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now. Up next ABC boss Mark

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Open

CC Today at the National

Press Club club, the managing

director of the ABC, Mark

Scott. As the digital age

delivers an every-increasing

number of media choices to

Australians, Mr Scott will

discuss how the national

broadcaster can retain its

relevance. And the new

opportunities digital platforms

present to the ABC. From the

National Press Club in

Canberra, the ABC's managing

director Mark Scott.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome

to the National Press Club and today's National Australia Bank

address, it is a great pleasure

to welcome today for the first

time here the managing director

of the ABC, Mark Scott, who,

let me just remind you, is just

over two years into that job.

After 10 years with the Fairfax

group finishes there as

editoral director of John Fairfax publications. An

important part of Mark Scott's

Fairfax role was the expansion

of the news gallery activities

of the group into the digital

media through its various

websites and when he announced

the ABC appointment, the then

chairman - the chairman of the

ABC Donald McDonald stressed

that also would be a key

function of Mark's role at the

ABC. Which is already, as most

of you probably know, a

broadcaster that is a leading

player in the digital field

even by world standards. I

think if I remember our

conversation correctly Mark,

you said the only bigger

broadcaster in the digital

field was the BBC, which of

course operates in about 16

languages. The digital future

is also a major topic of his

address to us today. And I

invite you all to welcome Mark

Scott. (APPLAUSE)

Well, thank you Kevin.

Ladies and gentlemen, excuse me

if I look a little rattled. I

have just come from an advance

screening of the "Howard

years". Someone said to me it

makes power look like an e

episode of bananas in pim

acknowledgeas, it will be

tremendous television. After

watching every journalist in

this room will be backing Peter

Wreadh a return to public life.

From the footage I have seen he

is in great form and he is not

pulling any punches. At the

ABC we are pleased we have

found the ideal replacement for

the Friday night drama slot,

"when wire in the blood" is

finished. The Howard years not

only fits the established mood

we we can issue the same

warning - adult themes, course

language, occasional violence.

For mature audiences only.

Today I want to talk less

about the past than I do about

the future and what's happening

at your ABC. Last year we

celebrated 75 years since the

founding of the ABC. Massive

crowds turned up at ABC studios

and offices all over Australia

to commemorate this historic

moment. Public feeling for the

public broadcaster is at an all

time high. But while we have

much to celebrate and the ABC

clearly has a proud history, that history will not secure

the ABC's future. And it's a

future potentially far more

exciting, and challenging than

anything we have seen to dated.

The shift to a multi-channel

multi-platform digital world

changes the whole game. It

changes the game for commercial

media, as audiences fragment

and revenue models breakdown

and it changes the game for

public broadcasters as well.

This new media landscape will

impact on what and how we

broadcast, and on our very

broad audience consumes our

content. As well the very idea

of audiences and media

experience itself is being

altered by web 2.0. What is

the role of a public

broadcaster when there seems to

be so much media? So many

content. So many choices for

audiences. Do we still need an

ABC? Let's put it another way

- would Australians miss the

ABC if it wasn't there? Would

we be a poorer nation without

it? Less informed, less

connected. Of course we would.

Because, perhaps perversely

in this era of media plenty,

market failure abounds.

Particularly in those great

areas of strength for the ABC.

Localism, children, Australian

stories and cultural

expression, quality news and

current affairs. Education.

The case for the ABC is only

getting stronger in this era of

media plenty. There is growing

body of evidence that suggests

many kinds of programming that

millions of Australians want free of charge and commercial-free, would be

impossible without the ABC.

First a quick snapshot of

where the ABC is today. Two

television networks, five radio

networks, 60 local radio

stations, 15,000 unduplicated

power - hours of news and

current affairs content

annually. Over 60 million

podcasts and vod casts down

roaded in the - downloaded in

the past 12 months. And not

visible to Australian

audiences, but vital to the

ABC's charter, our

international services. Australia network now seen on

44 countries in the region,

reaching some 22 million homes

and viewed by up to 7 million

people each month across the

Asia-Pacific region. And,

radio Australia having survived

a near death experience a

decade ago now going from

strength to strength. In aud

yention terms our program is

hitting the mark, ABC

television last year recorded

its second highest free to

audience share and is ahead of

that so far if 2008 and not

just with hit programs like

'Spicks and Specks' and the

Gruen transfer but long time

stables of our schedule like

the 7 o'clock news, 'Four Corners', Australian story. We

have experienced some of our

highest reached figures ever on

ABC local radio and audiences

on local radio are up 30% on

where he were a decade ago.

