ABC Plans Digital Expansion

Australian Broadcasting Corp. aims to reach 40 percent of Australians with online services in next three years
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The Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s head of news, Kate Torney, announced plans for the public broadcaster to further its digital expansion over the next three years at a speech at the University of Queensland. ABC will increase spending on online and mobile news with the goal of reaching 40 percent of Australians by 2017. According to Torney, ABC currently reaches 27 percent of Australians; she hopes to hit their goal of 40 percent with a monthly increase of 2.5 percent.

“The investment will allow us to significantly extend our capacity for breaking and rolling news coverage to online and mobile audiences,” said Torney. “It will enable us to build digital news gathering skills within our metropolitan newsrooms and in our current affairs and international teams.” Torney also called this new strategy “a matter of survival” for ABC, the Guardian reported.

One sacrifice of the broadcaster’s new strategy is the TV and radio departments in ABC. Last November, ABC’s budget was cut by AU$200 million over four years, which resulted in the loss of 400 jobs. In addition, a restructure of the budget sent another AU$20 million from TV and radio to digital services.

“Our strategy is brave, but the greater risk is doing nothing and not investing in the new,” said Torney. “That would result in a weaker, less relevant ABC, rather than a compelling, vibrant media organization at the center of Australian life – with a great future.”

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