Posted October 29, 2018 06:15:01 An announcement from the ABC about its own new TV channel has sparked a storm of debate and speculation on social media.
Key points:ABC chairman David Giesbrecht says the ABC can still be a powerful broadcaster but there is an issue with the network’s funding modelIt’s a decision that’s been criticised by the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the ABC’s critics on social networksThe ABC has previously said it’s still in talks with the ABC Television Centre about getting the ABC into a digital-only channelIt is also understood the ABC has already put a $30 million budget into a “new” digital-focused station to run on its current broadcast network.
The ABC chairman said the decision was made in part to address the growing pains of running the network from a digital business model and to ensure the network could be a strong broadcaster in a digital world.
“It’s not a new venture, it’s been around for a while,” Mr Giesbourch said.
“But the key point for us is that we need to be a stronger broadcaster in the digital era and I think it’s important to recognise that we can still do that.”
Mr Giesbrowt said the ABC had had to work with the National Broadcasting Centre (NBC) on a number of issues in the past, including the need to develop a new news and current affairs channel.
“I’ve made it clear to them that we still need to work out the specifics and we’ll be working with them on that,” he said.
Mr Gysbrecht said the new channel would be a “full-fledged ABC News” with “full journalistic integrity” but would be independent of the network and be funded in line with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) annual funding.
“We’ve got the funding, we’ve got our own staff and our own editorial standards, and that’s all it will be,” he told the ABC.
“That’s why we’ve decided to launch it ourselves.”
The ABC and the NBC have been negotiating a deal for the ABC to take over the ABC News at Ten, which was initially planned to be moved to a digital news site.
“The news and information channel at Ten will continue to exist,” the ABC said in a statement on Wednesday.
“News at Ten has become a vital part of the ABC news and analysis platform and remains a vital component of the news and news and public affairs coverage of the nation’s news and issues.”ABC managing director of programming Nick Smith said he welcomed the announcement.
“Our focus will remain on delivering the best ABC News and the best public affairs content for our audiences,” he tweeted.
“As we look ahead to the next phase of the digital transformation, I am confident we can take advantage of the opportunities available to us to deliver news and opinion that is consistent with our values and standards of journalism.”
The NBC has said the $30m would be used to fund a new ABC News website, a new News.com.au app and the creation of a new digital-based news channel.
But the ABC is understood to be considering whether the ABC should continue to broadcast on the ABC and News.
The NBC said it would be the ABC in a year.