The ABC has added more than 50 additional reporter positions in regional locations as a result of deals with Meta (formerly Facebook Inc) and Google.
Following the adoption of the Mandatory News Media and Digital Platforms Trading Code in February, which included public broadcasters, the CBA began trade negotiations with digital platforms.
Finalized deals with Meta and Google were signed in November 2021. Revenues from both will be used to increase ABC’s investments in regional and rural journalism across Australia, for example by adding additional journalists.
Nine, News Corp, Seven West Media, Australian Community Media (ACM) and The Guardian have also signed business deals with Google and Meta. Other news outlets that have negotiated collectively with Meta and Google, following clearance from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), including Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and the Country Press Association (CPA) .
ABC currently employs approximately 550 content creators in its 48 regional offices. The new functions created by this agreement represent an increase in the number of regional journalists of about 10%
During the first 12 months of the deployment, the ABC will organize a series of pilot projects to inform longer-term planning. All positions and internships will be reviewed towards the end of 2022. The initiatives build on the investment CBA made in the Australian region in 2017 when it created 83 additional positions to support its upgrading. regional office to multimedia hubs.
Starting next week, the ABC will begin placing journalists at more than 20 locations across all states and the Northern Territory, with all positions to be filled by early 2022.
Some positions will be located in the existing ABC regional office and others will be placed in areas that have not had an ABC presence before.
ABC chief executive David Anderson said the agreements had given a significant boost to ABC’s services in regional areas.
“We decided at the very beginning of these negotiations that any net income we receive from these deals would go where it is most needed – and that is in the Australian region,” he explained.
Anderson added that the ABC will place the additional journalists in the areas where they are needed most and have the most impact.
“We want to provide more coverage of regional stories in areas underserved by the media or in information deserts. The additional regional services are a great way to start 2022, our 90th year, and this announcement is fitting given ABC’s relationship with rural and regional Australia over the past nine decades, ”he said.
Five “mini-offices” will be tested in Warragul, Batemans Bay, Carnarvon, Hervey Bay and Charleville.
Individual reporters will be stationed in Swan Hill, Whyalla, Victor Harbor, Northam and Gladstone where there are currently no ABC reporters based.
Regional hubs that serve large areas will also benefit from additional support at Horsham, Burnie, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Katherine, Esperance, Karratha, Longreach and Toowoomba. Reporters will also be integrated for a limited time in other more distant locations.
In addition to these roles, several new specialist national tours will be added to the CBA regional team, covering topics such as water, mining, social affairs and health.
ABC’s acclaimed regional youth initiative ABC Heywire is also benefiting, with plans to integrate teams into regional locations, starting in Victoria and focusing on the stories and issues impacting women. young people from the region.