And the growth of our on line

offerings remains dramatic in

terms of what we are offering,

and the audiences we are

attracting. Recent research by

web trends suggested the ABC

has won - one of the largest on-line offerings in the world

from a media organisation,

smaller than the BBC of course

but larger than the New York

timeses. All this is currently

delivered for around 850

million dollars a year from

government. With the

contribution from the ABC

commercial business delivering

around #20dz mill - $20 million

more. It is a lot of money but

we do a lot with it. It

represents exceptional value

for money and the public knows

that. Year after year, nine out

of 10 Australians indicate in

Newspoll opinion surveys the

ABC providing a valuable or

very valuable service. We are

currently talking to government

about our funding for the next

Triennium and beyond and our

argument is not please give us

more money because we are

worthy. Let's face it - there

are countless worthy causes knocking on the government's

door. Our argument is that

after 75 years the ABC has

built this tremendous brand and

connection with Australians. It

is a great foundation for the

future. And now we have a once

in a generation opportunity to

tap this potential and take up

the opportunities offered by

dig ta media - digital media.

While many Australians already

regard the ABC as a drivers

force in the digital media

space, Newspoll's latest

appreciation survey shows even

more people now think the ABC

is doing a very good job at

being innovative. And that's a direct result of the leadership

we have shown in the dig -

digital media world 5 million

pages on ABC on line. ABC 2

with innovative content driving

digital take-up. ABC Iview

pioneering Internet TV. Tens

of millions of podcasts and vod

casts, ABC now, ABC earth, the

ABC Ireland on second life -

island all delivered with no

extra funding. Having already

created this space and in seeking funds to develop it and

see it grow, we are saying pay

on results. Just think what

could be done with a little bit

more. Just think where this

could take Australia in the

digital age. Less me stress

this point - the digital

dividend we are starting to

hear a lot about is not just

about the money that can be

raised from selling excess

spectrum. The real digital

dividend is the digital

surfaces that digital

technology makes possible and

the enrichment it brings to all

Australians, to obtain that

dividend requires some

investment in content because

content will drive the take-up

of digital TV, digital radio

and broadband and new content

is what audiences value. We

are demonstrating this with

ABC2 look at the current

Paralympics cover rang. 7

hours a day on ABC2. More than

any other broadcaster in the

world. Digital multi-channelling makes it

possible to meet the needs of

many audiences at once. Look

at the growing relationship we

have with the arts sector that

has made possible live

telecasts of swan lake and

Keating the musical on ABC2 and

soon the launch of bleak fast

TV - breakfast t tv on ABC

two. Four hours of current

affairs every morning. Our

goal is to draw on the trem desh tremendous content and

making it available on

breakfast TV. So by putting

cameras into our radio studio,

if the PM is interviewed for AM

or by John Fayne on 774 Melbourne the interview doesn't

just go out on radio. The whole

interview goes on breakfast TV,

and it is available on line and then as a transcript and a

podcast. It is an example of

leveraging the tremendous

investment already made in the

ABC to generate more content,

and to make it available in

more ways for the multi-channel

multi-platform world. As

Ackman noted in its recent

report on digital television, extra channels and choice are

one of the biggest incentive s

Australians scriet for - silent

for their movement to digital

television. Our most recent

invasion is Iview, gop totally

in house and at low cost by the

ABC with 45 programs already on

line and more available in the

future for auto ash -

audiences to watch free of

charge. The best most recent

prag rams and some shows not

yet aired on ABC television.

To invest into these services

we have needed to find the

money but it been vital for the

ABC to take the advantage to

reach more Australians in more

ways more often. There are historical precedents for this.

Right from the start the ABC

was actually ahead much the

game. In 1932 they were

pioneering the new median of

radio when only 6% of

Australians had a licence to

own a radio. In 1956 when ABC

television started only 1% of

Sydney-siders owned a TV eset.

Today more than half of

Australian households have

broadband and the number is

rapidly rising and it is appropriate the ABC is leading

the way in delivering broadband

content. Interestingly we

won't just broadcast at our

audiences. But we will allow

our audiences to engage with

each other. Already on ABC on

line we have developed a swooit

of applications so content

created by Australians can be

seen and heard and commented on

by fellow yawn dsh d -

Australians. In just over two

years thanks to the JJJ

unearthed site 5.5 million

tracks from young unsigned

Australian musicians have been

listened two and more than 2

million songs have been

downloaded from that site.

Radio national's pool site has

just kicked off and the

contributions are pouring in.

ABC television tells me that

the ABC kids Zimmer twins side

has had more than 100,000 films

sent in created by young

Australians and more than 70 of

those films have been shown on

ABC television. There is an

explosion of culturally

creative activity takes place

among Australia's young

digitalnate ifts and I am proud

the ABC is getting behind is

and much is being hosted and

promoted by the ABC. The line

is often tossed about that the ABC shouldn't care about

ratings. Well, we should, and

we do. Inasmuch as audience

measurement provides evidence

that we are presenting content

our audience wants to engage

with. But we are not

attempting to win the ratings,

and we are not making program

choices based solely on

ratings.We are approaching

ratings like a portfolio, some

TV programs are radio networks

do perform well in total

numbers, others have smaller

audiences but are intensely

valued by them. Our test on

programs links back to our

charter. A brief to provide

programs that is of high quality, distinctive and

Australian. Programs of whied appeal, programs for

specialised audiences, and I

think the vast majority of what

we offer passes the test that

says "it could only be seen on

the public broadcaster". And

that's not only for intelligent

changing program we hear on

radio national. The death in

differentive conduct is seen by

classic FM to JJJ, from

catalyst to kiten the mute

call. It is Mr O'Brien and Mr

G. Cricket on the radio, round

the clock emergency broadcasters, even Question

Time. And some real questions

from real people on 'Q and A'.

