ABC operations

Australia’s ABC and Timor-Leste’s RTTL sign MOU


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has signed an historic agreement with Radio e Televisoa de Timor-Leste (RTTL).

The agreement between the two public broadcasters allows for increased content sharing and media development programs.

It recognises both organisations’ importance as cultural institutions and custodians of media archives, as well as the vital role they play in connecting and informing audiences and contributing to democracy.

RTTL President José Antonio Belo said: “This is an important moment for RTTL and ABC to cement the historic relationship and express our shared values.

“RTTL is happy to build on the spirit of friendship and collaboration and, in particular, to learn from ABC as we establish our English news service and channel.”

ABC Managing Director David Anderson said: “The ABC is committed to working with RTTL, and the people of Timor-Leste, and to learning from each other as both organisations seek to better serve our audiences.”


The Memorandum of Understanding builds upon an existing strong relationship between the ABC and RTTL.

ABC Radio Australia has been available to Timorese audiences via FM radio for many years. More recently, ABC International Services entered a content sharing agreement for the distribution of ABC Australia and ABC Education content on RTTL digital platforms. This agreement was announced as part of RTTL’s 20th anniversary celebrations in 2022.

ABC International Development has supported media development in Timor-Leste over the last decade, working with Timorese media to develop inclusive and diverse reporting processes, advising on reporting of natural disaster preparation, maintaining technical broadcasting equipment and conducting media training on accurate COVID-19 reporting and combatting misinformation.

Under the Indo-Pacific Broadcasting Strategy, ABC International Services will work with RTTL to help it establish a news service for its new English-speaking channel, sharing content from the ABC newsrooms and working with RTTL staff to enhance their journalism and content making skills.

Other activities include establishing a network of Pacific journalists, with a local correspondent based in Dili, the syndication of ABC content to local media providers and a broader capacity-building program for Timor-Leste media and journalists’ associations to build media craft skills.

In late 2022, a senior ABC International delegation visited Timor-Leste to acknowledge and strengthen the relationship between the public broadcasters in the lead-up to the signing of the MOU.

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How do we think this will impact News Breakfast? Go off air during that hour? No crosses?

It’s not just News Breakfast, breakfast shows on ABC’s radio networks (Local Radio, RN, Triple J, News Radio) will also be impacted. Even preparations for the breakfast shows on Local Radio in WA will be affected, as the first stop work meeting takes place at 4am-5am local time.

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Don’t know, but I imagine they will just fill the hour with repeated segments or highlights with a ticker on screen advising that the live/regular program has been halted due to industrial action.


Also, it may not happen if progress is made in discussions.

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Surely you’d strike in local time? I’m sure WA management is quaking at a 4am local walkout :man_facepalming:

Nah, it appears to be AEDt, I think WA Early Mornings stats at 4am so wouldn’t surprise me if that’s taken into account.

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That’s right. Hardly the same impact as having, say, Breakfast in each market impacted though.

It’s not, but the union will probably have a national hookup during the stoppage, more effective than having one for each timezone as the organisers are likely east coast based.

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and it’s not just the morning hour, there is an afternoon stopwork as well

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EDIT: according to TV Tonight, CPSU members spanning Content making divisions will go ahead with their stoppage.

EDIT 2 23/3

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Australia’s ABC and Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation sign historic new agreement.


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) today exchanged a new Memorandum of Understanding at SIBC headquarters in Honiara.

The agreement between the two public broadcasters solidifies their commitment to collaboration and support, with an emphasis on content sharing and media development programs.

It recognises the crucial role of public broadcasters as cultural institutions that connect and inform audiences while promoting democracy. It highlights the importance of mutual learning and growth, demonstrating the dedication of both organisations to working together to serve audiences better.

ABC Managing Director David Anderson said: “The ABC is delighted to continue its partnership with the SIBC. The agreement strengthens media collaboration and exchange between the ABC and the SIBC through training, sharing media expertise and providing technical and program support. We will learn from each other as we seek to serve our audiences better.”

