ABC News (Australia)
ABC News is a national news service in Australia produced by the News and Current Affairs division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The division is responsible for all news-gathering and production of news output for ABC television, radio and online services. Although the ABC is owned and funded by the Australian Government, the editorial independence of the ABC is ensured through the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act 1983.
The ABC News TV channel is Australia’s first free-to-air 24 hour news channel. Three flagship radio news programs – AM, The World Today, and PM – are broadcast over various ABC radio outlets. The division also produces ABC NewsRadio, Australia’s only 24-hour continuous news radio channel, as well as producing hourly radio news bulletins and programmes on ABC Local Radio, ABC Radio National, ABC Classic FM, and Triple J.
ABC Television News
ABC television news bulletins are broadcast throughout the day — including the flagship nightly 7pm state-based bulletins. Bulletins focus strongly on issues of state relevance, with a greater inclusion of national and international news items than are found in the news bulletins of commercial broadcasters.
News Breakfast is broadcast weekdays from 6am – 9am on ABC and the ABC News channel from ABC’s Melbourne studios and is presented by Virginia Trioli and Michael Rowland, sports presenter Paul Kennedy and weather presenter Nate Byrne. The programme is also shown online and on Australia Plus in the Asia Pacific region.
ABC News Mornings
ABC News Mornings is presented by Joe O’Brien from the ABC’s main national news studios in Sydney at Ultimo, and airs weekdays at 9am on ABC and on the ABC News channel. Sport is presented by Paul Kennedy and weather is presented by Nate Byrne, both from the Melbourne studios.
ABC News at Noon
ABC News at Noon is presented by Ros Childs (Monday- Friday) from the ABC’s main national news studios in the Sydney suburb of Ultimo, and airs on ABC in each Australian state and territory at midday in the local time zone and on the ABC News channel at midday Australian Eastern Standard/Daylight Time. A separate edition of the bulletin is produced for Western Australia two to three hours after the original broadcast, as the time delay was deemed too long to remain up-to-date. Both versions air on ABC News.
The bulletin was launched in February 2005 to replace the less successful Midday News and Business, preceded in turn by the long-running World at Noon.
ABC News at Five
ABC News at Five is presented by Tamara Oudyn (Monday — Thursday) and Mary Gearin (Friday) from ABC’s Melbourne studios and airs weekdays at 5pm on ABC in each Australian state and territory. Weather is presented by Graham Creed.
7.30 is presented by Leigh Sales from the ABC’s main national news studios in Ultimo, Sydney on ABC at 7.30pm, weeknights. However, when a big state political event happens, the national program can be pre-empted by the local edition.
ABC Late News
ABC Late News is presented by Andrew Geoghegan from the ABC’s main national news studios in Ultimo, Sydney on ABC at 10.30pm, weeknights.
A separate edition is presented from Perth for Western Australia by Michael Tetlow on ABC at 10.30pm and then ABC News channel at midnight and 1.00am. Later, he also hosts 15-minute live bulletins News Overnight exclusively on ABC News channel at 2.00am and 3.00am.
National news updates are presented on ABC throughout the day with evening updates presented live in most states by the respective state news presenters. The ABC’s Brisbane studios produces the 8.30pm weeknight update and it is presented by Karina Carvalho.
National updates are also available on demand via ABC News Online.
ABC News channel bulletins
ABC News’ flagship 7pm bulletin is produced and presented every night from the capital city of each state & territory and features a national financial bulletin presented on weeknights by Alan Kohler in Melbourne.
Australian Capital Territory
ABC News Canberra is presented from the ABC’s Dickson studios by Dan Bourchier on weeknights and Craig Allen on weekends with sports presenter Chris Kimball.
New South Wales
ABC News New South Wales is presented from the ABC’s Ultimo studios by Juanita Phillips from Sunday to Thursday and Jeremy Fernandez on Friday and Saturday. Weather is presented by Graham Creed on weeknights.
ABC News Queensland is presented from the ABC’s Queensland headquarters on Brisbane’s South Bank by Matt Wordsworth from Monday to Thursday and Jessica van Vonderen from Friday to Sunday. Weather is presented Jenny Woodward on weeknights and Craig Zonca on Sunday.