And it is true for programs

that have proven to be

immensely popular like the

'Chaser' and summer heights

high. Talent that took time to

develop. Time to find and

audience in order to become

overnight sensation s. The ABC

was patient with this talent

because it could afford to be

patient. The great advantage

of public broadcaster is that

it doesn't have to demonstrate

a business case to make a

profit for investment in

programs, the case is more

about fulfilling our charter.

It enables us to provide a vast

range of programming that adds

up to a massive reach into the

hearts and minds of

Australians. With 7 in 10

Australians watching or

listening to ABC programs each

week. And that's how it should

be. Everybody has a stake in

the ABC, everybody gets a piece

of that huge continuing return

on public investment.

Critical to our reputation is

our ability to deliver

broadcasting to the highest

standards of integrity. To do

this the ABC undoubtededly puts

itself through the most

rigorous self-regulatory process in the Australian

media, from our detailed and

per viptive editoral process,

from the process of

investigating comes to the

independent reviews of audit s

of editoral standards. This

process is not perfect and has

its critics, some suggest that

any internal review, no matter

how objective critical or

distanced from the editoral

activity itself is a case of

creasar judging creasar and the

island eel - ideal word such

critics have in mind is one

which brutus will be judging

seesar. We continue to review

and adjust this process. In

survey after survey Australians

say they trust the ABC and to

keep that trust we need to be

sure we aspire too and admire

to high standards, we need to

just spout the aim but assess

and review performance to see

if we live up to those high

aims. The kind of work we are

doing to assess the accuracy of

our broadcasts, to check the impartiality of our coverage

around issues is landmark for a

media organisation. It is

generating international

attention from places like the

BBC, the Canadian broadcaster

corporation and the North Korea

times and we - the New York

times and we are being

transparent about the work we

are doing to inform our media

outlets who might want to do

the same. It is work we

conduct with seriousness and

integrity. I think to have a

reputation as a broadcaster of

integrity is all the more vital

in the new media landscape.

Trust matters. And the way to

preserve it is to continue to

deserve it. The great

transformation we are now

seeing in the era is from a

movement from the era of media

barons and public broadcasters

controlling all that is seen

and heard and read, to a great

dem ok ratisation of the media,

where anyone, anywhere can

report or comment or analyse

and find an audience. And at

the ABC there are challenges

and opportunities that come

from this revolution. As a

provider of news and current

affairs, being a trusted news

source with the resources to

report locally, nationally and

internationally, we will be

very important - will be very

important. And our asht to use

our broadcasting expertise to

bring together a full range of

perspectives onto critical

issues affecting Australians by

being a trusted source that

will be vital. We aspire to be

Australia's town square, a

space where all voices can be

heard. Where the nation comes

to engage, to listen to each

other. To learn from each other. To better understand

each other. And the world. In

a way we have been doing this

for years on talk back radio

and I am convinced the

remarkable rise in our radio

stations around the country is the reflection of our ability

of announcering to generally

connect and engage with

audiences on the issues that

matter. At the ABC we are in no

doubt of the extent of the

media revolution. Choices are

erupting for audiences, if you

are my age or a little older,

you may remember in Australia

with only 4 television channels

and then SBS arrived to make it

5. But next year there may be

15 free to air television

channels in Australia,

thousands more on line

increasingly able to be viewed

on your television set and the

choices are going to able to

grow and grow and grow. Not

just in television but in

digital radio from May next

year and broadband also. That

change is placing a bomb under the traditional business model

for commercial media in this

country. And its impact will

have fallout every where and

impact on the role of the ABC.

As Ken said I came to the ABC

after nearly a dozen years in

print journey limit and my

friends and interests is still

in it as is my morning habit of trawling through the newspapers, but I have to tell

you working in public media is

absolutely no comfort or

consolation when witnessing the

colourful pageant of distrust,

misery and dashed hopes of the

industry today. I still care

deeply about T throughout all

the turmoil within the

Australian media industry there

is only one print mogul who was

diversified his portfolio

enough to offset the costs of

quality journalist against

profits made elsewhere in the

business and yes that last best

hope for newspapers is Rupert

Mr Murdoch. The world will be

listening as he presents the

2008 Boyle lectures on the ABC

later this year. He may be the

last person to love noimps, but

is this one exception to the

rule going to be enough? Now

Rupert Murdoch might live

forever. But in case that

doesn't happen whoever inherit

s the business still wear the

cost of quality journalist in

his unique old-fashioned way.

