Report: ABC News closing bureaux, axing support staff.

Yesterday the ABC released upbeat news about the opening of a new News bureau in Kabul.

Today it finds itself at the centre of a staffing fury with revelations that it is axing support staff for foreign correspondents.

The Australian reports that ABC is sacking some translators, researchers and ‘fixers’ (local experts) while closing down their stand-alone bureaus in a bid to save costs.

Several of the ABC’s independent bureaus, including London, the Middle East, Bangkok, Tokyo and Moscow, will be shut down and the correspondents made to work out of rented office space in AP offices and share the agency’s support staff.

One source tells the newspaper, “They will be shoved in a corner in a commercial news agency.”

There are fears that the news-gathering by foreign correspondents will become “desk jockeys” who do “rip and reads” of the newspapers.

Yesterday in its announcement of a new Kabul bureau, the ABC claimed, “The decision to establish a presence in Kabul follows a comprehensive review of the ABC’s international bureaux, and a reorganisation of bureau resources and administrative arrangements around the world.

“The review does not involve the closure of any existing bureaux or a reduction in the number of correspondents, but provides for more efficient and flexible resourcing arrangements which will result in stronger and more extensive overseas coverage.”

The ABC’s director of news, Kate Torney, and head of policy for ABC news, Steven Alward, are said to be travelling to several to some locations to outline the plans.

Source: The Australian



  1. As AAP (Australian Associated Press) doesn’t have a great deal of support staff and has No bureaux in the Middle East, Bangkok, Tokyo and Moscow, I think you may mean AP (Associated Press).


  2. I agree Rick2 I guess soon they’ll be cut back to just Sydney so it’ll be 24 hours of navel gazing. Because if you want to be a proper news organisation you need reporters and support staff in international as well as local locations i.e. not just Sydney. I want actual stories and not those crap panels.

    And they also need more money for staff including for every State to replace that Media Hub disaster. Too bad they can’t cut the executives salaries. I’m sure that might save rather a lot of money. But hey it’ll never happen.

  3. Hmmm so let’s see. ABC launches a 24 hr news channel which finally allows her over seas staff to deliver more material than brief news stories and some semi regular spots on the Foreign Correspondent program. Now, they’re chopping their resources so they’ll have to work much harder to deliver less – or the same amount but of poorer quality. Makes perfectly logical sense in ABC land I’m sure.

  4. What is the point of having foreign correspondents at all if they will just be adding voiceovers to APTN footage?
    They could do this just as easily in Australia – foreign news sources are easily accessible online these days.

  5. Given reporters from ABC Radio and TV share the spaces in the foreign bureaux, if the bureaux are closed the story gathering and reporting will definitely affected.

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