Nov 6, 2017 — Dear friends,
It’s been a year since The Inside Sleeve, The Daily Planet, The Live Set, Soundproof, The Rhythm Divine and Jazztrack were either decommissioned or removed from RN’s schedule.
It has been made clear to us, despite our best efforts, that ABC Head of Radio Michael Mason and his colleagues will not reconsider this decision.
Faced with this situation, we have been looking at alternative ways to increase the quantity of independent and curated music programming via ABC radio nationally; and to the largest audience possible.
A few months ago, we agreed to collaborate with an experienced and well-regarded staff member at ABC Regional. Together, (with advice and input from other ABC staffers), we have worked hard to develop a proposal for a new music show on ABC Regional (ie. via your local ABC station).
More than that, the proposal is for a cross-platform music show that in addition to traditional radio broadcast, also reaches audiences across ABC TV, digital and social media platforms.
The proposal has been received and is under consideration by Director of ABC Regional Fiona Reynolds. We believe our proposal is at the very least being considered as a worthy contribution to ongoing conversations about music coverage on ABC radio into the future.
Two primary issues that have become the key points of this campaign are:
1) that representation of Australian independent music needs to be better nurtured and represented by the ABC as per its Charter, and,
2) independent music audiences (particularly in regional and remote areas) have most keenly felt the blow of these cuts, wanting to listen to music via traditional radio but with limited or no access to internet and digital services.
We acknowledge there have been considerable efforts made by the ABC in the past year to address some of these issues. However, independent music is yet to find an identifiable 'home' on a national level, and be given the focused and extensive coverage it once had via RN.
In brief, the proposal under consideration outlines a show that would:
- be broadcast on ABC Regional across the country,
- be curated by a specialist music presenter
- feature regional festivals and events,
- feature independent touring artists across a broad range of genres,
- feature stories from Australian music scenes,
- feature live interviews and recordings (via ABC Online, YouTube, social media etc.),
- feature extensive information about upcoming tours by international and local artists, and
- be available via radio, podcast, internet; also with potential for a television program based on filmed events and interviews.
We see this as a great opportunity to replace some of what has been lost on Radio National; for musicians and RN’s former audience. We also see this as a very exciting opportunity to grow Australia’s independent music community; by growing the listening audience via ABC Regional (local ABC radio), and engaging more Australians than ever before with an industry and music community we know to be culturally and creatively diverse, vibrant and thriving.
We have communicated our willingness to contribute to, and be available for, consultation in regard to any future decisions the ABC might be considering, including the proposal we have submitted.
We are hopeful our ideas will receive serious consideration by members of ABC management.
Most of all, we're hoping YOU GUYS - musicians, industry representatives, audiences and independent music lovers in general ‑ will continue to give us as much support as you can, going forward.
We need your continued commitment to independent music to get ideas and initiatives such as these off the ground and to continue our discussions with the ABC. Should our show proposal be successful in any measure, we will be relying on your engagement to ensure its successful future.
We’d love to hear your feedback. Are you with us?
All the best, from the #saveRNmusic team