This room is full of ser is -

serious respected commercial

mediaist s and I - journalists

and I expect many of you have

never had to wonder more about

your own owners serious

long-term commitment to sub standive news and current

affairs coverage. I think there

is a growing responsibility

here for ABC. The investment

we can make in news reporting

from our rural reporters to our

12 international bureaus is

increasingly vital. From the

news at 7 to 47 years of 'Four

Corners', 1,000 episodes of

landline, AM, PM. Pourly radio

- hourly radio pull #2ki7bs -

bulletins and soon breakfast

television and a commitment to

deliver TV or on line news

around the clock. If the ABC

doesn't do this no-one else in

broadcaster can or will deliver

news con content and analysis

of this news breath, depend and

quality - death and quality -

depth and quality. The

challenge is more meansful and

grows every day. I am afan sky

news has achieved in recent

years but the ABC has a

different role to play. We

must provide an independent

news service, developed by our reporters in the field and

deliver it into every Australian home free of charge.

I cannot stress this enough -

we need to take advantage of

new media opportunities to

increase the reach and kepth of

what we - depth of what we have

on offer. The broadcaster of

the Australia 2020 summit also

illustrates what the ABC could

deliver in terms of creating a

new service which is full of

footage of public affairs, and

demonstrates the Australian

democracy at work. We want to

be able to create a service on

line, and on television that

allows citizens to watch for

themselves key dratic processes

and public eventses,

unmediated, unfiltered and I

include in that category parliament from Canberra and

state chambers, press

inferences, the annual ABARE

conference, key annual general

meetings, places like the National Press Club, the centre

for independent study, again, a

service like this could not

make a dollar for a commercial

operator. But given the level

of investment in the ABC we

could do it better and for less

money than anyone else in the

country. A public affairs

channel would be reinforced by

the ABC's outstanding news and current affairs service

allowing updates around the

clock and ability to go live on

major breaking news events.

Again this is something that

should be available free in

every Australian home. Access

to our democracy in action. We

will also look to expand our international services, in light of the government's

commitment to play an

increasingly influential role

in the region. We can expand

the footprint and reach of

Australia network and we can

have a even greater impact of

the Pacific. We can provide

valued services in news,

educational and children's

content into countries that

have limited resources and

capacity to develop their own

material of this nature.

Australian drama is another

example of where the ABC will

have to fill the gaps that are

set to emerge through media

fragmentation. The current regulatory regime compels

commercial networks to invest

in Australian drama and it was

drawn up that regime in a world

gone by. It was drawn up in a

world where there was a handful

of owners, where broadcasting

capacity was scarce and where

profits were vast. And that era

is rapidly coming to an end.

With the future that promises

infinate international kont

tent, celebrate ing that sense of Australianness that

Australian drama brings, becoming more important not

less. Australian drama can

generate big audiences on

television but at the highest

cost per hour of any programs

made. It is high risk, and I

am the first to admit in recent

years the ABC has done too

little drama. Australian

television drama is expensive

for all of us, whether in

public or commercial media. A

telly movie can cost $2 million

an hour to produce. A short

series edging up to $1 million

an hour. If we struggle at the

ABC to come up with enough

drama when we don't have to

produce a profit, I can well

understand why commercial

networks will over time

struggle to maximise their

profits with these kinds of

costs. The owners of

commercial television have no

charter, or no moral imperative

to deliver Australian drama to

Australian audiences, they

currently have a regulatory

requirement to do so. Their

obligation is to maximise

profit as best they can. Their

shareholders expect no less. To

combat these high costs and to

get more on the slate, at the

and we have moved into partnership with the

independent production sector

to increase both the array of

talented we can work with and

the leverage that can be gained

from sharing costs. And now for

every $1 million we spend on

drama we are putting $3 million

worth of drama on the screen.

We are currently talking to the

government about their election

commitment to boost Australian

drama levels on the ABC to

match the " -o quotas applying

on commercial TV and how that

might be funded and delivered.

It will be great news for

Australian audiences and great

news for Australian culture.

Another area where the ABC

will have an even more

important role to play in the

era of audience fragmentation

and the new pressures on

commercial media will be in the

delivery of strong, localised

content. Through its network

of 60 local radio stations, the

ABC has made an unparallel

compliment to ensuring that

across Australia our audiences

have access to local

broadcasters, telling local

stories and local community, in

recent years we have expanded

that service to create ABC local. What will be the key

local website in these regions.

Containing local news and

information as well as linking

to the best of the ABC's

national and international

coverage. And we have plans to

increase the levels of video

footage produced for on line

services in regional Australia.

And all this is coming at a time when commercial broadcasters are seeking to

deal with the difficulties of

fragments and contracting

audiences by syndicating more

and pumping out more shared

feeds across the country.

Where your news is compiled and

read by people who could be

thousands of kilometres away.