ABC News South Australia is presented from the ABC’s Collinswood studios by Emma Rebellato on weeknights and Alina Eacott on weekends. Weekend bulletins feature local sport bulletins presented by Neil Cross.
ABC News Tasmania is presented from the ABC’s Hobart studios by Guy Stayner from Monday to Thursday and Angela Ross from Friday to Sunday. Weather is presented by Simon McCulloch on weeknights.
ABC News Western Australia is presented from ABC WA’s East Perth studios by James McHale on weeknights and Pamela Medlen on weekends. Clint Thomas and Tom Wildie present sport on weeknights and weekends respectively. Weather is presented by Irena Ceranic on weeknights.
Broadcast presentation history
The news theme used from 1956 to 1985 was “Majestic Fanfare“, composed by Charles Williams. From 1956 until the early 1980s the version used was the abridged version performed by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, from a recording made in 1943. Each bulletin opened with a clip from the top story of the day, with the title “ABC News” superimposed over the footage. Later, this onscreen approach was replaced by a generic graphic title sequence. In 1982, to celebrate the ABC’s 50th anniversary, a new version of the theme was commissioned, which incorporated both orchestral and new electronic elements. With the exception of a period in the mid-1980s, during which a synthesised theme arranged by Sydney musician Tony Ansell was used for 12 months or so, this was used on radio until August 1988, and on television until early 1985. A reworking of “Majestic Fanfare” (essentially the original orchestration up one tone) was arranged by Richard Mills and recorded in 1988 by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
The 1988 orchestration is still used exclusively for ABC’s radio news bulletins across all stations, except Triple J, which uses a 1991 remix of the original “Majestic Fanfare”, and NewsRadio, which has always used specially-composed themes since its inception. The original theme package was written by Peter Wall and Tony Ansell.
The ABC refreshed its structure and look in 1985 when the 7 o’clock news and the following current affairs programme (at that time, Nationwide) were combined to form ABC National (usually known as “The National”) and moved to 6.30pm. The news theme used was “Best Endeavours”, written by Alan Hawkshaw. This piece of music was at that time, and is still, the theme for Channel 4 News in the UK.
After The National was deemed unsuccessful, that same year the news was refreshed again with a new set, graphics, and theme, composed by Tony Ansell & Peter Wall. This theme was used for 20 years, even after the refresh in 1998. In 2010, it was sampled and remixed by the group Pendulum and this revised work went on to be placed #11 on the Triple J Hottest 100 chart on Australia Day 2011.
In 1998, the set was updated, a new opener featuring a light blue globe and the ABC logo was introduced, and the theme remained the same but was tweaked. The graphics also changed to match the new look.
The theme for ABC News changed on Australia Day (26 January) 2005, and was written by Martin Armiger and John Gray and for a couple of years bore a resemblance to the original Peter Wall / Tony Ansell work in the opening signature notes. Wall challenged the ABC and was successful in reaching an agreement. The opening notes were removed and the work was re-arranged in 2010. The new look made use of an orange and blue globe motif. At the same time the set and graphics received a major overhaul to fit in with this look. This package was used until 21 July 2010, a day before the launch of ABC News.
With the launch of ABC News on 22 July, all 7pm bulletins across Australia had a graphics overhaul to match the look of ABC News. The opener replaces the blue/orange globe style with a series of sliding panels, featuring images specific to each state. The theme from the 2005-2010 era was remixed by Martin Armiger, its composer, giving it a more upbeat, synthesised feel. New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and the ACT have new sets, built to match the ABC News set. The graphics have changed to match the “sliding panels” look and are more akin to the feel of ABC News in 2010.
ABC News Channel
The new channel commenced preliminary broadcasting with a promo loop in early July 2010, with the ABC re-numbering ABC HD channel 20 to logical channel number 24.
The ABC News channel was officially launched as ABC News 24 at 7.30PM Australian Eastern Standard Time on 22 July 2010 and simulcast its first hour of transmission on ABC. The news channel utilises the ABC’s existing resources including more than 1000 journalists in 60 newsrooms across Australia along with 12 foreign bureaux.
