On July 22nd the ABC launched its new publicly-funded 24 hours news channel. The broadcaster has been expanding its influence online too, adding local content portals to its already established online presence ABC.net.au.
Last year I spoke to the ABC’s MD Mark Scott, who has a year to go on his five-year term at the helm of the public broadcaster. He said his job was to bring ABC content to as many people as possible, without the constraints of a business plan.
I also asked Angelos Frangopoulos, CEO of Sky News, whether he saw the prospect of an ABC 24-hour news channel as a threat to his business. He said at the time that he welcomed competition.
But how far should the ABC spread its wings, if the media has shown it can operate commercially in the online space? Are they needed to ensure reliable and accurate reporting? Without them, will the news media resort to the standards of Murdoch’s Fox News network?