The ABC has announced plans to hire more than 50 journalists to report from over 20 regional locations, following deals it struck with Facebook and Google.
- Over 50 journalists will be placed in 20 regional state and territory locations by early 2022
- New specialist rounds covering water, mining, social affairs and health will be created
- The ABC struck deals with Facebook and Google
The new jobs will be spread across all states and the Northern Territory, with the positions expected to be filled by early 2022.
Larger regional patches will get more support, in areas such as Horsham, Burnie, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Katherine, Esperance, Karratha, Longreach and Toowoomba.
Smaller bureaus will be trialled in Warragul, Batemans Bay, Carnarvon, Hervey Bay and Charleville, while individual journalists will be stationed in Swan Hill, Whyalla, Victor Harbor, Northam and Gladstone.
More remote locations will also see ABC journalists embedded there for a shorter period of time.
As part of the announcement, several new national specialist rounds will be added to the ABC’s regional team, covering water, mining, social affairs and health.
ABC managing director David Anderson said the additional reporters would be placed in areas that had previously been “news deserts”.
“We want to provide greater coverage of regional stories in areas that are under-served by the media,” he said.
The ABC entered into commercial negotiations with the digital platforms after the News Media Bargaining Code came into effect in February,
An agreement was signed with Facebook this week following an agreement with Google last month.
Revenue from both will go towards increasing the ABC’s investment in regional and rural journalism across Australia.