ABC Friends News

Tough Talk – Encouraging MD Speech

The ABC’S Managing Director, David Anderson, appears to have drawn a line in the sand by vocally standing-up for the ABC and its news coverage in a recent speech.

In an address to the Charles Sturt University Regional Media in the Digital Age Summit, Mr. Anderson came our batting.

David Anderson said:

And heres another thing that will never change. The ABC must, and will, always stand ready to hold those in power and authority to account on behalf of the Australian people.  We are fiercely committed to public interest journalism.

We illuminate corruption or malfeasance in the shadowy corners, wherever we find it, without fear or favour.

He said that the ABC had responded positively to the changing media environment in regional Australia, by introducing a generational change in the way the ABC commissions, produces and delivers services to local communities.

READ DAVID ANDERSON’S FULL SPEECH

With a $20 million investment, the ABC added 83 new positions and increased its coverage of regional issues across all its platforms of broadcast, digital and social media.

David Anderson said:

And here too the ABC is of particular importance to our regional communities, smaller populations, with potentially less oversight, and fewer people holding power at the top. It is even more necessary today in those news deserts or areas with significantly reduced coverage, where other news organisations may have shrunk or even disappeared altogether.

With our statutory independence, and our resources at both the local and national level, the ABC is uniquely placed to undertake in-depth reporting on any regional issue.

The fact Australians see the ABC as a reliable and trusted source of information has been reflected in recent audience figures, with the ABC is recording the biggest news audiences in its history.

Mr. Anderson also announced that the ABC had recently finalised a multi-year agreement that will see ABC content on the Google News Showcase, and said that negotiations with Facebook are well advanced.

Those deals should see new income for the ABC.

These agreements will provide a significant boost to our services in regional Australia.

As you would expect, we are giving careful thought to development and rollout of this reinvestment, to ensure that resources go to the areas where they are needed most, and where they can have the most impact.