With 'Newsgate', the Australian ABC shows us the way again
Posted on Saturday, July 16th, 2011 at 12:12 pm. #
One of the benefits of new platforms is that we can launch new radio stations instantly. They appear automatically to radio listeners on the same DAB multiplex, and can be easily linked online. They’re simple to promote, and add real listener choice. If you own your own multiplex, they’re also virtually free in terms of transmission costs.
You can’t have missed the coverage over the past few weeks about the News of the World phone hacking. This coverage would undoubtedly benefit from a little more depth: details about the Murdoch empire, detail and biographical information about the people involved, and full, uninterrupted coverage of the relevant Commons Select Committees and Parliament discussions.
Once more, Australia are showing us the way with a brand new, temporary ‘pop-up’ radio station, ABC UK Newsgate. With archive material from the ABC, as well as live coverage, it’s an ideal additional choice for Australian taxpayers who fund the ABC, and a great way to promote the benefits of digital radio, on whatever platform.
Even though the story is taking place on our patch, our own broadcasters – the BBC or commercial radio – have, once more, failed to grasp the benefits of temporary radio stations and the cross-promotional opportunities these represent.
The government wishes to ensure promotion of digital radio; broadcasters are keen to avoid the costs of multiple transmissions; we have a 50%-listening target to reach by end 2013 which many broadcasters are keen to hit; listeners are clearly keen for more detail; yet, once more, we’ve dropped the ball.
On digital radio, Australia is covering a UK news story in more depth than we are in the UK. Should we merely be embarrassed, or be ashamed?
(The press release follows)
ABC RADIO LAUNCHES ‘ABC UK NEWSGATE’
Saturday 16 July 2011
ABC Radio will launch a special digital radio station to coincide with the appearance of current and former News Limited executives before the UK Parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking.
The station, ABC UK Newsgate, will broadcast from 8pm Tuesday 19 July (EST). It will feature archival material including two features on the Murdoch’s from ABC Radio’s flagship current affairs program Background Briefing: Why is James so Angry? (2010) and Who Owns the News? (2009), along with a People In Power feature from 1966 featuring Rupert Murdoch when he bought News of the World.
The station will broadcast the appearance of Rupert and James Murdoch, and Rebekah Brooks live from 11.30pm until the conclusion of their testimony from the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the UK Parliament, followed by analysis from the BBC and ABC.
ABC UK Newsgate will broadcast on digital radio in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth from 8pm Tuesday 19 July (EST). ABC NewsRadio will also broadcast their appearance nationally from 11.30pm (EST).