision. ABC Friends spoke on your behalf to ABC management and to senior politicians in your states.
You made your voices heard – and the ABC has responded.
As the Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas, wrote in a letter to Ita Buttrose and David Anderson:
The opportunity for South Australian audiences to understand their own state in its full, rich context is diminishing across the media landscape. I fear this decision will hasten this unfortunate trend.
Our West Australia President, Cathy Bardon, asked if the ABC should be renamed the Eastern Australian Broadcasting Corporation or EABC.
ABC Friends President, Cassandra Parkinson, said:
We’ve watched in dismay over many years as the ABC’s state-based reporting has been steadily eroded. When the ABC’s budget was savaged, state production facilities were closed, jobs were lost, services and programs disappeared.
This time, you said enough is enough.
You showed that for thousands of Australians local news matters. Live news broadcasts matter.
Unfortunately, another service may now be targeted for savings. Let’s not forget that this latest restructure cut 120 jobs. That’s the inevitable consequence of years of funding cuts which have not yet been restored. The ABC needs an additional $50 million per year just to return to its 1983/84 funding levels.
The fight for a properly funded public broadcaster isn’t over. We hope you’ll support us in our forthcoming campaign.
Thanks for taking the time to tell the ABC – and us – how disappointed you were with the decision. Thanks to our state branches who persuaded state and federal MPs to speak up in support of the program.
You made a difference. And we’re grateful.
If you are not already, become a member of ABC Friends today.