ABC: Proud but making progress

ABC issued a statement this week following online criticism of its Upfronts for lacking diversity.

“We’re proud of the great, diverse talent at the ABC, in our content and our workforce.

“Our 2021 slate reflects our commitment to representing and reflecting modern Australia, across diverse backgrounds, ages, genders, abilities and cultures, in programs such as Total Control, Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, Superwog, Here Out West, Anh’s Brush With Fame, My Name Is Gulpilil, Palazzo Di Cozzo, That Pacific Sports Show, Chopsticks or Fork?, Step Into Paradise, You Can’t Ask That, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, Laura’s Choice, Love On The Spectrum, Why Are You Like This?, All My Friends Are Racist, Hardball, Preppers, Back To Nature, Wakefield, Australia Remastered and Mikki Vs The World.

“Across the ABC, increasing diversity both in our workforce and our content is a priority. For details of where we are now, and our goals and plans, a good starting point is the Diversity & Inclusion Plan and the Reconciliation Action Plan.

“As they demonstrate, the ABC’s diversity and inclusion goals include visible differences, such as gender, age, language, ethnicity, Aboriginal identity, cultural background and visible disabilities, and non-visible differences, such as sexual orientation, religious belief and invisible disabilities.

“They also recognise the ways that people are different in other respects, such as family composition, educational level, socio-economic background, geographic location and diversity of perspectives and thought.

“As we have spoken about publicly before, ABC News is taking specific and measurable actions to make our team more diverse and our reporting reflective of the Australian community, including:

  • Expanding the range of voices and perspectives across our panel shows, including Insiders, Q&A and The Drum
  • Embedding in the News editorial strategy increased coverage relevant to people in the outer suburbs – the most diverse places in our country
  • Launching the 50:50 Project, which has now been underway for almost two years and has been very effective
  • Creating the National Disability Affairs role, held by a correspondent (Nas Campanella) with lived experience of disability
  • Implementing diversity hiring guidelines to use when we are recruiting
  • Improving the focus of our training, internship and cadet programs, as retaining diverse staff is a critical issue

“There’s no doubt that, like all media organisations, the ABC has significant work to do to live up to our goal to reflect the full diversity of our community.

“But we are making progress.”

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