SIBC Chief Executive Officer Johnson Honimae said: “The SIBC Board, management, and staff but more importantly our listeners, viewers and followers of SIBC radio, SIBC TV and SIBC online are so grateful to the ABC for agreeing to continue the partnership between the two broadcasting organisations by signing the MoU.

“With the digitisation of broadcasting, such a partnership as outlined in the MoU is the only way to go for a small broadcaster such as SIBC. We need the help of one of the longest broadcasters in the Pacific region. There is much to share including in the areas of capacity building, technology, and content especially as SIBC, after 70 years of broadcasting is finally expanding into television.

“SIBC looks forward to working together with our colleagues at ABC to continue to inform, educate, entertain and engage our peoples.“


The Memorandum of Understanding builds upon an existing strong relationship between the ABC and SIBC.

The SIBC was established in 1976 by the Broadcasting Ordinance. It serves the country’s many scattered islands and communities, broadcasting on the radio, television, and online platforms. For most people in the Solomon Islands, the SIBC is the primary source of information, education, and entertainment, as well as engagement through online platforms. It is the source of information during times of natural disasters and during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The SIBC intends to launch a national television service, the first of its kind in the 70 years of broadcasting in the Solomon Islands, in time for the 17th Pacific Games in November 2023, to be held in the capital Honiara.

A senior ABC delegation is currently visiting the Solomon Islands to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders and local media. During this visit, the delegation exchanged MOUs with SIBC and toured the national broadcaster.

ABC Australia (the ABC’s international TV channel) is available through Satsol TV and the TTV platform. ABC Radio Australia is broadcast in the Honiara region on 107 FM. ABC news digital content is syndicated to the Solomon Times and Island Sun. The ABC’s flagship digital offering under the ABC Pacific brand includes the ABC Pacific Facebook page, which has strong engagement from Solomon Island followers. The ABC is enhancing its coverage of Solomon Island affairs on ABC Australia, ABC Radio Australia, ABC Pacific digital and on the ABC’s domestic services with the appointment of Honiara-based local journalist Chrisnrita Leong.

ABC International Development (ABCID) has supported media development in the Solomon Islands for over 15 years. ABCID works with local media outlets to create an inclusive and accessible reporting environment while providing expert guidance on building digital capabilities. ABCID has promoted best practices in areas such as court and sports reporting and facilitated training opportunities for journalists through radio and mobile journalism workshops.

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Applications open for ABC and Screenwest’s Art Works Documentary Initiative


The initiative is aimed at emerging to mid-career Producer and Director teams interested in producing short documentary segments profiling the work of Western Australian artists or arts companies, for broadcast on ABC and iview. Applications close Monday, 24 April at 5:00pm AWST.

Screenwest and ABC Arts are pleased to announce that applications are open for the ABC Art Works Documentary Initiative, a $10,000 production opportunity designed to offer a broadcast credit to Western Australian filmmakers.

Up to four emerging to mid-career Producer and Director teams will be selected to each produce and deliver a short 3-8 minute documentary segment profiling the work of a resident Western Australian artist or arts company, for broadcast on ABC and ABC iview as part of ABC’s Art Works series later in 2023.

Hosted by Namila Benson, Art Works is the ABC’s weekly half-hour arts show sharing the most inspiring, surprising, and formative ways that Australian creatives are telling our stories today. Previous WA filmmakers behind Art Works documentaries include Our Law producer Sam Field; Samantha Marlowe & Frances Elliott who went on to direct Girl Like You; and Josh Lee, director of The Fathering Project and A Friend in Death.

“ABC Factual and Culture is committed to investing in emerging creatives and I am delighted to continue our successful collaboration with Screenwest. These short films will bring the rich culture of the state to a wider audience and help deepen Australians appreciation of artists from the West.” said Richard Huddleston, ABC Acting Head Factual & Culture.

“We’re pleased to join forces with the ABC to bring this opportunity to Western Australian emerging documentary practitioners. The initiative is a fantastic opportunity for filmmaking teams to upskill and have their work broadcast to a national audience, while also highlighting the diverse arts community here in WA.” said Paul Williams, Screenwest Documentary Executive.

