ABC Radio content review finds balanced varied editorial mix | radioinfo

ABC Radio content review finds balanced varied editorial mix

Wednesday 17 September, 2014

The former head of ABC Radio’s biggest rival has delivered a positive verdict on the national broadcaster’s radio content.

 
Retired Fairfax Radio CEO Graham Mott was asked to review a range of content on ABC Radio’s talk networks across a four week period, and found that all the programs “performed very well in achieving a varied mix of editorial content.  Further, content that was subject to public concern and/or debate was balanced with equal time given to both sides of the argument.”
 
The main purpose of the review was to identify if the program content was in line with the interests of the listeners as indicated in the IPSOS Mind and Mood Report and a range of other public opinion polls.
 
Mott concluded that on-air presenters and program producers were “in sync with their listeners’ needs.”
 
Comparing metro and regional stations, Mott found that the amount of local content – that is, the content relating to a particular region was higher in regional markets compared to metropolitan… ABC regional markets put their limited resources to use by focusing on news and information from their local area.
 
Talkback participation was lower in regional areas than metro markets: "In regional markets the participation rate was low even though the presenters were often heard to invite their listeners to provide their feedback via a variety of forms of communication. If this is an important part of the programming philosophy of ABC Local Radio, it requires further work to improve participation rate in the regional markets."

 

The Morning programs on a range of selected capital city and regional Local Radio stations and Radio National were reviewed.  The specific programs analysed were:

  • 702 ABC Sydney – Linda Mottram
  • 774 ABC Melbourne – Jon Faine
  • 612 ABC Brisbane – Steve Austin
  • 891 ABC Adelaide – Ian Henschke
  • 720 ABC Perth – Geoff Hutchison
  • 95.9 ABC Western Plains (Dubbo) – Dugald Saunders/Kelly Fuller
  • 630 North Queensland (Townsville) – Paula Tapiolas
  • 684 The South West (Bunbury) – Naomi Christensen
  • Radio National – Natasha Mitchell

Mott listed and compared the content discussed with the top ten issues listed by Ipsos:

1. THE ECONOMY
2. HEALTHCARE
3. CRIME
4. IMMIGRATION
5. COST OF LIVING
6. EDUCATION
7. UNEMPLOYMENT
8. HOUSING
9. DRUG ABUSE
10. POVERTY

 
Graham Mott also took into account other attitudinal research polls including iSentia, Essential and Newspoll. He found that all topics were well covered, as indicated in the chart below. His full report is here.
 
 
 
ABC Radio said the report is “a valuable opportunity for informed scrutiny of its programs by a respected elder of the Australian radio industry."
 
The ABC’s response to the report is available here.

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