In mount game byier the local

ABC breakfast announcer

broadcasters from a shot front

studio in the heart of the town

where the local news is come

biled and read loyally and

Colin Beaton a local school

principle during the week

present s the local Saturday

sports program. But what's

called local news on commercial

radio in Mount Gambier doesn't

actually come from Mount

Gambier or the region, or the

state. That's a good as drem

stration as you can find of the commercial radio model under

pressure. There is simply not

enough local ad revenue to

support local news. More than

ever, a key counter point to

this market reality is for the

ABC to be providing local

broadcasters delivering local

content for local communities.

And ensuring the full range of

local voices are heard around

issues. And we are getting

ready for fast broadband in the

bush and spent again to be -

expect again to be able to

provide a suite of local

services, text, auden and user

generated content reflecting a

range of offerings that

commercial media outlets will

undoubtededly struggle to

deliver and the ABC will remain

the lifeline for local

communities in terms of crisis,

floods and fires and storms and

emergency conditions. As we set

out in the paper submitted to

the 2020 summit, the ABC is

playing a leadership role in

the military platform,

multi-platform digital media.

It allows a lot more to be

broadcast and it is imperative

we take advantage of this

opportunity to bring a suite of offerings to Australian homes

that are high quality,

differentive and provide a

quality service. And the

introduction of digital radio

in cities next year will be an

important step. We have spoken previously of a children's

channel and believe the

arguments are compelling. As I

said, next year there will be

15 free to air digital chabls

in Australia as we move to

analog switch off and one of

them should be an ABC

children's channel. Commercial

free, and bought to you by the

most trusted and valuable

source of children's television

in Australia's history. And

available free in every

Australian home not just those

who have signed up to sub

screption television. Not just

thoughs willing to pay $50 a

month. And if we are concerned

about the impact of fast food

advertising is having on our

children, doesn't it make sense

to give parents the choice of a

completely commercial free

children's channel with high

quality Australian content? No

pest to power, no exposure to

fast food advertising, just

quality children's contest. It

say compelling prom session,

not just - proposition, not

just for the peace it will

bring to family life - but what

it offers to government in

terms of increasing take up of

digital television. At the ABC

we are acutely aware that these

new services cost real money to

deliver. And we are being

rigorous in ensuring that the

money we currently spend is

allocated wisely and spent

efficiently. Our production

models are we use to make

television were shaped in the

analogue age, and things have

worked well for the first 50

years, TV production in the

next 50 years, the digital era

will demand a major shift in

how we work. So we are overhauls television production, improving our plab

ing - planning and delivering

mechanisms to free up more

money for production. We are

committed to a model where we

keep a mix of internal and

external productions we, will

produce some in house and

others in partnership with some

of the finest talent in

Australian television, like

Andrew Denton and Chris Lilley

and the working dog team. We

will be producing internally

the same volume of television

content this year as we produce

year. The same number of

programs and hours but we will

be doing it more efficiently.

Just as each new generation of

software in the office spends

presents new tool, the

influence will help make

operations more efirktd. Help

- efficient. The aim is always

to maintain content quality and

produce it as efishtdly as -

efficiently as we can. At the

ABC we can see the change that

is coming to the Australian

media. And we have built our

future agenda on the basis of these observations. Building

on what we have today I believe

the ABC's continuing

contribution to the nation will

be best made through more

drama, more regional content, a

dedicated children's TV

channel, public affairs

broadcasting, digital radio,

and more on line innovation in

Australia where fast broadband

becomes an increasingly main

stream proposition. The ABC's

case for these additional

services is clear - there is a

unique opportunity to provide

these services now through

digital media that allows more

content to be delivered. It is

highly likely that in a

fragmented media world

commercial broadcasters will be

less able to deliver these

valuable public services like a

children's channel. A public

affairs channel, high quality

news and current affairs and a

broad range of Australian

drama. The ABC is best

positioned to deliver these

services, building on our

history, our current investment

in staff and infrastructure

around the country, our ability

to create quality content that

connects with audiences. And as

the ABC leads in the new media

space, we create awareness for

audiences, and opportunities

for other media outlets as a

consequence. The agenda I have

set out today goes beyond 2012.

It is part of a long-term plan

for the next deck. What the

ABC can do now is to increase audience awareness around the potential opportunities that

come with new technology as we

did in our early moves to the

net. To podcasting, to digital

television and Internet

television. We have been

presenting proofs of concept

for all sorts of dig ta media for some time now with impress

identify results, I think the

ABC has made the case and made

it well. We are also coming to

the end of the time when the

problem of finance met the

opportunity of digital and

opportunity won. With a little

additional revenue a lot of ground-breaking work can

continue. It was the same in

fact with television back in

1954. Proved the worth of the

investment first and the

investment will follow. Sir

Charles Moses served and

general manager of the ABC for

30 years and he was in charge when they got first into

television. He said the post

office and minister and

government were satisfied the

ABC could start a television

service in Brisbane, Adelaide,

Perth and Hobart on a shoe

string. But within a year it

was so clear that television

was going to succeed Moses

said, even the treasury was

willing to provide the money to

fund it properly. On this

occasion at least I would like

this think history stands a

chance of being repeated. Our

expectation is that a stage

investment will see the ABC

both reinvented and funded for

the digital age and this will

help deliver the real digital

dividend for all Australians.

