ABC cuts into News

2014-10-02_1236The impact of ABC cuts to News programmes filtered through yesterday afternoon, with reports Four Corners, Lateline, Australian Story and Landline, will all see their budgets cut by management.

Foreign Correspondent will lose 10% of its budget. Auckland, Tokyo, Bangkok, Delhi and Jerusalem bureaux will be closed, but Beirut will be added. Teams will be replaced by video journalists working from home with the help of a local producer.

Lateline, which shifts to ABC News 24 in a ‘time-friendly fixed slot’ , will see all its staff put on a redundancy list pending a skills audit.

Guardian reports News Director Kate Torney briefed the 1,500 news staff on the details of the changes on Monday afternoon.. There will be 100 redundancies across the News division. Journalists whose programs have been targeted for job losses will be measured against an objective “skill set”, sources said. ABC will hire about 70 new staff with expertise in mobile and online content.

Local current affairs, previously seen on 7:30 Fridays, will appear across the 7pm News, ABC News Sunday, News 24, local radio and local digital sites.

Fairfax reports Journalists were given a sheet of paper with a list of skills benchmarks, which focused on the ability to report stories across multiple platforms including mobile and online, and told if they were unable to meet them they would face losing their jobs before Christmas.

Glenys Stradijot, ABC Friends National spokesperson said the Government was given no mandate to destroy the national public broadcaster

“We now know the Government’s cuts will have a devastating impact on the national broadcaster’s capacity to do its job. The ABC will be unable to fulfil its charter obligations or meet its responsibility to be a truly national public broadcaster which services Australians across the country,” she said.

“Malcolm Turnbull has been a huge disappointment. His actions have not matched his rhetoric. He has revealed himself to be no friend of the ABC.

“Minister Turnbull’s earlier assurances that his so-called efficiency measures would not affect services and programming have turned out to be as dishonest as the Prime Minister’s pre-election promise not to cut the ABC.

“A cynical person might think that Mr Turnbull is looking towards his next leadership challenge, that he is delivering up the ABC to impress his colleagues and buy Murdoch media support.” said Glenys Stradijot.

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