The Media and Public Diplomacy: Lynley Marshall

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    • 00:00

      COLIN: Right.Well, it's a pleasure to see you all this evening.And tonight, we're going to talk about soft power.And I'm tempted, actually, to start the eveningby having a quiz.By asking you all what soft power means.But I know that I'm going to get 52 different answers,so I won't do that.But soft power has very different definitions.

    • 00:24

      COLIN [continued]: Joseph Nye of Harvard University isbelieved to have coined the phrase first,when he thought of all forms of interaction and communicationbetween nations that wasn't violent or war or spying.So he included ordinary diplomacy and ordinary trade

    • 00:47

      COLIN [continued]: and ordinary business activity within soft power in a bookthat he wrote, which is very interesting and worthgetting if you want to develop the subject a bit further.However, the Rudd government here and the foreign minister,Judy bishop, now seem to define soft poweras something other than normal professional diplomacy.

    • 01:10

      COLIN [continued]: In other words, it's not the foreign servicethat we know and love.It's not trade missions and that kind of thing.It's everything else.And soft power includes lots of things.It includes education, very important.Not only teaching people English,but also bringing students here.Also doing things like the new Colombo plan,

    • 01:33

      COLIN [continued]: which is being developed by the government now.It also includes organizations like us.I'm meeting a minister from Chinanext week, here in Sydney, at a meeting.That's soft power.It may lead to nothing, but it's partof trying to get to understand each other better.

    • 01:54

      COLIN [continued]: We've got a delegation from Taiwancoming in this room in a fortnight's time,and any of you that would like to come and join thatwould be most welcome.It's a tea time thing.A big chunk of the government's soft power budget up to nowhas gone to broadcasting in the shape of, amongst other things,

    • 02:15

      COLIN [continued]: the Australia Channel.And that's the controversy at the moment,because some people think the Australia Channel isa waste of space and should be shut down,and it's being reviewed.And other people think it's doing a great job, includingour guests tonight, obviously.But the media generally does have an important role

    • 02:37

      COLIN [continued]: in soft power.So that's what our guest, Lynley Marshall,is going to talk about tonight.Lynley is from ABC.She's chief executive of ABC International,so she's right up there in the boardof our national broadcaster.Previously to that, she was in chargeof its commercial activities, as the commercial director.

    • 03:02

      COLIN [continued]: Lynley's background is in media.She comes originally from New Zealand, but she's now become,I think, an Aussie, or I think you are an Aussie now,aren't you?Yes.Absolutely.And so what better night could wechoose to have somebody to talk about oneof the issues of our time.And it should be known, of course,

    • 03:23

      COLIN [continued]: that ABC International includes not just the AustraliaNetwork, which is the subject of this controversy at the moment,but also Radio Australia, which is reallyimportant for Australians overseas and for other peoplewho want to know what's going on hereand also the fast growing internet development of ABC

    • 03:46

      COLIN [continued]: International, which Lynley also runs.So no more from me.I welcome you, Lynley.Thank you very much for coming up from Melbourne to see us.

    • 03:59

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: Thank you, Colin,for that very kind introduction.And I'd like to also acknowledge council members here tonight,and Vice President Richard Broinowski,who I've just been chatting with.I think that the A double I A provides a great serviceto Australian foreign policy debates in Australia,and indeed, we're working with John McCarthy, who some of you

    • 04:22

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: might have seen had an op-ed piece in the financial reviewtoday.And tonight I've been asked to speakon the topic of soft power in the digital era.And I'm pleased to be with you tonightto just have a look at our contributionto Australia's soft power in the form of ABC International'sconverged media service.But before I start, I'm just going to ask--and I should have done this earlier,

    • 04:43

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and I do beg your pardon-- have we got a remoteto move the slides forward?Is there a-- otherwise--

    • 04:52

      DAVID HUA: We can get something.

    • 04:53

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: Would you mind?Thank you so much.I'd like to introduce you to my colleague, David Hua.David is head of digital operationsfor our International Division, and he'sresponsible for the roll out of the new mediaservices, the online, mobile, and socialthat I'm going to talk about a little bit later.So thank you very much, David.

