ABC forced to shut down one of its most popular arms

Despite its popularity, the ABC has been forced to shut down the opinion site The Drum. The site that gave

Despite its popularity, the ABC has been forced to shut down the opinion site The Drum. The site that gave your ABC your voice by publishing a varied combination of user generated content and paid pieces is the latest victim of the Government’s funding cuts to the ABC.

The popular site was created by former ABC boss Mark Scott as a place outside the regular ABC editorial for staff, freelancers, and the public to post articles about what they felt were the most important news items or opening pieces of the day. The Drum gave the ABC a chance to compete against the likes of Fairfax Media and News Ltd.

The site was criticised in the past for leaning too far in one political direction, but Mark Scott said that this only showed what Australians were feeling on those issues. Over time it established itself as an important audience engagement platform.

A memo about the axing came from the director of News Gavin Morris. Gavin stated “Ending The Drum as our online brand in no way reflects on its quality. The excellence of its work is shown in its strong audience numbers and its loyal following.” Gavin also stated that while the site is closing down some of the features would continue on ABC news online.

The News Daily has also reported that its had reports that one of the key factors behind The Drum being axed was the constant lobbying by News Ltd who told politicians that “broadcaster had gone beyond its taxpayer subsidised remit to the detriment of commercial publishers”.

Other ABC features that are reportedly on the chopping block include the ABC Fact Check unit which could join The Drum and ABC Shops. More cuts to services are expected as the ABC brings the business inline with the funding reduction outlined in the last Federal Budget.

Did you use The Drum? What do you think the next cut to ABC services will likely be? Do you believe the ABC should have more funding and not less? Do you think the ABC should reduce its services?

  1. jan dodson  

    Damn that is so wrong. I liked the Drum. No wonder dear Mal lost so many votes. ABC cuts, health cuts, school cuts, medicare cuts. I could go on. Now what are we going to watch.

    • Bob Collinson  

      But even after him losing so many votes, according to Scott Morrison on ABC’s AM Program this morning everything will be just as usual if he has anything to do with it. Will they not ever learn !

  2. mary shaw  

    To be honest…..this stinks!! Another effort by slimeballs to shut up the public and the ABC. It also goes to show that the current caretaker LNP government is gutless when it comes to going against its masters, the loony right of the Liberal Party together with uncle Rupert’s hysterical and selfish Murdoch press. Time to show some guts Malcolm ( if you are still there next week ). I hope all supporters of our ABC will raise their voices in protest.

  3. colin  

    seems anything that exposes lies especially from the LI=BERALs will be on the chopping board. maybe thats why Leigh sales has been so pleasant when they come on 7.30 report. it is a slow but steady slide to dictatorship…

  4. Bev Mors  

    Is this a on line programme that is under attack. I watch the Drum on TV and find it a stimulating programme, also the different presenters give a balanced commentary to what is significant at the time. ABC should be given more funding not cutting their budget. ABC is important as a voice in regional Australia, and The drum should be LEFT alone.

    • mary shaw  

      I think it is the online one Bev, but it’s still very wrong!

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