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

The collapse of Fairfax – what does this mean for the commercial media?

IMG_0507
Fairfax a victim of changes in the media landscape and mismanagement

 

 

Staff at Fairfax papers around the country have gone on strike this week to protest the proposed cutting of 125 jobs.

Whatever your views politically (Fairfax is a well – known Left – leaning company), I think this is sad. Several things have contributed to the collapse of Fairfax over recent years. One has been financial mismanagement and lack of sales revenue. “The Australian’s” Chris Kenny has said on his show that, unlike Newscorp, they went digital too early and their paper sales collapsed. They also relied heavily on advertisers – such as housing company Domain. This didn’t translate well to the digital world and therefore, their revenue went guts up.

I’ve said this sort of thing a couple of times before – what does this mean for journalists, columnists and even online writers?

See, I’m wondering even more now since I’m doing the Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing. My ultimate goal is to update this blog and make something out of it – sort of like what Mia Freedman did with Mamamia (I can dream can’t I?). But I want to work for someone else first. True, the course covers all writing, not just journalism and commentary, so I could get work in another field – hopefully. But, if I’m honest, I jumped at the chance to do the course when I heard that people can go on to do journalism after the course. The course outline for the Diploma lists journalism as one of the career options. I don’t think I’ll do that though. After I finish what I’m doing now I have to work!

 

As I pointed out before, ultimately, I’d like to update this blog and do something with it. It’ll take a while for sure, but that’s no guarantee either. I’ve written on another blog about how Wendy Harmer’s “The Hoopla” collapsed by 2015 after only four years.

People have probably heard the huge YouTube boycott controversy by now. I asked about it on a Facebook group whether bloggers who use AdSense for revenue had been affected (AdSense and YouTube are both run by Google). Some people said they had been affected, but not many. To compensate their losses, YouTubers have asked viewers to donate money via PayPal and Patreon. I’ve often thought about, rather than solely relying on advertisers (apparently, AdSense doesn’t pay a whole lot anyway), I’d go through other means like e – books, etc. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Maybe rather than throwing their dreams in the bin entirely, columnists, features writers, independent bloggers and others just need to be more creative if they want to turn their passion into a career like I want to. It’s either that or only have writing as a second job – which to be honest, I was happy doing anyway.

 

The future is so uncertain for writers now. It’s scary. With the rise of online writing, maybe this will revitalise the industry in the future. Maybe (hopefully) this is a temporary transition from traditional media to digital and journalism can be a robust industry again, just all online.

Are you a writer? How have you been affected by the ever – changing industry, if at all? I’d love to know what you think. Leave your thoughts below.

 

Categories
Media

Bring professionalism back in journalism and commentary!

design

I’m usually an avid listener to Sydney’s 2GB on weeknights when Andrew Bolt is on.  But on Monday night, I nearly turned it off after five minutes and was glad that I missed the first twenty minutes or so. Bolt was on with Daily Telegraph columnist, Miranda Devine. To those who don’t know, they had a feud in 2015 after Malcolm Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott as Australian Prime Minister. Devine slammed Bolt for standing by Tony Abbott and his – then Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin – someone who Devine blamed for Abbott’s fall.

She went on Win’s “Today Show” with Karl Stafanovic insulting Bolt, calling him “delusional”.

From what I heard, there was a lot of mincing words, misrepresenting, talking over each other and it all came to ahead when Bolt spat it and threatened to hang up. Things started to calm down after they had a few callers.

Frankly I couldn’t believe what was going on when I turned it on my iPad. In my view, both Bolt and Devine were at fault. Devine shouldn’t have interrupted Bolt continuously, but Bolt, could have been a little bit more professional and not have thrown a tantrum and threaten to hang up. They could’ve both skipped the word games, too (i.e. lost vs losing and whether the polls mattered or didn’t… it was just ridiculous).

Anyway, last night was a lot more cordial. Devine explained the relationship with Bolt as like brother and sister and how Monday night was a “robust discussion” and “sibling rivalry”. They assured that they they were still really good friends.

design

I still think both of them could have conducted themselves better. They are both professional journalists/ presenters. They both work for one of the largest and last standing commercial media companies in Australia (Newscorp).

I’ll cut them both some slack and say that the way they conducted themselves on Monday night isn’t isolated to them. It grates me how journalists – both from the Left and conservative – make a bad habit of mincing words and talking over the top of others. An example of this in recent years (2015, I think?) was a feud between Weekend Sunrise co – host and “The Chaser Australia” host, Andrew O’Keefe and former Labor senator, Mark Latham when talking about the issue of feminism, domestic violence and the gender pay gap. along with “The Guardian (Australia) columnist,. playwright and author, Van Badham and, again, Miranda Devine. This caused a social media backlash against O’Keeffe, with calls for him to be sacked (he’s still there. by the way. He’s still on “The Chaser Australia”, too.)

Maybe journalists do it for ratings sometimes, or, more likely a clash of personalities, ideas and opinions. Surely you can be “robust” in discussion without being rude, without being condescending and without throwing a tantrum. Again, Bolt, Devine and O’Keefe are professionals. They should act like it. Sure, DEBATE, but also LISTEN. And keep cool headed. Then again, I’m not a professional journalist (yet?… who knows). As a listener and viewer I’m a little bit disappointed at how far it can get.

Since last night was so cordial, I”m hoping that there isn’t a “Round Two” of Monday night.

design

If it does arc up again, I’ll be turning it off and keeping it off, at least until someone replaces Devine (either Price or Michael McLaren).

 

How do you cope with journalists talking over the top of each other? Do you bear it, turn off? Does it turn you off a journalist/ commentator or show completely? Feel free to drop your thoughts down below. If you’re a journalist, I’d love to know what you think, too.