    • 05:14

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: We'll just go through onto the next slide.Thank you.So Colin's talked already about what is soft power.And this is something, of course,we looked at as we were developing our strategyfor our service.So we'll start with the definition,and we also look to Joseph Nye, of course.And he said, soft power is the abilityto affect others to obtain the outcomes

    • 05:35

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: of wants through attraction rather than coercionor payment.And Melissen rightly states, soft powerremains an elusive concept for most officials,and indeed, for many academics.And public diplomacy seems to be somewhat easiera concept to grasp, because of its inherentlypractical hands-on policies and the factthat it can be framed in the context of wider

    • 05:57

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: diplomatic practice.And Australia does have many attractions, includingmulticultural assets and a track recordas a tolerant society with strong political governancesystems.This helps make Australia a desirable placeto visit and live and a sound investment and studydestination.But in order to capitalize on these assets,

    • 06:19

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: we need them to be seen and heard.Next slide.So if we look at the new public diplomacy,we're in a fiercely competitive environment, where governmentscan no longer afford to push information out in the hopethat foreign publics will tune in.The space is just too crowded.The new public diplomacy has been developedto address these challenges.

    • 06:40

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And again, Melissen, he outlines some of its main features;a long-term relationship building.A dialogical practice that does notunderestimate the listening dimension, and an emphasison the importance of social actors as credible interpretersand receivers, particularly in cross-cultural dialogue.Richard and I were talking about Radio Australia and some

    • 07:00

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: of the anecdotes from there, and we'relooking at 75 years of relationships establishedacross the region there.Furthermore, the new public diplomacyacknowledges that the pursuit of soft poweris no longer just the realm of Western countries.Nontraditional actors are investingin soft power in a major way.According to a recent edition of The Asian Security Journal,

    • 07:23

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: China now spends almost US dollars, 9 billion per year,on public diplomacy and other activities intendedto boost its soft power.This includes more than US $1 billionper year spent on its international news channelalone.And in a study commissioned by the ABC,the Lowy Institute found nations that

    • 07:45

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: take public diplomacy seriously are increasingtheir investment in their international broadcastingcapability.Thanks, David.It's important to note that the Australian public issupportive of stronger relations with our neighbors.The Lowy Institute poll in 2012, which I'm sure most of youwill be familiar with, confirmed that 94% of Australians

    • 08:07

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: considered it important for Australiato be seen in a positive light by peoplefrom countries in our region.And 82% were in favor, furthermore,of the Australian government funding broadcast servicesor other programs to communicate with people from countriesin our region, with the aim of improving relations.I was in Jakarta quite recently--

    • 08:29

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: a couple of weeks ago-- and I had the pleasure of meetingwith Anies Baswedan, who, as I'm sure many of you will know,is running for office this year.And he talked about the importance of the rolethat we play in connecting peopleat a person to person level.And he made the point that Australia and Indonesia are

    • 08:50

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: neighbors, and said, governments will comeand governments will go, but Australia and Indonesiawill always be neighbors.And therefore, building a greater understandingbetween our peoples as neighbors wasfundamental to an effective role on the part of the media,in building public diplomacy.

    • 09:12

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: But if international broadcasting actorsare to continue to play a central rolein the new public diplomacy, we mustadapt to the changing media environmentand be available on the platforms people are usingin order to engage with audiences in this digital erawe are now in.And our new agreement with DFAT acknowledges this.Commencing in July last year, our new agreement

    • 09:35

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: provides for delivery of an integrated, multi-platform,international media service.And I'll be talking about that more this evening.Thanks, David.But first of all, let's have a look at the trends thatare driving this change in media consumptionand how people are engaging with the news and informationand entertainment services of their choice.

    • 09:56

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: The media markets of Asia, and indeed, the Pacific,share many common characteristics,such as the rapid uptake of mobile technologiesand digital media.However, there are also enormous differencesacross the economy's cultures and media preferencesof the region, not to mention access to the technology.Mobile phones are one of the key means by which Asian audiences

    • 10:19

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: access information now.There are over 3.3 billion mobile phone subscribersin Asia, and the take up of mobile devicescontinues to grow rapidly throughout the region.And it's particularly apparent in the most populous nations,like China and India.Regional internet use has increased rapidly, too.At the end of 2011, it was estimated

    • 10:42

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: that Asia had over a billion internet users.And internet take up has continue to grow dramatically.In China, for example, it was reported in January, 2012that there were more than half a billion Chineseon the internet, of whom almost 56 million, or over 10%,used the internet for the first time in 2011.