We are well aware that as

William Gibson famously noted

the future is already here, it

is just not evenly distributed.

The obligation is to see that

the future is evenly distributed, and that

obligation falls partly on the

ABC, with our commitment to

distinctive quality coverage on

all platforms across the

nation. The ABC was one of the

great public projects of the

20th century in Australia. In

helping to build a sense of

Australian identity, it helped

build the nation. And today,

the ABC is Australia's most

progressive, and innovative

media organisation. And the

ABC is up to the challenge of

serving Australia in the

decades ahead as it has in the

past and frankly it has never

been more prepared for this

moment. Ahead lie more

opportunities to connect with

more Australians in more ways,

more often. And ahead us too

we believe lies best days of

the ABC. Thank you very much. (APPLAUSE)

Thank you very much Mark

Scott in line with your own

concept here is a few

Australian voices to ask

questions to you. The first of

them is from Christian Kerr.

Just want to ask you about the

old perennial of funding, and

some of the new world of

digital television you have

talked about. SBS I think is

asking for about 40% over the

next Triennium, if you would

like to share a figure with us

I am sure we would like to hear

something along those lines ,

on your revenue you have been

talking about how the ABC is

looking to sell ads on its

mobile Internet sites and some

of its other on line sites.

Are you happy with all the

ABC's Internet based activities

to be advertising funded? Or

if not, where would you draw

the line on that. And just

with the take-up of digital

television, Channel 7, 9 and

10, have had high definition

channels now for I think almost

12 months. But I think only

really Channel 10 has done

anything really different with

it. Steven Conroy has said

the kont tent will drive people

to converting to digital

television. So do you think

the commercial networks should

be following the ABC's lead and

doing more? A few questions

there, let me take them in

order and run down the clock

for everyone else. The managing

director of SBS did indicate

they will be seeking 40%

increase in funding. We are not putting a dollar figure on

it. We are involved in a conversation with government

now and I have indicated not

problems areas for thetary

ennum. We are not scuking for

a 40% funding increase however.

But this is the kind of issue

we are in dialogue with not

just with Senator Conroy but we

have education initiatives we

are discussing with the Deputy

Prime Minister. We are discussing international services with the Foreign Affairs Minister. We have a

range of consultations take s

ing place with departments,

ministers and central agencies,

I have outlined an investment

in the ABC in terms of additional funding given the

base we are operating on we

think will reap enormous

dividends but we are not going

to conduct a public debate

around our funding levels. I

am concerned some of the

reporting I have seen around

advertising on mobile coverage,

there has been no change in the

ABC's position around this. We

have indicated that there is no

advertising on ABC radio, ABC

television or ABC be -

ABC.net.AU and that not only

includes the sites you can

access on a computer but if you

areing on eye mobile platform

there is no advertising on that

also. The ABC for many, many

years though has sold its

content to third party

providers, so if you want to

see it commercial free hosted

by the ABC you can do so but if

you want to go for another site

hosted by a mobile phone

provider, you will find ABC

content there, surrounded by -

with advertising around it just

as you can see some ABC television programs that we

have shown on subscription

television that has advertising

around it too. But there is no

plan to put advertising on an

ABC.net.AU mobile site and

there has been some confusion

about that and I am grateful

for the opportunity of setting

that clear. I think the

experience absolutely around

the world is content drive s

the takum of didge - take-up of

digital television. There has been constraints on the

networks of how much they can

do and next year is the year

they will be able to do more.

The ABC has been able to move

earlier. The experience

overseas also is the digital

networks that work well are

specialised network, so not

just a blander version if you

like of what is on the main

channel but something that is

different, distinctive, part of our proposition for ABC2 over

time is to increase our level

of arts programming, to skew it

younger, to be able to do more

speakerments and - speakerments

and to be able to tryout talent

on ABC 2 and we have also

indicated A ABC 3 as a

children's channel will be very

targeted and a public affairs

channel will be very targeted.

So there are opportunities in a

multi-channel place and it will

be interesting to see what the

commercial networks do, it will

be very hard for them to make

money in the short-term and

that is part of the reluctance and hesitation you are seeing

from them at the moment.

Phillip Hudson for the smeld.

