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Media

ABC Life set to change and 250 jobs are to be axed

ABC studio entrance
Image: iStock

 

For a while, Australia’s ABC  has been dreading the reality of having to cut back on its content. There has been no funding cuts from the Morrison Government. However, due to past cuts, particularly from the Abbott Coalition Government, the ABC in it’s current form has become unsustainable.

One of the platforms that is going to change is ABC Life.

ABC Life was launched in August 2018. It’s aim was to attract young adult audiences to the ABC. It’s set to be called ABC Local with more an emphasis on regional and rural areas.

Rather than politics, the site focused a range of topics such as well being, work,  family, sex and relationships.

Stories that were published on the site was of that of 20 – something and 30 – something Australians. Types of post include personal narrative, opinion and recipe advice.

Unfortunately, 250 jobs are set to be cut.

ABC Life and disability activism

One of the great strengths of ABC Life is their disability advocacy. Back in June, they published an article

Filling  the void left by collapsed magazines?

Personally, I can’t help but compare ABC Life to collapsed magazines Cosmopolitan (Australia) and Cleo. While the site doesn’t embrace topics like fashion, as a former Cleo and Cosmo reader, I can see some overlap.

ABC Life, Cosmopolitan (Australia) and Cleo covered relationships, sexuality and work frequently. I guess they were all aiming to attract the same age group.

Media collapses, especially in regional areas

ABC isn’t the only station in Australia that’s facing job losses. Channel 10 have also faced job cuts. Kerri – Anne Kennerly, Natarsha Belling, Tim Bailey and Mike Larkin will reportedly lose their positions. Perth and Brisbane will lose their bulletins. All news will be aired from Sydney or Melbourne.

Albury/ Wodonga have also lost so much of their media over the years, with radio stations, 104.9 Star FM and 105.7 The River being largely broadcast in Melbourne.

I don’t like this at all. Why should Sydney and Melbourne have all the media? Why shouldn’t a young person from Albury or Wodonga have the opportunity to study and work in journalism?  La Trobe University only offers Bachelor of Communications and Media in Melbourne.

 

Is this a chance for independent content creators?

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Anyone who has read this blog know that I’m passionate about independent content creators and alternatives to mainstream media. I especially love The Young Turks and Secular Talk from the US.

I would love Australia to have something similar. Will this happen now? I guess only time will tell. I think we need more voices in the media landscape. Will Glycerine Queen Media be a part of it? (hey, I can dream can’t I?).

 

Personally, I will miss ABC Life when it changes. I might give  ABC Local a go, but I’ve got a feeling that the change will be noticeable.

Do you read ABC Life?  Do you find it useful or good to read? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories
Media

Does the ABC’s new site make it harder for independent bloggers?

ABC studio entrance
Image: iStock

The ABC has another site, ABC Life.

The site covers a number of topics: food, family, work and well – being to name a few.

Reading some of the articles, I think they are generally well – written, even if some are politically correct.

Where does this leave independent media?

ABC is obviously trying to get into the lifestyle/ culture media space; genres that, a number of other outlets in Australia has failed to launch; such as  women’s website, The Hoopla or recently folded, such as Cleo and Cosmopolitan Australia.

If the ABC is filling the void that collapsed media companies left, then where does that leave future independent media outlets in Australia? Considering the ABC is arguably Australia’s largest media company, where dooes that lead other media?

Mainstream media dominating social media

ABC Life also has already got a social media presence, including a YouTube channel. This is their right, I guess. But I do feel uneasy about it. Even though their current subscriber count is modest, I fear they could potentially overshadow independent creators.

Earlier this year, YouTube political commentators Kyle Kulinski (The Kyle Kulinski Show/ Secular Talk) and David Pakman (The David Pakman Show) accused YouTube for prioritising mainstream media outlets over independent ones. The Google algorithms made media companies like CNN and MSNBC favoured as recommendations for viewers. This has negatively affected view counts of videos from independent commentators like Kulinski and Pakman. Will the ABC further have a similar negative effect? I hope not.

I’m not saying the ABC or any other mainstream media outlet can’t have a YouTube channel, but not at the expense of killing independent content creators.

The blog/ website landscape

Naturally, this is where my concern is. How can independent bloggers compete with the ABC? We can’t. One bonus, I guess, is that the ABC doesn’t rely on advertisers like commercial or independent media.

Will it affect other bloggers’ ability to gain traffic and trust from readers? Maybe. Despite the criticisms that ABC frequently received, I think it’s still a fairly trusted company across the country. I know that people in rural towns often get news from their radio stations.

On a positive note, I’ll have more to write about and critique on here. Hopefully I will. Watch this space!

Independent writers/ content creators need to maintain high standards

I think the ABC Life potentially overcrowds an already overcrowded market. Independent bloggers and YouTubers will have to work hard in not just creating content, but also in advertising it.

I guess if we can’t beat the ABC and mainstream commercial media, we have to join them. We, as independent writers/ content creators need to maintain high standards in our work. And just cross our fingers that we’ll get readers/ viewers who are willing to support our work.

 

What do you think about mainstream media outlets extending to online? Do you think it makes it harder for independent content creators? 

Also, have you looked at ABC Life? What are your thoughts on their posts? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.