    • 11:03

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And Lowy reported an estimated 60% of Pacific Islandersnow have access to a mobile phone.This is an enormous increase from 2006,when the region's mobile phone penetration was under 10%.According to one report, there are now morePacific Islanders with mobile phones than bank accounts.And as the Pacific's mobile networks

    • 11:26

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: continue to upgrade to 3G and 4G,the spread of mobile internet has enabled the regionto leapfrog these computer enabled internet connectionsand this desktop era.Fixed or wireless computer broadbandinternet connections are expensive,not widely accessible, require hardware, computer or a modem,

    • 11:47

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and they're not as convenient as mobile connections,especially for Pacific people livingoutside of urban centers.Web enabled mobile phones are now sold in most Pacific Islandmarkets, and they range from expensive BlackBerrys,iPhones, your smart phones, to the more affordable handsetsfrom firms like Huawei and Digicel's Facebook phone.

    • 12:09

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And we're observing that where these feature phones arespreading, in terms of some people's access to themand their use of them, where theyhave a few limited number of apps on them,including Facebook, always, that people are seeingFacebook as the internet.So they've not had a desktop.They've not had the normal access to an internet.

    • 12:29

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: But they've got a feature phone with a Facebook connection,and this is their internet.It's quite interesting, in terms of development of content.And David's the expert in this area, here.There are clear trends towards greater useof online and mobile media among the aspirational and youthsegments that comprise a key market, target market,

    • 12:49

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: for our services.In India, for example, 77% of internet users are under 35.In 2010, in Vietnam, a study foundthat 50% of internet users were below 27 years of age,and over half were university educated.More than half of Vietnamese internet users

    • 13:10

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: were from the upper and middle class.And in Indonesia, this trend is even more pronounced,with 75% of internet users under 35and 69% belonging to the middle class.Forgive me for barraging you with a range of percentagesand numbers there, but the picture I'm trying to paintis one where we've got an increasingly

    • 13:32

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: active and aspirational market with access to technology.They're young in their profile, and the wayof reaching them and delivering our mediahas to understand that and change accordingly.The ABC's converged international serviceis responding to this diversity.This service reflects an understanding

    • 13:52

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: of the cultural aspirations and media consumption habits,audiences' content preferences, and useof different media platforms in each regional market.We aim to deliver compelling Australian contentvia the appropriate delivery platformsto reach the target audiences.And our longevity in the region and strong reputationfor independent news and high quality media

    • 14:16

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: positions us well to foster these partnerships thatpromote and support business development.In short, what we're aiming to dois to establish a communications network, a soft infrastructure,if you like, to connect with audiences across the regionto further public and economic diplomacyand to promote Australian business and trade.

    • 14:38

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: Thank you, David.So-- [INAUDIBLE] my water [INAUDIBLE]?Thank you very much.I just asked him to hand me the wine by mistake,but I won't do that.Thank you.OK.So what I'd like to do is to talkabout this integrated multi-platform servicethat we now have.

    • 14:58

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: What it is and how it's developed.And if we start-- and I'll talk about this chart in a minute--we've taken an approach that's market focused,so what services should we be delivering to each marketand that they should be platform specific.Sorry.The role of radio, the role of TV, online, mobile,

    • 15:20

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and social media.Acknowledging the differences between the developed markets,such as China and Indonesia and Japan on the one hand,and those emerging markets, like Cambodia, Myanmar, or evenFiji or PNG, on the other hand.And taking content to audiences wherethey are through syndication.

    • 15:41

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And that is putting programs and content on the local platformsor services that they engage in every day,in the same way that we have our personal preferences for mediahere in Australia.So let's have a look at radio.Radio Australia continues to broadcast across the Pacificand into the developing Mekong area of Asia.

    • 16:02

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: So in having a look at the markets,we took a decision to cease broadcasting shortwave radio,for example, into Indonesia.Because as I've explained, the trendthere is very strongly towards mobile internet.And while TV plays a major part, shortwave radio servicewas just no longer penetrating in termsof reaching that audience.

    • 16:22

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: We took the same decision in Chinato move away from shortwave radio.The fact that the Chinese had blocked it regularlyis only one part of the story.Really, it's about access.People aren't buying shortwave radio receivers,they're buying mobile phones.But it's still a very important partof what we're delivering in the Pacific.It's a daily habit of many of the members of our community

    • 16:44

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and our audience there.And so we've reduced Radio Australia to one stream focusedin the Pacific, and then moving more broadly later in the dayto reach our audiences in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos.And we're spending more time there.We're sending people into the Pacificto develop original stories with partners such as NBC and PNG.

