A push from the bush: An introduction to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Remote Communities Project
Abstract: In early 2018, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) launched a ‘slow journalism’ initiative, funded by the ABC’s Remote Communities Project (RCP). Reporters and producers from regional and local ABC radio stations were invited to pitch for funding that would facilitate up to two weeks in remote, rural and regional communities to create stories that would provide audiences with insight into life outside of metropolitan cities. The ABC labelled this project ‘slow journalism’ because the reporters were working without the time constraints highly influential in contemporary work practices associated with delivering bulletins, online updates and fast turnarounds of workflows. Through interviews undertaken with personnel involved in the initiative, including reporters, producers and ABC management, this article analyses the pilot project carried out in December 2017. The article also examines the pilot project’s influence in shaping project implementation as well as its relationship to ‘slow journalism’, as defined in previous academic studies. We contend that while the RCP contains elements commonly associated with slow journalism, it also adds to the understanding of slow journalism as both a practice and a concept by discovering characteristics specific to public broadcasting models such as that reflected by the ABC.
Keywords: slow journalism / RCP / ABC / Australian / Corporation / models / Broadcasting / project
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