The ABC has announced a proposal to make some organisational changes to the ABC Archives including the removal approximately 58 roles and introduction of 30 new roles.
According to the ABC, the proposed changes are the result of the extensive digitisation of the ABC Archive collection and the introduction of new tools and systems which enables different, more efficient work practices.
In 2021, approximately 90% of their audio and 35% of their video tape collection was converted into digital files meaning more than two million content assets are now available to content makers at their desktops via the ABC’s Content Digital Archive (CoDA).
In accordance with the ABC Enterprise Agreement, staff were offered the opportunity to express an interest in a redundancy late last month and can continue do so until late next week.
The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) has warned that the decision to axe 58 specialist librarian and archivist roles at the ABC is a short-term budget saving that risks an irreplaceable loss to Australia’s history and culture.
ALIA CEO, Cathie Warburton, says, “The outpouring of public dismay from senior journalists at the ABC following this announcement is testament to how essential archivists and librarians are to quality journalism.
“Librarians and archivists are the unsung heroes of the journalistic process. They are not visible on people’s screens, their voices are not heard on the radio, but their work is foundational to the creation of the programs that we love, from investigative journalism to period dramas.
“We are urgently seeking a meeting with the Managing Director of the ABC, and will be seeking a commitment to the ongoing support of the ABC collections and specialist librarians and archivists.”
Andy Park (RN Drive) spoke to the former archival producer for 7.30, Rod O’Hara, about the importance of the librarians and archivists at the ABC