250 Jobs To Be Cut At The ABC, And TBH I’m Concerned About The Future Of Media

So many job cuts to an already dwindling job market. What are journalists supposed to do?

During a global pandemic where hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs, the last thing we want to be hearing is that more jobs are being axed. But sadly, that’s what I’m here to tell you. The ABC has announced this morning that, in order to adapt to their $84 million budget cut imposed by the Government, 250 jobs are due to be scrapped.

The cuts will affect every division, says ABC’s managing director, David Anderson, and many teams will be halved in order to save money.

The ABC’s lifestyle website, ABC Life, which was created to help reach young people, will become ABC Local, so that it can have a “broader editorial direction”. However, the ABC Life director, Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, said on Twitter that the cuts are “devastating”.

ABC Cuts Create Uncertainty

As someone who has just completed their final semester in a journalism degree, the Government’s budget cuts for the ABC further demonstrates their disregard for media, journalism and arts.

This disregard can also be seen in the university fee overhaul last week that saw Arts, Media and Communications, and Humanities degrees have their fees increased by 113%. The Government’s aim with these fee increases is to funnel students into degrees that will get them ‘job ready’, despite many politicians having completed Arts degrees themselves.

More than 150 newsrooms have shut their doors since the beginning of 2019, as reported by the Public Interest Journalism Initiative. During a time where so many newsrooms are closing and journalists are losing their jobs, the Government shouldn’t be contributing to these losses.

So many people in my degree, myself included, began to talk about the uncertainty we felt around the future of our careers. Especially when coronavirus hit. And these budget and job cuts, coupled with the fee increases at universities, have surely pushed a lot of budding journalists and those who want to work in media over the edge, worried about what our future holds.

Leader of the opposition, Anthony Albanese, argued today that “now is not the time to lose 250 jobs at the ABC”, and I couldn’t agree more. The media job market has already been drastically reduced over the years, we can’t be neglecting journalists whose only goal is to publish the truth for the public.

People Aren’t Happy About The Cuts

A number of people have come out to condemn the job cuts and big changes at the ABC at the hands of the Government. Even Anthony Albanese has spoken about the cuts, stating:

“The ABC cuts that were made by this government have had an impact on jobs and have had an impact on the quality of services provided … I think the ABC has a critical role, and I’m very sorry to job losses at a time like this. The government surely should be stepping in and saying, “Now of all times is not the time to lose 250 jobs at the ABC.”

As for what’s being said on Twitter, it isn’t positive.


Image Source: ABC News

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