ABC Director Mark Scott replies to criticism of its "ABC Open Project" in today's Australian. At ABC NEWS WATCH we wonder whether the ABC's stance on FOI requests will form part of this "open" project...see - ABC: you can't open the chamber of secrets. Under ABC's current FOI regime the public would likely be denied access to any documents requested concerning development and production of this content.
ABC not waging war
THE ABC welcomes public debate about its future in the new media landscape. But recent criticisms of its ABC Open project ("ABC’s `hidden’ plans under fire”, 24/2) do not stand up to scrutiny. Firstly, the ABC is not asking for, nor has it been given, taxpayers’ funds to wage war on commercial media in regional markets. ABC local radio has happily coexisted with commercial news operators in regional markets for more than 70 years.
The aim of ABC Open is to put producers and editors into regions to equip locals with the skills to create and post content. One would have thought this attempt to bridge the digital divide - so evident in regional Australia - would benefit all media organisations. There is no hidden or stealth agenda. The broadband hubs project was announced in last year’s federal budget and the ABC has been answerable to its details in Estimates committees.
Mark Scott, ABC Managing Director