I want - smerd. I wanted to

ask you about the relationship

between the ABC management and

the board. A former board

member recently said staff and

management lied to and deceived

the board. Is that true? And

I also wonder whether you welcome the Federal Government's intention to

reinstate the staff elected

director. Thanks Phil. I did

read your story on the ABC

director. I got on very well

with Ron in my two years with

him on the board. In my

experience as a member of the

executive, working with the ABC

board I can tell you that I

believe we have provided - we

provide full detail

$information quite open and

transparent and if the board is

seeking additional information

then they can seek that from us

and we provide that. And in

that respect I think it works

absolutely typically as boards

have operated in other media

organisations that have worked

with and government agencies

and the like. The question

about board appointments is a

matter for the government. And

not the ABC and certainly not

the ABC executive and

management team. We have two

vacancies at the moment. We

have had one since February and

another since May. We are

awaiting news from the

government as to who those

replacement s might be. But I

would say I believe the dynamic

of the board is very positive.

Working very well. Morris

newman our chairman is one of

the most senior and experienced

chairman that operates in the

operatetary. He is just

retiring now, as being a

chairman of the Australian

securities exchange , very well

experienced. As for the

structure of the board, process

of apointing board director,

who on the board they are questions for government not

for me. As I am sure you

understand. Carlos Salna from

Australian associated press.

You mention Rupert Murdoch

might be the last great hope

for the survival of newspapers,

it is a notion some people

might cringe at but

nonetheless, are you suggesting

running newspapers will be best

left to the likes of Rupert

Murdoch. Newspaper men and

women rather than accountants

and ex rugby half backs? That

question has danger all round

it that I am... That I am not

about to dive into. I would

say though I think in this era

where audiences are

fragmenting, that - I mean,

newspaper proirps were so

powerful because so few people could publish a paper of that

size and get it to so many

people. When I was working at

Fairfax we opened a new print

ing press which cost $300

million. That is why we are

media barons and now audiences

are fragment ed and less

available in one place. It

seeps clear at the moment -

seems clear at the moment the media sector most being affected by that fragmentation

is newspapers. And the

newspaper groups that are

survivaling well

internationally are those that

have kept some newspaper

products but have diversified

significantly into other area

as well. Another example is

the Washington post company.

That is a great newspaper. It

is anion okin - Ike onic

newspaper but that masted

stefrl now - itself now

represents only 10% of the

earnings of the Washingtonton

post company. That has

diversified into paid

television. Free to air TV and educational testing which is

where they make most of their

money. That is what Rupert

Murdoch has done. He has

diversified significantly away

from newspapers that allows his newspapers particularly in

Australia to operate under a

different model and you

different fiscal pressures than

those companys where newspapers

dominate the company. And it

is that model in News Ltd that

has provided some protection

for his newspapers and his

ability to let newspapers run at losses for considerable

periods of time in a way hardly

any other newspaper proprietor

could allow. Katherine McGrath

from Australia network which as

you said is being seen in 44

countries around the world and

fabulous speech I must say.

Thanks for that today. A

couple of subjects I would like

to ask you about, if we could,

first of all Kevin Rudd said

this week he described himself

as a bit of a dinosaur still

loving newspapers, can you

share with us you thoughts on a

TV switch off, what are your

figures on TV switch offs

around the country? As young

ur people mover more twars the

Internet and mobile phones and

that sort of thing, in terms of

young people moving towards

gaming too, is that something

you have thought about? Iview

is really popular but obviously

for commercial broadcasters,

channel 9, Channel 7, they

don't want to lose the

advertising revenue of putting

things on the Internet. The

ABC doesn't have that problem.

So is it a level playing field

currently given the ABC only

gains by the more people that

see all of the ABC predicts, be

it - products be it radio or TV

on the Internet and just if

you could share with us,

obviously you have said you are

not telling us how much you

would like from the government

but if there were two new

channel, a children's channel

and public affairs channel what

sort of costs would you need

for that? Nice try, that is

why she is a great ABC

reporter, she is game to ask

the questions! There is a lot

of evidence that young people

still watching a lot of

television. You know, I don't

think young people are only on

line or only gaming, television

audience levelling levels

remain high. There is a lot

more choices an a lot of

evidence that says young people are watching television whilst

they are on line. They are wav

ing - watching in different

ways, the digital recorders now

available mean they are programs up what they have

known in advance they want to

watch rather than reaching for

a guide and asking what is on

television tonight. So it is

more personal. More selective.

The same way it is impacting

on radio. Young people are

listenning to a lot of music but getting it from more

sources. Gaming is very

interesting. We have a show on ABC2 called good game. About

the gaming industry. We have

had an opportunity for people

on line to contribute to the

creation of a game, and I think

we are trying to learn a lot

through the gaming experience

about what are the on line experiences that engage

audiences. And I think there is

some very interesting - I sat

in on a research briefing the

other day that said the most

successful education initiatives there are out there

on line are those initiatives

that take learning and turn too

it into a game. And so I think

there is a lot for us to learn

there. I think you are

absolutely right on Iview. I

think it is very hard for

commercial networks to be able

to fragment their audience and

be willing to drive audiences

or present opportunities in a

less valuable veernment. Although if you look around the world there are applications

like Hulu in the United States

who say combined effort by the

NBC and fox network which is

very similar to what we offer

on o-Iview but I think because commercial networks find it

hard there is no reason for the

ABC to deny this opportunity to

the Australian public. The technology gives the audience

power and it gives them power

to watch the programs they

want, on the time they want, and the device they want and

the ABC has an obligation to

deliver to the audience the

programs they want, because the

audience funds us. And you are

absolutely right - somebody

watching the hollow men in the

PM's office on Thursday

lunchtime is no less valuable

to that person watching the hollow men on Wednesday night.

