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ABC’s loss is RiotACT’s gain: Genevieve Jacobs to join writing team

Ian Bushnell 13 April 2018 110
Genevieve Jacobs

Genevieve Jacobs will be writing for the RiotACT on local issues. Photo: Supplied.

Former ABC radio Mornings presenter Genevieve Jacobs is to join The RiotACT team, developing a series of in-depth articles on key local issues.

Jacobs, who was unceremoniously dumped from the ABC’s line-up last year, said she was looking forward to developing the series of stories with The RiotACT about the issues that she knew connected directly with Canberrans.

“So, the development changes we’re facing, the amount of green space, what kind of say we’ve all got in the direction of our city, issues like the arts versus sport, the kind of pressures we see on regional communities as a result of Canberra’s growth, they’re stories I’ve been enmeshed with through my whole career as journalist in Canberra and in surrounding NSW. And I just want to continue that community conversation,” she said.

Jacobs said The RiotACT offered the opportunity for it to be a genuine conversation and she looked forward to energising the discussion among the readers and asking people for opinions and ideas so it became a true fulcrum for discussion.

“Online provides a really unique opportunity for that to happen, and The RiotACT is such a strongly dedicated local Canberra voice that it is the perfect place to have those conversations,” she said.

Jacobs detected a lot of concern about where Canberra was heading and whether the city was going to do it well.

“People are uncertain about the future, they’re concerned about the level of development, they’re concerned about what of kind of parameters there is around that development and there’s a real need for us all to be consulted and listened to as changes take place and to question what kind of values are being applied to this process, whether we get a better, more sustainable, more livable city out of it at the end,” she said.

But Jacobs said the Government had a fair point that the debate couldn’t be limited to the same voices all the time.

“That’s a particular characteristic of this town. We’ve got a very well informed community who are willing to step up on community issues but we do have to find a way to talk to everybody,” she said.

“The Government is right to a certain degree that it is only the loudest voices that get heard and that’s not true consultation, so it is challenging to find a way to give everyone a voice.

“I hope that what we’re doing here at The RiotACT can be part of that voice because it’s an open forum, people have just got the keyboard in front of them and that’s the fastest way to engage but it’s a worthwhile thing to try to find different ways to communicate.”

With the traditional media fragmenting, Jacob sees a great opportunity for local news.

“Undoubtedly the future is digital, and I think there is a strong opportunity in really localised content,” she said.

“I think what we see less and less of across the old mainstream media outlets, is strong local content as staffing and resources are stripped away – it’s the same stories around the country rather than stories that are strongly connected to local communities. I just think there’s a big chunk of that and that’s where The RiotACT can play a strong role.”

In the latest survey covering the period February 4 to March 31, ABC Radio Canberra lost listeners across all timeslots and fell from the No.1 to No.3 station with a 12.9 per cent share, a drop of 4 percentage points.

“It’s a matter of real regret that the ABC, which has always been so closely entwined with the Canberra community, is going through a period of turbulence and change, perhaps risking a loss of engagement with the Canberra community and Canberra local issues,” she said.

Mornings without Jacobs, fell 2.1 percentage points, while Breakfast, anchored by Dan Bourchier, suffered the biggest drop in the ratings, losing 5.6 percentage points since the previous survey last September.

The deployment of Mornings presenter Adam Shirley to the last half hour of breakfast failed to boost the program.

MIX 106.3, is the new number one station, leading across all time slots with a share of 18.1 per cent, followed by with Hit 104.7 (15.1 per cent).

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110 Responses to ABC’s loss is RiotACT’s gain: Genevieve Jacobs to join writing team
HiddenDragon 5:30 pm 15 Apr 18

“Former ABC radio Mornings presenter Genevieve Jacobs is to join The RiotACT team, developing a series of in-depth articles on key local issues.”

If these are anything like the excellent series of big-picture articles which Chris Uhlmann produced when he was with the Canberra Times, this will be a real plus for The RiotAct.

Anni Wawrzynczak Anni Wawrzynczak 4:40 pm 15 Apr 18

Thank god! I’m aching for good local coverage. I turn on 666 mornings from time to time and think I’ve tuned in to commercial radio

Jenny Cox Jenny Cox 4:06 pm 15 Apr 18

Fantastic, I'm so glad Genevieve will be back in the thick of things. Can't wait to read more!

Gabrielle O'Kane Gabrielle O'Kane 3:32 pm 15 Apr 18

Yes I am missing Genevieve on radio too. Very balanced journalist. Glad she has been snapped up.

    Vinnys Kaley Vinnys Kaley 10:23 pm 15 Apr 18

    I was expecting this to happen much sooner Gab but glad shes back

Liz Craven Liz Craven 1:59 pm 15 Apr 18

Genevieve interviewed me before, she is the best!

bj_ACT 10:17 am 15 Apr 18

Great news about Genevieve.

She always represented all of Canberra in her show. From Banks in Southern Tuggeranong to the newest suburbs of Gungahlin.

The new guys at 666 are only interested in a 5km radius around the ABC studios at Wentworth Ave.

Jodie Kemp Jodie Kemp 10:00 am 15 Apr 18

In hearing this, I've just subscribed to your newsletter. Great to hear that you'll be back in some way Genevieve. Really missing you on the airwaves. I've switched to RN now for everything as 666 have no journos worth listening to any more. Good luck in the new role 😃

    Dorinda Lillington Dorinda Lillington 6:58 pm 15 Apr 18

    Ditto. Will be tuning in to the Riot Act

    Lyn Kemp Lyn Kemp 8:38 am 16 Apr 18

    Ditto here too. Welcome back to the fold Gen. 😊😊

Wendy Greenhalgh Wendy Greenhalgh 9:54 am 15 Apr 18

Stopped watching 666 and switched to Sydney for TV news..and they wonder why ratings have dropped..

    Trevor Connell Trevor Connell 5:47 pm 16 Apr 18

    I love watching the radio. The dial just smiled back at me

Robyn Flynn Robyn Flynn 9:51 am 15 Apr 18

I wrote to the ABC when I heard what they'd done saying dumping GJ was an error and got a meaningless response. I miss hearing her great journalism!!!!

Jenny Grierson Jenny Grierson 9:32 am 15 Apr 18

Wonderful Geneveive Jacobs. ABC's loss. Big mistake Aunty!

Polly Ball Polly Ball 8:45 am 15 Apr 18

Great news for Genevieve, good decision RiotACT.

Mick McMillan Mick McMillan 7:08 am 15 Apr 18

Good for the Riot and good for Genevieve the ABC is losing ratings in that time slot

Peter Drady Dradrach Peter Drady Dradrach 6:36 am 15 Apr 18

I'd love to see some pressure on the nbn and other second rate services tuggeranong always seems to get or lack thereof. Seems we only get more medium/high density housing but what else?

    Ruth Brown Ruth Brown 11:28 pm 15 Apr 18

    Having lived in Tuggeranong, and now living in Gungahlin, may I say Tuggeranong residents don't have as much to complain about as they think.

    At least Tuggeranong was planned by someone who had passed the first year of their town planning degree!

    Peter Drady Dradrach Peter Drady Dradrach 6:14 am 16 Apr 18

    Ruth Brown really wow when you look at all the development opportunities there plus light rail etc etc etc I'm surprised by that statement.

Stephen Moores Stephen Moores 11:34 pm 14 Apr 18

Shame ABC Radio Shame

Susan MacGillivray Susan MacGillivray 11:23 pm 14 Apr 18

Genevieve is the best journalist in this town.

Jenny Blake Jenny Blake 10:43 pm 14 Apr 18

Brilliant ! Well done RiotACT and congrates Genevieve

Pj Williams Pj Williams 10:35 pm 14 Apr 18

Congrats to RiotACT and Genevieve.

Starry Hardjadinata Starry Hardjadinata 10:23 pm 14 Apr 18

Well done Tim White

Virginia Cook Virginia Cook 9:34 pm 14 Apr 18

Fabulous news!

Sandra Turner Sandra Turner 9:34 pm 14 Apr 18

Wishing you well in your next role, Genevieve!

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