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A push from the bush: An introduction to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Remote Communities Project

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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.
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Keywords: ABC; Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Connecting Communities initiative; RCP; remote communities; slow journalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000104627212University of Newcastle

Publication date: June 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Australian Journalism Review publishes articles on a broad range of perspectives relating to journalism research, practice and education. Its emphasis is on original theoretical, empirical and applied research, but it also provides opportunities to canvass perspectives on current debates on research, practice and education through commentary pieces on specific topics.

    This double-blind peer-reviewed journal is published twice annually, with the second edition each year focused primarily on a theme and supplemented by a small selection of broader-ranging papers.

    Prospective guest editor submissions on themes for future editions are always welcome. While many of Australian Journalism Review's submitting authors are based within the Australia-Pacific region, the journal welcomes scholarship from around the world and extending into broader media and communication topics of relevance to journalism.

    The journal incorporates a regular section highlighting the work of early career researchers, particularly current or recent higher degree by research students, as well as book reviews focusing on recent additions to the journalism, media and communications publishing landscape.

    AJR is the journal of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia.

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