    • 17:05

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And Phil Kafcaloudes, who delivers the morning program,was in PNG recently, and he's going to [INAUDIBLE] soon.So we've refocused radio, if you like.The people who were involved in shortwave radioproduction in Bahasa, Indonesian service,and Mandarin service for China, are nowdelivering content for online, mobile, and video for delivery

    • 17:28

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: back into the Australia Network and outinto syndication partners.So we've extended the reach of the contentthey're developing significantly through that change.Australia Network television continuesto be an extremely important plank in what we're doing,and we now have 679 partners rebroadcasting

    • 17:50

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: Australian Network work across the region.Counting the audience is a really alwaysa challenge for us, and Richard and Iwere talking about this earlier.I think he said they used to measurethe audience by the weight of the mail bag comingin from Indonesia and other markets.I think we've got a similar kind of scenarioin email at the moment, and those kindof-- that sort of engagement, and also on Facebook.

    • 18:11

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: But it is a really useful indication of audience.But we have our 6 million viewers per month,and the six key markets are India, Thailand, Malaysia,Singapore, and the Philippines.And PNG 18% weekly reach for radio,22% weekly reach for the Australia Network, whichI want to focus on.And I could reel off some other numbers before you,

    • 18:32

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: but I won't.I think it's important right now to acknowledgethat the television network has had its challenges.It really has.Two years of uncertainty while a tender process was workedthrough and an inability to refresh and takethe schedule and the strategy for the channel forward.

    • 18:52

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And it's not even yes, of course, where we want it to be.I mentioned earlier that the new agreementthat we have with DFAT started in July last year.Now, while it's a relatively quick processto refocus radio services or roll outnew services for online or mobile,regenerating a television service

    • 19:13

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: takes a little more time in terms of acquiring, producing,commissioning programs.What we're aiming to do-- and our vision for the channel,if you like, is to give it a more distinctive focus too,and working with DFAT to do that.The agreement requires a general service,including entertainment, information, news.

    • 19:35

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And in a very, very crowded market,that's a tough call, in terms of an audience proposition.So we're aiming to narrow this downto be focused on news, information,and factual content.And we've got a range of really exciting programsthat have been commissioned, and indeed, are on the channel now.Such as Window On Australia, which

    • 19:56

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: is a program which is built on the initial successof a project with the SNG group in China, where we regularlyshow Australia on their network, and they are featured on ours.Pacific Sport 360 was a program targeting, specifically,the Pacific audiences and tappinginto their passion for sport.

    • 20:17

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: Dragon's Footprints is a series of short programs profilingsuccessful Chinese immigrants in Australia.Dream Australia, which is an initiative that we'velaunched with Tourism Australia, whichis telling the migrant stories from regional and ruralAustralia, and working with regional authorities.Food Bowl, which is a project with the Australian Center

    • 20:39

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: for International Agricultural Research.And it will look at how Australian researchers areat the cutting edge of innovation in farmingtechniques, what this means to food production,and how it then appears on your table.We're looking at the previous Colombo Plan,a "where are they now," if you like.And another project with Tourism Australia,which is the Indigenous Tourism project, where they're

    • 21:02

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: working to bring visitors to havean experience of our indigenous culture and community here.And I could go on in describing these programs.But what we're aiming to deliver here,and I hope you get a picture of this,is a sophisticated, contemporary presentationof Australia across our Australia TV channel,which will also feed into our online, mobile,

    • 21:25

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and digital services.And we understand we've got some ways to go.And we hear the critique of the network,but we also point out it has a very strong following.It is redistributed in many markets,and they come back again and againto sign up for the service.So we can only think that with this refocus

    • 21:46

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and this collaborative strategy that we have with DFAT,the future's very bright.Australia Plus is a digital umbrella brandthat we have launched two tie all of the brandsthat we have together.So we have Radio Australia out there,we have Australia Network out there.And we have a range of internet and mobile service.So we need a cohesive umbrella presentation of that,

    • 22:10

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: if you like.So we've launched Australia Plus.And I'll go into that in a little bit more detail.But the idea is, Australia Plus India, Australia PlusIndonesia, and it ties in nicely with Australia Network, RadioAustralia, et cetera.These marketing people and the way they work on these brands,I think they're pure genius.And we tried to come up with something better,

    • 22:32

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and we absolutely couldn't.It's been, I think, starting to be quite successful for us.Syndication partnerships.We'll talk a little bit about this, because it'sreally, really important.One of the criticisms that we haveis that we're reaching a very small audience.It's only expats.And I think I said in Melbourne yesterdaythat people are not understanding

    • 22:53

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: the strategy, which is to extend our reach through syndication.So what we're doing is we've signed up partnersacross Indonesia, across China, across India.We're taking programs and we're putting themon the local networks that are popular with local audiencesand on the websites that are popular with local audiences.

