Reduction of local news and station closures disastrous for people living outside Australia’s cities, researchers say
Cuts to the ABC in regional and rural Australia and the corporation’s increasing reliance on digital technologies is jeopardising the safety of remote communities and their access to emergency warnings, Deakin University research has found.
The ABC’s increasingly “digital-first” approach to emergency information and the reduction in ABC reporters’ local knowledge is causing great distress among rural populations who rely on broadcast signals because they don’t have the bandwidth or coverage for digital, researchers say.
A reduction of local news and information, centralised newsrooms in metropolitan areas, the closure of several ABC stations and the scaling back of broadcast programming has been disastrous for people outside the cities, according to a new study, Communication life line? ABC emergency broadcasting in rural/regional Australia.
But the ABC has played down the study’s significance, saying it is based on parliamentary submissions and is not an “accurate or up-to-date” summary of the corporation’s role in rural and regional Australia; and that the ABC is not funded as an emergency service.
Based on public submissions to a parliamentary inquiry, the researchers Julie Freeman, Kristy Hess and Lisa Waller found “burgeoning discontent about the corporation’s ability to fulfil its role as a designated emergency broadcaster and provide communication life lines to rural and regional communities”.[…]
ON MAPS, this site was marked as a children’s playground. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
When the Chernobyl nuclear explosion happened in 1986, it shook the world in many ways. Not only did it put the now ghost town of Pripyat on the map for all the wrong reasons, it also exposed the world to what was really at this site in Ukraine — the dreaded Duga radar, also known as the Russian Woodpecker.
A Soviet engineering and scientific feat of its time, the Russian Woodpecker was an over-the-horizon radar system designed to provide early detection of an intercontinental ballistic missile attack.
[…]Air traffic controls, television and radio broadcasters would be irked by the mysterious pecking noises it emitted, hence its nickname, the Russian Woodpecker.
Built just outside the city of Pripyat, it was completely off limits and unknown to outsiders.
It was erected near Chernobyl due to its high power demands. On maps, it was marked as a summer camp for children hidden in the depths of the forest. Locals were told that the imposing skyscraper was a radio tower.[…]