Figures released to the Senate Committee on Environment and Communications have revealed that only 14 per cent of ABC journalists are based outside capital cities and 40 per cent are based in Sydney.
This is despite the fact that more than 30 per cent of Australians live outside capital cities and only 20 per cent live in Sydney.
These figures show that the ABC's relationship with regional Australia is a long distance one.
I have had a few friends who have tried gamely to make a long distance relationship work - none of them have.
You can promise to call and text but it always ends in meeting someone else, you go and have a latte and distance doesn't make the heart grow fonder.
Of the 3059 content makers identified in the ABC’s 2014 annual report; 1209 are based at the broadcaster’s Sydney head office, compared with a combined 1409 in all other capital cities. Just 417 work in regional bureaus across the country.
The breakdown reveals that 1333 content makers work in NSW, 345 in Queensland, 609 in Victoria, 208 in South Australia, 187 in Western Australia, 145 in Canberra, 112 in Tasmania, and 97 in the Northern Territory. 24 are based in overseas bureaus.
The ABC should be a broadcaster that fills gaps in the media marketplace. There are already a multitude of commercial media outlets in the capital cities. If anything the ABC should have more people in the regions.
Further details can be found at: http://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/Committees/ec_ctte/estimates/supp_1415/communications/q548.pdf