What we are finding at the ABC

as we fragment our audiences

they are growing. The great

example of this is the chaser

APEC episode you may have heard

something about. 3 million

people watched that when we

showed it on ABC television

that night. Hundreds of

thousands more watched it when

we replayed it, on ABC2. And a

million people downloaded it to

their iPod. And now it is a

top selling DVD. And the more

you fragment it, the more you decide you have a commitment to

delivering it to the audience

at a time they want and a

device they want, the more your

audience grows. That's one of

the reasons I think for the

current success of the ABC.

And the two channels - a

great question. John McNamara

from the 'Canberra Times'. My question isn't about

broadcasting but it is about

the digital world and the

impact it is probably having on

the rest of the world. What's

going to happen to one-on-one

inter aks when the whole word

is digital? I have got an

18-year-old stepson. The only

time I see him is when I feed

him. The rest of the time he

is doing what - Keep feeding

him I think. Exactly. But do

you see what I mean? It is

more a philosophical question

about how we will interact with

each other when the world is

completely digital. I think

it is a big deep question. The

one thing I would say though as

an upside. I think what on

liar clearly demonstrates is -

on line demonstrates is the

ability to develop community,

for people to engage and stay

connected. My own case study

is three teenage daughters in

our little media lab we call

home. And it is interesting to

watch how connected they remain

with their friends at night,

over weekends, over holidays

using the technology and how

the technology allows people to

pull together communities of

interest. And I think a lot of

people are a lot less alone in

this on line space than they

were just when they were

sitting on the coach on their own watching television on

their own. So there are risks

but great upsides as well and I

think particularly the

opportunity of web 2.0 that

allows people to engage and

listen and learn and connect

with each other in a far

stronger way is the real upside

of the on line world and I

think we are really just

beginning to see the benefits

of that. Chris Uhlmann. From

the ABC television. Is there

space in the Australian market

for two public broadcasters?

Any other questions... no

look. Yes, I think there is.

I think in a way there are

three public broadcasters now

in Australia - which is unusual

for a country of 20 million

people. ABC, SBS and the

national indigenous television

service. I think what this

clearly is a need for is

differentive programs that -

distinctive programming that

reaching different audiences,

there is clearlily a role for

ABC and SBS and the others

delivering those. Are there

opportunities to make savings

and deliver those e

efficiently? Possibly. Is

there a stronger support for

those networks? Yes, there is.

Glenn Milne, Mr Scot from

Sunday newspapers for news lit

and you - Ltd and your hero

Rupert Murdoch and 'The

Australian'. You talked about

young people watching

television in that context I

want to say you are right. I

have a 2-year-old and I want to congratulate you on your

program the Tombleyboos which

runs 9a.m.. except my son

thinks he is now a Tombleyboo.

But we will get through that

phase. I want to talk to you

about public broadcaster,

political broadcasting, you

mentioned the ABC was

interested in this area, is

your model C span in the United

States? Is it a variation on C

span? Or how do you see it

operating? I think the C span

model is part of it. We have

described it internally as C

span with a bit of CNN. Really

we think there is great benefit

in letting the cameras run. We got very big feedback to the

2020 summit. People liked

watching it take place. Let

the cameras run, let the

conversations be heard, don't

just give a 20 second grab from

a press conference, run the

press conference. Run the full

speech run, run all the

question, let people see it in

action particularly around

parliament and I think state

parliament. I think there

would be a lot of interest in

people seeing much more of

what's happening in state

parliament where a lot is

happening at the moment. But

you need to splice into that

Australia's best news and

current affairs service. So

people watching that but geting

gape gait - getting updates on

the hour. When a big news

story breaks we can use the

technology go to that live but

the thrust is the public

affairs channel which is unfiltered, unmediated

demonstration of democracy in

action. It is not going to

generate huge audiences but will generate interested and

commitment addences and there

is a real argument about making that service available free of charge into every

Australian home. Our last

question from Mark Kenny. From

the Adelaide 'Advertiser'. You

mentioned the turmoil in print media and particularly we know

of the jobloses that have been

announced in your old company

of Fairfax. Your talking in

the ABC about expanding, you

spoke of a whole range of

interesting projects that you

are looking at and particularly

for example a dedicated public

affairs channel. Guess that

raises the question, do you

envisage or will you be

employing more journalists. We

are doing both actually. I

have already indicated our

maker of how we make television

will generate redundancies, we

have indicated that. But what

we want to do is to take the

money we are saving and invest

that money in more content

dreation. And - creation and

some of the things I have

out