ABC RN has announced plans to axe radio drama. Here’s the URL: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-25/radio-national-plans-program-cuts-to-save-money/4279846
If you happen to live outside a capital city, or are short the $75 for a theatre ticket, radio drama is a cultural lifeline.Not so long ago, ABC Radio National commissioned some 40 drama scripts a year. Now, there will be nothing: no work for writers, actors, composers, producers, and nothing for the listeners.
The ABC states that radio drama is not economically sustainable. But it has been operating for so long on so compromised a budget, the broadcaster has created a self-fulfilling prophecy: reduced resources – and questionable time slots – mean compromised productions, and may eventually translate into a drop in ratings.
Change is important. By all means, take a critical look at what radio drama is doing, and how it might develop to take advantage of new platforms and technologies, new ideas and audiences. But slashing it entirely? ‘Citizen journalism’, listeners’ stories, reality programs are fine but no substitute for the art and craft of professional artists.
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