The ABC could lose as much as $20 million in funding in next year’s budget that the public broadcaster says will put a number of journalist jobs and investigative reporter jobs at risk.
Fairfax Media has this morning reported that the $20 million will go unless it is restored by the Turnbull government in May’s budget.
The previous Labor government gave the ABC $89.4 million over four years for new reporting initiatives and upgrades to its digital services in its last budget.
In documents lodged with the Senate, the ABC said: “The $20m funding the news division receives is a significant amount of its annual budget.
“If the monies are not renewed as part of ABC’s triennial funding, it represents a significant challenge to the division.
“ABC News management is currently scoping contingencies in the event of further funding shortfalls.”
Fairfax is reporting that if the money is not reinstated then up to 160 positions – primarily in regional areas – will be under threat.
Outgoing ABC boss Mark Scott recently told Media Watch that if the money was not renewed there was a very real risk of “significant job losses”.