'We are all content makers now'

losing form and sense at the ABC?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article considers the rise of discourses emerging with the digital ‘content revolution’ at the ABC, in the context of severe budget cuts and restructures since the emergence of Brian Johns’ 1996 One ABC policy. The essay explores key decisions, rhetorics and thinking surrounding the radical dismembering of ABC’s unique ideas and cultural outlet Radio National (now ‘RN’) from 2012 onwards as it was forced to jettison core parts of its programming and shed specialist and experienced staff. The essay seeks to identify how, under the influence of an infectious complex of ideas and discourses associated with ‘digital convergence’, neoliberalism and managerialism, conditions were in place favouring the expansion of platform-agnostic journalism and of related topical ‘content’ across the ABC at the expense of other forms and understandings of this ‘rich mix’ network. This has endangered and diluted core aspects of the ‘project’ as it had evolved over decades. Drawing on important historical and comparative research focused on this outlet, the essay argues that RN is relinquishing its historic ‘special status’ as a media leader in ideas and cultural broadcasting in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Oct 2020


  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
  • Media studies - TV & radio (Australia)
  • media history
  • public service broadcasting (European, BBC, Australia)
  • radio history
  • Australian radio
  • broadcasting culture and history

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