    • 23:14

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And I will have a look at some of that in a minute.But in Indonesia alone, we have over 875,000 unique visitors,so individual visitors, across a monthas a result of these partnerships, whichare also bringing audiences back to our own services.2.5 million page views of our content, almost--

    • 23:35

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and that was for January, almost doubled from December.So these partnerships are really startingto lift that reach now.And user-generated content, whichis the other box you'll see up there, hopefully,is another really important part of what we're offering.We need to-- it's about that dialoguewe were talking before.Giving opportunity through digital and social media

    • 23:56

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: for audiences to connect with each other.And in that, we're involving Australia Indonesia youthdialogue, Australia China Youth Dialogue, Australia IndonesiaYouth Exchange Program, and many others.So let's have a look at some of the elements of the AustraliaPlus service.Thank you, David.

    • 24:17

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: As I said, it's an umbrella brand.And the key element of this is to deliver increased contentand language, so each of the market sites for Australia Plusare in language.And I've talked about how we've retrained and redirecteda bilingual staff to deliver this cross platform content.And it's now maximizing audience reach for the ABC,

    • 24:38

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: where previously, we were only really deliveringthis content across radio.Thank you, David.So the India site was launched on the 13th of Novemberlast year.It showcases the best of Australia,including content from ABC, SBS, andthose user-generated elements I talked about.And one of the user-generated content areas we have is

    • 25:03

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: called My World, where people sendin their photos and the stories about those photos.And it was themed My Light for the month of launch,which appropriately featured images from India's Diwalicelebrations.The service is bilingual.There's some English, there's some Hindi.And the new social media presenceswere also set up for Twitter and for Facebook.

    • 25:23

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: With a new partnership in India with the national broadcasterthere, Prasar Bharati, and we're exchanging content,syndication, and co-production.So stories that are appearing on this site hereare also appearing on local networksthat the Indian population is engaged with.Indonesia launched December, last year.

    • 25:44

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: So the picture here I hope that is emerging of a lot happeningsince we started with this new agreement in July,but all quite fresh, and we think, notreally that well understood.Like the India site, it features content from media partnersin the region, and the content we syndicate outto their websites, is resulting, as I've said,

    • 26:04

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: in insignificant audience engagement.And again, we featured user contributions,and also we highlight links to our Indonesian partners.In Indonesia, we have partnershipswith MNC Group, which is one of the major broadcast, the major online service.Kompas, Faja TV, Benus TV, Tempo, Tribune News,

    • 26:26

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: among others.So we are no longer, I think, reaching justsuch a small percentage of that Indonesian market,as we roll these services out.The portal for China was launchedto coincide with the lunar new year.And the current Radio Australia Chinese pagesare now available in the Chinese mainland,

    • 26:48

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and this has reopened and extended connectionswith audiences there.I'd like to talk a little bit about our partnershipsin China, because this has been a challenging market.We don't have landing rights for the Australia NetworkTelevision Service.And as I see it, our radio service and our radio siteswere regularly blocked in that market.But through partnerships, we're able to extend our reach

    • 27:11

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and have our content available to audiences.Shanghai Media Group, Beijing TV, CCTV, China Daily Online,QQ, is the company, the group, if you like,in China that offers Weibo, which is Chinese Twitter.

    • 27:32

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And also WeChat.Yes?Yes.So like the instant message wherethey're all chatting together.So our partnership there and the abilityto put our content there.And if you have a look at the site, you'll see their logo.It's a really important part of the mix of relationshipsthat we have now.Thanks, David.

    • 27:53

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: We're also launching mobile apps in associationwith the market portals.And I'll get you just to click through those, David,please, so that people can just have a look at them.And this is the work of David and his team, by the way.And they're just doing a terrific job.And that brings us to the partnerships,which I've talked about a lot.

    • 28:13

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And I'd like to just explain a little bit to youhow this syndication works with our partners.So we go the next slide.Thanks, David.You'll see up there, this is Tempo's site.So on our site, we feature a link to our partners.And on this site, over in Indonesia,

    • 28:34

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: where the local audiences are coming herefor their daily news and their information,you'll see there, on the front page of their news site,a feed that we're providing.So the stories from Australia are reaching them, updatedmany times a day, on the platformthat they're engaging with, and thereare links back to our own portals and other ABC services.

