The ABC recruits over 50 regional-based journalists

ABC rural

The new regional ABC roles were made possible through commercial deals struck with Facebook and Google last year.

The ABC has recently recruited 55 regional-based journalists, significantly expanding its regional and rural coverage. It is anticipated that this will boost the number of its employees working outside capital cities to more than 600.

The new regional roles were made possible through commercial deals struck with Facebook and Google last year. This was following the passage of the Federal Government’s News Media Bargaining Code earlier in 2021.

Any net revenues resulting from an agreement with Google and Facebook would be invested in supporting regional and rural public interest journalism. 

Managing Director David Anderson spoke at the opening of the ABC’s first-ever bureau in Charleville in South West Queensland. He said the ABC moved fast over the summer months to advertise and recruit in every state in Australia, receiving more than 580 applications. 

“Most of those who have applied are already living and working in regional Australia, although several applicants were looking to relocate from the city,” he said.

He said the successful applicants came from a range of experiences and backgrounds.

He continues that the 55 positions will have a big impact on the ABC’s ability to cover regional issues. “It will mean more stories, better coverage and specialist reporting on the issues that matter to people living in the regions, and important insights into regional and rural Australia for people residing in Australia’s capital cities. 

“I can’t think of a better way to start our 90th year than increasing and expanding our coverage in regional and rural Australia, particularly in areas where to date the ABC has not had a presence.

The ten new locations for the ABC are Charleville, Batemans Bay, Warragul, Carnarvon, Hervey Bay, Gladstone, Whyalla, Northam, Swan Hill and Victor Harbor.

The ABC has also boosted the number of journalists in nine existing bureaux in Horsham, Burnie, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Katherine, Esperance, Karratha, Longreach and Toowoomba.

From this month, the ABC employs journalists in 58 locations across the country.

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