Regional Australia and the ABC: reforming the relationship

Digital television Audiences Public broadcasting Radio broadcasting Regional broadcasting Australia

The ABC is an integral part of Australian life. It is an essential part of regional Australia’s social and communications infrastructure. It is vital that the ABC is fully responsive to the needs of the entire Australian community regardless of where they live: this means being sensitive and responsive to the needs and aspirations of regional communities, just as much as to those of Australians living in our capital cities.

To inform and complement this paper, the Page Research Centre also commissioned Compass Polling to survey the attitudes of regional Australians to the ABC and to the relevance, reliability and representativeness of ABC programmes and services. It is referred to as the 'Page Research Centre survey' throughout this paper.

The findings of the survey show that, contrary to its self-image and marketing, the ABC is falling short of the expectations of regional Australians.

There is an appetite in regional Australia for policy and legislation that makes the ABC’s leadership and management more sensitive and responsive to its communities and its people, and for driving governments to make sure that the ABC caters for Australians’ geographic diversity just as much, and arguably more, than the currently-fashionable social diversity boxes – such as Aboriginality and sexual preference – that ABC management and staff fondly boast they tick.

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