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Pages tagged "ABC International"

ABC International Spreads Its Wings


Under the leadership of Claire Gorman, ABC International has wasted no time in utilising additional funding from the Labor government’s Indo-Pacific Broadcasting Strategy to extend its operations and influence across Asia and the Pacific. A new TV program, The Pacific, to be launched this week heralds a dynamic new era of engagement with the region. As Alumni deputy chair Helen Grasswill reports, this expansion of ABC International promises to remedy three decades of misguided government policy and achieve a great deal in the national interest.

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New Book Showcases ABC Radio's History

When you’ve been broadcasting internationally for more than 80 years, there’s a lot to celebrate. The newly released official history of Radio Australia, Australia Calling by Dr Phil Kafcaloudes, traces the remarkable story of one of the national broadcaster’s flagship services. Beginning as a wartime anti-propaganda service, RA has endured many ups and downs but continues to play an important role today in Australia’s commitment to regional democracy, especially in the Pacific. This review is by the Alumni’s Peter Marks.

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Celebrating 'Foreign Correspondent': 30 Years Reporting the World

With conflicts across the globe, including in our own region, ABC’s flagship international program has never been more important. And the credit goes to reporters, producers, researchers, camera crews, editors and other skilled staff who have kept the program prominent, even in times when the ABC itself showed scant support. Former executive producer Greg Wilesmith has this tribute.

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Government must stop wasting time - and urgently support ABC in the Pacific

Policy failure over the last eight years – including a massive cut to the ABC’s international funding – has weakened Australia’s voice in the Pacific to its lowest ebb since the Menzies government established our first radio shortwave service across the region more than 80 years ago. Now, with China’s media expansion and the recent Solomon Islands crisis, it’s obvious that Australia can’t afford to waste any more time in properly re-establishing its media presence and engagement with our Pacific neighbours. A new parliamentary report outlines a way forward, but the Coalition government has not yet pledged any substantial funding. Labor has promised an extra $8 million per year for the ABC’s international operations if it wins the federal election. Former ABC international journalist Graeme Dobell, now with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), outlines the latest developments.   

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Where in the world is the ABC?

As chief foreign correspondent, Phil Williams was the ABC’s international fireman, able to swing into virtually any country in the world and produce intelligent reports from a standing start.  

In this video, from his farm outside Canberra, Phil worries out loud about the ABC’s continued capacity to report the world to Australia – and project Australia to our region.  The slashing of the Australia Network by the Abbott government, and the whittling away of the ABC’s once-unrivalled network of overseas bureaux in the years since, have both had their effect. Please watch and pass on.

ABC International today

ABC International today operates on a budget of $11 million per year, estimated to be less than a third of pre-2014 levels. It has a staff of 38 who work mainly in media development programs for the Pacific region, and sometimes parts of Asia, and a small number who manage and administer its various international broadcast channels (radio and TV) as well as wide-ranging digital content activity. ABC International management and staff have been committed to keeping the ABC and Australia relevant in the Asia-Pacific region, but its resources are manifestly inadequate for the complex and crucial task of reaching a potential audience of more than three billion people.

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When Politics Fail

The ABC’s international service has earned an enviable reputation as a regional media influencer, especially in the Pacific. But in the last seven years, it has been under-supported by the federal government, while money has been allocated to commercial interests for questionable benefit. With growing geopolitical tensions, the national broadcaster’s role as the ‘voice of Australia’ has never been more important. In this three-part series we examine ABC International’s ‘soft power’ contribution to national security and why the federal government must substantially increase both its policy and financial commitments to the ABC's international service. Helen Grasswill begins, with an overview.

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Facing a world in disarray

The ABC has historically played a key role in shaping Australia’s international engagement, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. But today – despite the best efforts of ABC International staff – its impact is significantly diminished, partly due to government budget cuts but also, argues Geoff Heriot, because of a lack of strategic direction in the national interest from government and insufficient prioritisation of the International Service by successive ABC Boards.   

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Few hopeful signs in Asia Pacific broadcast review

The Federal Government has quietly published the report of its review of Australian broadcasting services in Asia and the Pacific.

The Government agreed to the review two years ago, raising hopes of a revitalisation of Australian media services to our neighbours, largely provided by the ABC until budget cuts reduced content and the closure of short wave radio transmitters took away the long established means by which it was delivered.

Our friends at Supporters of Australian Broadcasting in Asia and the Pacific(SABAP, now AAPMI) have welcomed elements of the report, but say it falls well short of the big vision required to give Australia the voice it needs in the region, particularly in the Pacific.

SABAP convenor Jemima Garrett said the report dramatically underestimates the importance of the Pacific.

“It’s about Australia having a voice in, and a conversation with, the region. In these more complex geopolitical times, it is about Australia’s interests, influence and values,” Ms Garrett said.

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China, media freedom and rebuilding Australia's voice in the Asia Pacific

Jemima Garrett and Sue Ahearn of eminent Asia Pacific media group AAPMI argue that if the ABC is to grasp new opportunities it needs to lobby in Canberra with innovative proposals and to do more to articulate its unique value in international broadcasting.

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