ABC News produces three current affairs programs for radio – AM, Correspondents Report, The World Today, and PM. All share a quasi magazine format, and investigate stories in greater depth compared to news bulletins. AM in particular is influential in reflecting and setting the agenda of federal politics in Canberra.
- AM is broadcast in three editions — a 10-minute edition at 6:05am on ABC Local Radio, a 20-minute edition at 7:10am on ABC Radio National, and a flagship 30 minute edition at 8:00am on ABC Local Radio.
- The World Today is broadcast in one edition — a 30-minute edition at 12:10pm on ABC Local Radio and ABC Radio National.
- PM is broadcast in two editions — a 30-minute edition at 5:00pm on ABC Radio National, and a flagship 30 minute edition at 6:30pm on ABC Local Radio.
- Correspondents Report is broadcast in one edition — a 25-minute edition on Sundays at 7:10am on ABC Radio National, repeated at 6:05pm on ABC Local Radio.
State bulletins are produced by the ABC Local Radio station from the capital city of each state and mainland territory. They are broadcast to all ABC Local Radio and ABC Radio National stations in each state, and focus strongly on issues of state relevance, but also feature national and international stories. National bulletins air when state bulletins are not produced.
ABC Local Radio stations broadcast a flagship 15 minute state bulletin at 7:45am, the only bulletin still introduced by the 18 second version of Majestic Fanfare. All other bulletins are introduced by a 9-second version of Majestic Fanfare. ABC Radio National and ABC Classic FM stations do not broadcast the 7:45am bulletin, instead broadcasting an ordinary 8:00am state bulletin and a 10-minute 7am bulletin respectively, and continue to broadcast bulletins every hour when Local Radio stations broadcast bulletins every 30 minutes in the early morning.
- ABC News ACT is broadcast at 5:30am and on the hour between 6am & 10pm each day from the studios of ABC Radio Canberra.
- ABC News New South Wales is broadcast at 5:30am and on the hour between 6am & 10pm each day from the studios of ABC Radio Sydney.
- ABC News Northern Territory is broadcast at 5:30am and on the hour between 6am & 10pm each day from the studios of ABC Radio Darwin.
- ABC News Queensland is broadcast 5:30am to 7pm each day from the studios of ABC Radio Brisbane.
- ABC News South Australia is broadcast at 5:30am and on the hour between 6am and 10pm on weekdays from the studios of ABC Radio Adelaide. Weekend bulletins are broadcast on the hour between 6am and midday.
- ABC News Tasmania is broadcast at 5:30am and on the hour between 6am and 9pm on weekdays from the studios of ABC Radio Hobart. Weekend bulletins are broadcast on the hour between 6am and midday.
- ABC News Victoria is broadcast at 5:30am and on the hour between 6am and 10pm on weekdays from the studios of ABC Radio Melbourne. Weekend bulletins are broadcast on the hour between 6am and midday.
- ABC News Western Australia is produced by ABC Radio Perth. Weekday bulletins are broadcast every 30 minutes between 5:00am and 7:00am, then at 7:45am, then at 9:00am, then every hour until 10:00pm. Weekend bulletins are broadcast every 30 minutes between 6:00am and 7:00am, then at 7:45am, then at 9:00am, then every hour until 1:00pm.
ABC Classic FM broadcasts state bulletins every hour from 6am until 12pm and then every 2 hours on the hour. Nonlocal streams of ABC Radio National broadcast national bulletins every hour, 24 hours a day.
National youth radio station Triple J broadcasts its own bulletins between 6:00am and 6:00pm on weekdays, and between 7:00am and 12:00pm on weekends.
ABC Radio Australia News
Regular bulletins are produced and broadcast for Radio Australia in the Asia Pacific region. Bulletins are produced in Melbourne, and feature reports from foreign correspondents in the region.
- “ABC Television (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | The complete TV guide for ABC TV, ABC COMEDY, ABC ME, ABC KIDS, ABC NEWS & iview”. www.abc.net.au. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
- “ABC to launch 24-hour news channel”. ABC News. 21 January 2010. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.