How to Apply

The application deadline is Monday, 24 April 2023 at 5:00pm AWST.

Applications will be accepted through the Screenwest SmartyGrants portal.

The full guidelines, application materials and eligibility criteria are available on the Special Initiatives page of the Screenwest website.

High-profile journalist Laura Tingle has been voted in as the staff-elected director of the public broadcaster’s board.

Tingle beat ABC business journalist Daniel Ziffer by 30 final votes out of the 2073 ballots cast by staff. The 7.30 chief political correspondent will be appointed to the board on May 1.

The ballot for the staff-elected board position included Ziffer, Compass host Indira Naidoo, The Drum co-host Dan Bourchier, Middle East correspondent Tom Joyner and head of Indigenous, Diversity & Inclusion Kelly Williams.

Ziffer beat Tingle on first preference votes, attracting 615 votes to Tingle’s 568, but the 7:30 mainstay and former political editor of The Australian Financial Review won the position by 30 final preference votes.

Vote for us! ABC and ADM+S pitch proposals for SXSW Sydney line-up


The ABC and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) at QUT have teamed up to pitch two session proposals to be included in the upcoming South By Southwest Sydney Conference taking place October 15-22.

SXSW brings together inspired thinkers, creators and innovators in tech and innovation, games, music and screen from around the world to experience the latest in forward-thinking ideas within their industry and unlock the unexpected discoveries made possible when a diverse range of topics converge on stage.

To help determine the conference line-up each year, SXSW calls for submissions of session proposals on which the SXSW community then gets to vote.

This year SXSW Sydney received more than 1400 proposals from around Australia and the world.

Voting is open until 11.59pm on Tuesday 11 April. Voters receive five votes but only one vote per proposal is permitted. Successful sessions will be included in SXSW Sydney.

The ABC and ADM+S have proposed the following two panel sessions for inclusion:

What AI-generated news could mean for human-produced journalism (Media Industry track) Speakers: Silvia Montaña-Niño (ADM+S at QUT), Stuart Watt (ABC), Michael Collett (ABC), Gareth Seneque (ABC)

ChatGPT has shown AI-generated news content is no far-flung fantasy. Algorithms have long determined which stories get recommended to people based on their interests, but now AI can create content itself. It can also interact with users and answer their questions in a “human-like” manner.

However, the way ChatGPT works, from its data collection processes to its opaque machine training models, raises crucial questions for news organisations willing to use this technology to produce and distribute news.

A panel of journalists, scholars and technologists will discuss the trends and challenges of AI-generated news and what it means for the future of journalism.

Read more and vote for this panel here

Islands in the Streaming: Local Content Discovery in a Global Market (Streaming Industry track) Speakers: Ramon Lobato (ADM+S at RMIT), Kylie Pappalardo (ADM+S at QUT), Nick Hayden (ABC), Alexandra Hay (ABC)

In the age of video streaming, content discovery is now a crucial strategic space for screen industries. The battle to capture attention is fierce, with streaming platforms, device makers and technology all playing a critical role in shaping the content we watch. But what about local and public benefit storytelling — how can it cut through in a world dominated by tech-driven giants?

Read more and vote for this panel here

Stuart Watt, ABC Head of Output & Distribution, said the rapidly unfolding developments in AI presented both opportunities and challenges for journalism.

“While the labour-saving possibilities are exciting, the prospect of misinformation and the further erosion of trust in our profession is daunting,” he said.

“We need to grapple with these challenges and find ways to use this emerging technology so it enhances our journalism rather than diminishes it.”

Dr Silvia Montaña-Niño, from the ADM+S at QUT, said SXSW was a perfect public space to discuss the challenges news organisations have when using AI.

“Journalists and scholars right now have many questions about how the recent developments in generative AI will impact how they work and what are the new responsibilities with the use of these technologies,” she said.

get its staff out of the inner city and better reflect Australia.

Such a tone-deaf, Sydney-centric opinion to think that Western Sydney “better reflects Australia”. You just know they’d never consider the same kind of move anywhere else in Australia.

So many better things they could be spending the money on.