Australian public broadcaster to cut 250 jobs

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is the nation’s most trusted outlet according to a recent public opinion survey. (AFP)
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Updated 24 June 2020

Australian public broadcaster to cut 250 jobs

  • Redundancies inevitable after the broadcaster’s budget was effectively slashed by $58 million over three years

SYDNEY: Australia’s public broadcaster announced Wednesday it will cut 250 staff, the latest in a slew of redundancies as the country’s conservative government seeks to slash taxpayer funding.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation — which is routinely maligned by ruling conservative politicians and Rupert Murdoch’s competing mastheads — will seek tens of millions of US dollars in savings as its government funding continues to be cut.
“We anticipate we will farewell as many as 250 people through this process,” ABC Managing Director David Anderson said outlining a five-year restructuring plan.
Anderson said the redundancies were inevitable after the broadcaster’s budget was effectively slashed by $58 million over three years.
According to the ABC, its annual revenue from the government was around Aus$879 million this financial year.
ABC operates across the Australian continent, with reporters based in rural and remote areas, and is the nation’s most trusted outlet according to a recent public opinion survey.
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the restructuring was needed to adapt to a changing media landscape. He welcomed a plan to move 75 percent of staff out of the broadcaster’s Sydney headquarters.
“The ABC needs to reflect all of Australia, and Sydney is not Australia,” Fletcher told reporters.
The cutbacks follow a long list of redundancies and closures at Australian media outlets, with the crisis in the news business made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
The national newswire AAP announced earlier this month it would cut half its staff after narrowly avoiding closure, and prior to that, News Corp. had said it would stop printing more than 100 regional and local newspapers.
The media union said government funding cuts were vindictive and ideological, designed to undermine the independence of the broadcaster.
“The Coalition Government’s war against the ABC ... amounts to nothing less than vandalism of one of Australia’s most trusted and valued public institutions,” Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance chief executive Paul Murphy said.


TWITTER POLL: People remain divided on whether to fly amid coronavirus pandemic

Updated 05 July 2020

TWITTER POLL: People remain divided on whether to fly amid coronavirus pandemic

  • People remain split over whether they intend to fly
  • Some airlines have been operating but with strict health and safety measures

DUBAI: Many airlines have started commercial flights again, but an Arab News Twitter poll revealed that people remain split on whether they are prepared to get on board.

Of the 572 people who took part in the two-day poll, just over 23 percent said there was no way they would even consider flying again, despite assurances from airlines that all precautions against the coronavirus were being taken.

Dubai’s Emirates airline is among those that have reintroduced some flights – as has Abu Dhabi’s Etihad – but both are operating strict health and safety regulations.

And while some airlines and countries might be open for business, in many cases this is still dependent on individual people testing negative for COVID-19 tests before they are allowed to travel.

 

 

That has not put off more than 38 percent of those who responded to the poll saying they were off on their holidays, while nearly the same amount said they would wait for a while before traveling.

Now take our new poll: