John’s summary of Radio Australia cuts

Analog Radio DialJohn Figliozzi, author of The Worldwide Listening Guide, recently posted his summary of Radio Australia cuts on several radio discussion groups. He is also kindly sharing this summary on the SWLing Post. John writes:

Here’s what I’ve been able to assemble from various sources that I consider reliable about what can only be described as a truly catastrophic situation for Radio Australia. Keep in mind that RA management is left with few options, none of them good, in its efforts to preserve and maintain anything resembling a viable service for its regional and international audiences.

  • The English Language Programming department (ELP) is effectively gutted. The only remaining RA productions in English appear to be some hourly news bulletins and the Pacific Beat program. All else, including the excellent Asia Pacific program, ceases.
  • At least for the time being, RA intends to maintain a 24/7 English language service by pulling all of its content from ABC Radio domestic sources (except for the morsels described above). A revised ELP schedule is in preparation and will be announced and implemented shortly.
  • Language services in Tok Pisin, Vietnamese, Khmer, Chinese, French and Burmese appear to remain but only in some skeletal form since about 3/4 to 4/5 of those staffs are to be axed. Again, it appears the plan is to pull some content from domestic sources, this time from SBS whose administration is likely to be housed with what’s left of RA at Southbank in Melbourne as indicated in a previous press report.
  • As unbelievable as this may sound, the situation is so dire and so immediate that there will be a culling of half of the journalists on staff via a random process — no evaluations, experience, records of achievement or years of service considered.
  • No reduction in shortwave schedules has yet been indicated, but it’s hard to see how that continues unaffected and unabated beyond anything but the very short term.

Personally, I will reserve comment on all this at this time and let the facts speak for themselves. However, some of you will be aware of my admiration and appreciation for Radio Australia over the decades so you are free to draw your own conclusions in that regard.

John Figliozzi
The Worldwide Listening Guide

Many thanks, John. I have also heard that shortwave services–at least broadcast hours–have not yet been affected. The content, obviously, will be more ABC National focused. How long will they continue shortwave services? Time will tell.

Follow news about the cuts to Radio Australia by bookmarking this tag: RA Cuts

Follow John Figliozzi on his Worldwide Listening Guide blog.

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5 thoughts on “John’s summary of Radio Australia cuts

  1. Rick

    This is really bad news for people living in Southeast Asia. Difficult to find a good news source here that isn’t tilted one way or the other or even blocked.. In the last month we have lost the VOA, Radio Malaysia (Trax-FM) and now RA. Not much left to listen to here unless you speak other languages. For the SWL’s here it’s not looking good. I would much rather listen to the radio than have to look for streaming audio on the internet.


  2. Mark Fahey

    The Australian government is playing with fire, their approach is quite contrary to the will of the people. In the case of the ABC, frequently independent reviews have always found the broadcaster is incredibly efficient and it fact produces far greater output (and of course higher quality output) than the private broadcasting networks. Also in frequent surveys it is found that the ABC is the most trusted of all brands in Australia – these surveys don’t just rate the media, but all brand sectors. i.e. the ABC is more trusted than Qantas or ummm Steve Irwin (crikey!). Errr by the way here in Australia we don’t actually use that word Crikey that often, it’s use is basically just reserved as a bit of hype for our American friends 🙂 I guess most Australian’s won’t notice these international cuts as most wouldn’t be aware of Radio Australia, but if there are savage cuts to the domestic services the public would certainly notice that.

    Sorry off topic – I guess I may even come back and delete these few lines later – As for guns, they are not a large part of our culture (we are nothing like in the USA). They don’t represent freedom or person liberty here. So they were never taken away – they were never here in the first place! A decade ago the general public were alarmed of the early signs of an imported gun culture being established, the will of the people saw that stamped out quickly.

    Sydney Australia

  3. TP Reitzel

    I applaud Australia’s new leader as they attempt to restore some sanity to Australia’s bloated government. Allow the non-registered, private ownership of guns again and I might consider moving to Australia! The management of Australia’s state broadcaster, ABC, is the problem, not the cuts in ABC’s budget per se. I don’t mind the elimination of duplicitous functions within RA at all. The CBC should have done likewise and substituted domestically produced programs for internationally produced ones and left the remaining programming available on their shortwave transmitters. Now, if only RA would use their DRM transmitter in Shepparton to broadcast those domestically produced programs to the world via RA. If I had my way as Australia’s leader, ABC wouldn’t exist at all.

  4. Jeff Zang

    This is truly heartbreaking to read. I can’t believe they are letting staff go with no regards to service time or the quality of their work. I can only hope some of these fine journalists and presenters can hook on with the domestic network but that doesn’t sound too promising with what I’m seeing here. Maybe some of them can hook up with Radio New Zealand.


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