Categories
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.

Categories
Gender/ sexuality Media Uncategorized

Is male privilege real?

 

Screen shot of ABC's Hack Live on iView
New episode of “Hack Live” brought on controversy, but also interesting debate over “male privilege”.

I watched the controversial show “Hack Live – Is Male Privilege Bulls***” and I’ve got to say while it caused controversy in which the ABC kind of apologised for, the discussion on male privilege on the panel show “Hack Live” was actually very interesting.

One interesting panellist was *Adrian* (not his real name), who was a part of the Men’s Right’s movement. He, more than other panellists, emphasised what many men face in Australia more than women. These included homelessness and suicide. It was also pointed out that men are over represented in work related deaths as well as the alleged gender pay gap and domestic violence.

 

So, does male privilege exist?

It’s complicated. Economically, there may be a historical bias that favours men. But in areas like family law, mental health and other areas, these things have generally favoured women – from what I can gather. In the UK, there is a severe lack of appropriate shelters for male domestic violence victims. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was similar here. You don’t hear about domestic violence against men in the media as frequently as you hear about women.

I think another factor to talk about is male victims by sexual assault at the hands of both men and women. While there is a slow increase in awareness and female who abuse boys are finally getting exposed, I believe there is still a long way to go, especially on reducing stigma faced by many male victims, both as adults and children.

So, does ‘male privilege’ exist?

Like I said men may have some economic and professional advantages over women – depends who you believe on the age wage gap and poverty after retirement. But, I think there are areas in which women have the upper hand, including custody disputes and family law, awareness on domestic violence and mental illness and relevant services for these men.

Privilege in general

“Hack Live” also looked into – albeit too briefly – intersections of identity and how that plays in the privilege debate. I’ve written extensively about challenges faced by LGBTQ+ people over the years since I’ve started blogging. Is there such thing as straight privilege? I think most certainly! From adequate and fair media representation, visibility in education, LGBTQ+ people of faith struggling to find a place of worship where they feel accepted, (although as I have written before, things are slowly looking up).

In other areas, I think “white privilege” isn’t an overblown concept either, to be honest. I think, while things are improving for people of colour in countries like Australia, I don’t doubt that that some may still face racism in a way that Caucasian people generally don’t have to think about. I believe that there are people of colour who face racial profiling. People of colour and of Asian backgrounds do get stereotyped in a way that Caucasian people generally don’t get. I have also heard a few years ago that a survey (I think) pointed out that some employers tend to look past resumes that have a non – English sounding name. Whether this has improved over the three or so years since the story was on The Project, I’m not entirely sure. I hope it has.

Did anyone else watch “Hack Live”? What did you think about it? What do you think about the concept of male privilege? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. 

 

 

 

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Yassmin Abdel – Magied ANZAC controversy: Nauru and Manus debate to be had but not on ANZAC Day

IMG_0563
ANZAC Day is a sacred day in Australia and New Zealand to commemorate soldiers who have fought, died and have come back forever changed.  Image: Craig Dingle, iStock

 

 

ABC presenter, Yassmin Abdel – Magied came under fire for Facebook post linking ANZAC Day to Nauru, Manus and conflicts in the Middle East. She has received heavy criticism from a number of journalists.

Rita Panahi has slammed the comment as “spectacularly stupid” and “offensive”, but argues that she shouldn’t be sacked just for the comments. Yet, Panahi, has pointed out a lack of consequences for Abdel – Magied and compared it to the sacking of Natasha Exelby after she was caught not paying attention on the job. It was only after protests that the ABC backtracked their decision and reinstated Exelby.

Should Abdel – Magied be sacked? I’m with Panahi on this one. My answer is no. And to be honest, I think a debate can be had over the West’s involvement in the Middle East and offshore processing (which, if I’m honest I’m not a big fan of).

But yesterday was not the day. Yesterday was meant to be about commemorating past and current serving men and women from World War I onward and the price that they paid. I also think it’s about also remembering those who survived the conflicts, but were forever changed – those who suffered PTSD and other mental disorders due to what they’ve witnessed and those currently serving in conflicts.

I think it’s also about remembering the families of those who are left behind: husbands, wives, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. Because, while they may not be in the front line, their lives will also change forever.

It’s also about remembering the nurses and doctors who helped the injured and traumatised. They too, would have been forever changed – seeing the devastation, death and not to mention the health risks they themselves faced, such as dysentery and other airborne diseases.

 

That’s what I believe we should have remembered yesterday. This is what it’s about. To over – politicise the day brings a great disservice to all those who fought, struggled, suffered and died while defending the values that Australia is so well – known for – mate-ship, democracy, freedom to live in peace and free from tyranny.

 

Like Australia Day, I also think it’s important to acknowledge how far Australia has come: the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women in ANZAC Day marches, inclusion in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the proper recognition for those who fought in the Vietnam War should all be recognised. Like many other parts of Australia’s history and culture, we are making progress. Not perfect, but in progress. Leave contentious political issues (again, worth debate) for another day.

For those in Australia, what does ANZAC Day mean to you?