4 January, 2015. 15:15
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
THE ABC has been secretly planning the cancellation of its entire news and current affairs department for at least a month – with their axing likely before the end of this year financial year, a few sources claim.
On Friday, Fairfax Media revealed the national broadcaster has been covertly developing a reality television show in which out-of-work journalists are pitted against each other in a “bloody” battle royal-type scenario – the prize being a coveted internship at the Cowra Guardian and another shot at their beloved trade.
The show is rumored to be hosted by Leigh Sales, inspired partly by commercial projects such as The Hunger Games, it would air at 7.30pm on Friday nights – replacing ABC News 24 and regular news programming on ABC1.
It explored the likely backlash from various groups including ABC, staff and the media, and concluded that forcing journalists to kill each other on live television was a “high risk” proposition.
It will involve no major political interviews or investigative reports but will feature pseudo-stories alongside “violent”, “funny” and “sadistic” human suffering. It may feature a live audience, a desk and some “amount of barbaric encounters”.