Tag Archives: RA Cuts

“The Gutting of Radio Australia”

ABC-Radio-Australia(Source: Inside Story)

We’re sitting on the grass in the village of Matangi on the island of Futuna. This is one of the more isolated communities in Vanuatu, a small group of houses on a small island at the southeastern extreme of the archipelago.

“We rely a lot on Radio Australia when there’s a cyclone coming,” says Miranda, a member of the island’s Community Disaster Committee. “We have no telephone on this side of the island and we often can’t hear Radio Vanuatu.”

As Australia debates budgets, debt and deficits, we rarely hear the views of communities affected by planned cuts. Whether it’s the size of the aid budget or the resourcing of the international services of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or ABC, our neighbours have little input into decisions that affect their lives.

The latest blow is the planned redundancy of eighty staff from ABC International following the Abbott government’s decision to take Australia Network television away from the ABC. Revoking the $250 million TV contract – with just ninety days’ notice – has had an impact well beyond television. Given the integration of TV, radio and online services within ABC International, the decision affects not only Australia Network but also the other international services providing crucial information to the islands region.

Continue reading at: http://inside.org.au/the-gutting-of-radio-australia/#sthash.4cwXhev9.dpuf

View other posts related to Radio Australia cuts by bookmarking the tag RA Cuts.

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ABC Radio staff memo outlines cuts to external service

ABC-Radio-AustraliaMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Jonathan Marks, who has posted a letter by Michael Mason (Acting Director of ABC Radio) to the staff of ABC. Mason’s letter outlines changes to Radio Australia’s external service. His key points:

  • Radio Australia will continue to broadcast a 24/7 schedule built on a deeper collaboration with ABC News and ABC Radio and through collaboration with SBS.
  • Pacific Beat continues, as do RA’s hourly news bulletins.
  • Radio Australia will work with colleagues in ABC Radio and ABC News to identify and deliver a sustainable and engaging English program service that will appeal to our International audiences.
  • Language services in Tok Pisin, Khmer and Burmese will be delivered through a mix of reduced original content coupled with translated ABC content and content from SBS. The model for the French language service remains under consideration.
  • Asia Pacific and Asia Review will cease production as will the Mornings program.
  • Shortwave transmission of RA remains unchanged for the time being.

Read the full letter on Jonathan’s website, Critical Distance.

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

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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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Crikey: English language staff may be cut from Radio Australia


Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Phil, who found a little more information about the cuts to Radio Australia. He points us to the following quote from the news site, Crikey:

“Around 80 staff will be made redundant from the ABC, the Commonwealth Public Sector Union and an ABC spokesman have confirmed, however this figure may decrease once redeployment options are explored.

A Radio Australia staff member told Crikey 25 editorial jobs will go, while seven people in operations will also be sacked. Staff have been told that this will include the entire English-language division of Radio Australia, which the CPSU has confirmed. All casuals and contract staff will be dropped. Asked if this number of redundancies would have a large impact on Radio Australia, a staff member told Crikey they amounted to “gutting” the network. It’s understood just 30 staff will be retained in the division, with cuts in content expected. Flagship program The World will be reduced to a half-hour program.”

[Continue reading on Crikey…]

I will post future updates on the cuts to Radio Australia with the tag: RA Cuts

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Radio Australia facing serious cuts

ABC-Radio-AustraliaOne of my favorite broadcasters, Radio Australia, is facing severe cuts as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s international broadcasting budget of $35 million is being cut in more than half.

Below, I’ve copied excerpts from two news sources with links.

I will post updates with the tag: RA Cuts

(Source: The Australian via Richard Cuff)

THE ABC will confirm a wave of job cuts today, with Radio Australia’s services the first major victim.

A management proposal for a new “converged service” for its international broadcasting outlets will be outlined to staff today as the ABC rearranges its overseas obligations after the axing of the Australia Network television service.

(Source: International Business Times)

It is a sad day for the mainstream radio industry in Australia on Monday, July 14, as Radio Australia anticipates major job cuts. However, this fact-of-life among employees of being axed during hard times could be an opportunity for broadcasters to try new platforms to continue with their careers.

The job cuts at Australia Network television service is part of its management’s proposal for a new converged services for the network’s international broadcasting outlets.

Speculations on the jobs to be shed has created fear among Radio Australia workers and Australia Network as the employees anticipate a number of its services within the region abandoned with the planned reduction of the public broadcaster’s $35 million yearly budget for international broadcasting to shrink to just $15 million.

To worsen matter for the affected radio staff, the job cuts would be on top of redundancies at Australia Network and shutter of the transmission in September after finishing only one year of its 10-year agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Also expected to get the axe are Radio Australia’s language service, while ABC News 24 will remain the foundation of the international service with some specialised news and current affairs content on the service.

[Continue reading at the International Business Times website.]

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