With fearless news coverage of the current economic downturn, the national public broadcaster has only affirmed it’s place within the hearts and minds of all Australians – even when facing the extreme competition from 24-hour digital alternatives.

The rise of streaming and social media has rocked all of Australia’s traditional media networks over the last decade, with the nightly routine of tuning in for appointed time slots completely disrupted by endless choices for viewers.

However, the ABC has worked tirelessly to remain relevant to both the changing media landscape and cultural landscape of Australia.

While the days of sitting down to watch the ABC News and 7:30 Report, before tuning into top-rating homegrown TV comedies like Kath and Kim or Summer Heights High are over – the ABC has remained front and centre by rolling out their on-demand iView app years before the commercial networks had chance to do the same. Early in 2024, they made the brilliant decision to begin promoting it.

Even in the face of cruel budget cuts that came from a decade of Liberal Party’s efforts to minimise journalistic truthtelling and political accountability, the ABC has made sure to only cut staff and resources in the less important rural and outer-metro areas. It was a tough call, but in this era of media detachment, they made the executive to decision to stay focused on protecting the jobs of their invaluable transcribers and assistant panel operators in Ultimo and South Bank.

News updates on the once highly visible sectors like agriculture and manufacturing have been put on the backburner to prioritise the exciting developments in the world of amateur theatre and gig-economy start-ups. This is key to remaining modern.

But these modernised neoliberal content pillars donn’t mean the ABC have forgotten their audiences west of the car dealerships, with a mandate for journalists to cast a wider net by interviewing a diverse cast of Australian subjects in their news stories.

Last night’s coverage of the cost-of-living crisis packed a punch, as the ABC broke down the cruel realities faced by 29-year-old drum’n’bass DJ Sienna Monk – who lives in a 16-person warehouse within walking distance of the Ultimo newsroom and has one of those invisible gut problems that doctors cannot diagnose but are still eligible for NDIS funding.

Sienna’s decision to move home to her parent’s terrace house in Balmain to save money has pulled heart strings right across the country. From the dying manufacturing corridor of South-West Sydney, to the jobless mining towns of North Queensland.

Sienna is the face of the cost-of-living crisis.


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