The ABC management has revealed its long-term roadmap in the network’s first-ever annual public meeting at the ABC studios in Sydney.
In the meeting, ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie and chairman Justin Milne faced the 400-strong audience to answer various questions with News Breakfast presenter Michael Rowland as facilitator. The Rockhampton and Launceston studios also carried live feeds of the show.
Milne said the network is going to invest into more digital platforms over the next 20 years under a new initiative called “ABC 2.0,” where content will be generated for multiple mediums. He stressed, however, that investing into TV and radio production will remain active even as the TV and radio departments are being disbanded this year.
“We see both radio and television extending for many, many years into the future and we will continue to invest in them, love them and improve them. ABC 2.0 is however the major strategic initiative for the ABC. It is akin to us deciding to go into the television business in 1956. Just as then, it will require significant investment and possibly generate some controversy,” Milne said.
“Australia has always been at risk of being culturally swamped by overseas media and I believe that risk has never been greater, so ensuring that the trusted and much loved voice of the ABC can continue to be heard has never been more important.”
Guthrie came forward and said that the network’s recent restructuring is meant to help it remain a leading force in the Australian programming circuit.
“No media organisation is better positioned to capitalise on the opportunities that lie ahead. We are already digital leaders, we are trusted by Australians, our people are resourceful and open to change and we are known for our distinctive, quality programming and services. Our role as Australia’s public broadcaster is now more important than ever,” she said.
However, some elements in the network are not quite keen on the show. One insider claimed to The Australian’s Stephen Brook that the management has no idea how everything will fare in reality, especially when attracting younger audiences. “Everyone seems focused on a demographic that aren’t going to consume us anyway, people in their 20s and 30s. We should be aiming for people in their 40s. There’s a sense is pushing this real gimmickry,” the insider said.
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