    • 28:57

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: This next one is Republika.Now, Republika, as some of you may know,is the major Muslim media network in Indonesia.They have radio, print, and an extensive online offering.And they're not-- it's not unusual to see some articlesthere critical of Australia.But they're also very happy, because they fiercely hold on

    • 29:19

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: to their own independent status nowto include stories that we provide themon the front page of their service.So we're providing a perspective and a set of informationto local audiences that they would not otherwisehave on stories which are of importance.We're also extending the cultural partnerships.

    • 29:40

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And I'll just feature here this one, whichis-- this is our partner, Beijing Television,and they asked us to nominate Australian artiststo participate in a global talent competition.We offered them triple j Unearthed talent.And they were flying over to Beijing.They appeared on the program, and theyperformed at the Spring Gala Event, one of China's biggest

    • 30:01

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: television events.And there we had our local triple j starsup there on the stage and broadcaston national television in China, which was prettyexciting for them, I might add.Cosmo Times is a program which focuses on weekly segmentsthat we produce which features lifein Australian cities, currently Melbourne,but we're getting to Sydney next.And this is about portraying contemporary life here.

    • 30:24

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: It's the soft stories, if you like.The stories about what people are doing in restaurantsand what they're doing in their work life, their social life,et cetera.And this program is broadcast across Shanghaiand across the International Service,and it features other cities, such as London, New York,et cetera.

    • 30:44

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And now it also features Australia.A social media activity is a really important spacefor communities to exchange comments, views, and ideas,and these sites are quickly growinga following with significant activity and discussionaround the posts.This is the Indonesia site, which as of todayhad 60,193 followers, and it was only launched-- when, David?

    • 31:10


    • 31:13

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: In December, once again.And then we've got the story of our learn English site, wherethe various activities of Australia Network RadioAustralia, and online have been converged under this LearnEnglish brand, which now has, as of today, 1,039,580 followers.It's huge.It's one of the biggest, fastest growing Facebook communities

    • 31:37

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: in Australia.And the audience for this, they'reall coming from the region.And there's been some discussion aboutis it appropriate to have a service whichis about learning English?Well, we think that we'll move this away from the AustraliaNetwork Service.It will become an online mobile and social media service,

    • 31:57

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: reasonably soon.But if we have a look at those numbers,if we converted just 10% of that 1,039,000 peopleto study here or travel here or do business or buyAustralian product, this is a wonderful opportunityto connect with audiences, and one, I think,that we need to continue to understand and promote,

    • 32:21

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and indeed, we will.So in concluding, we're seven monthsinto this new agreement with DFAT,and we are really pleased to see the significant growthin service and audience reach.And we're very excited about the potentialthat we think is clearly demonstrated.But we know we've got a ways to go

    • 32:41

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: in terms of refocusing and refreshing the TV network,to putting more of our programs out there,and continuing to roll out these market by market digital sites.But in this converged media world,it's really important to tailor content to the platformand to the market and using digital media

    • 33:02

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: to engage and connect with local audiences.And they are our target for this service, not our expats.And I should add that we're looking at a tailoredon-demand service for our expats,and there's a trial starting up in Hong Kong right now.And through these integrated networks,what we're aiming to do, as I mentioned before,and I'd like to close with this, is

    • 33:22

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: to establish a communications network and infrastructure thatpresents a new opportunity for public diplomacy,for economic diplomacy, and also to effectivelypromote and present Australian in business and tradeopportunities.So thank you for politely listening to this presentation.I'd really like to thank you for that and to take questions.

    • 33:44

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: Yes?

    • 33:45

      COLIN: Yes.

    • 33:45

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: OK.Thank you, David.

    • 33:48

      COLIN: [INAUDIBLE] Lynley, thank you very much.I'd like to kick off with a couple of questions, if I may.First of all, can you give us any kind of sense,either through numbers or through anecdotes,of what kind of feedback you're getting

    • 34:09

      COLIN [continued]: from the region, the Asian region?And secondly, one of the criticismsthat I've heard of the Australia Network in particular, less soperhaps of the other networks, but the Australia Network,is that there's hardly anything at all about business on it.And Australia, as Tony Abbott would like to say,

    • 34:31

      COLIN [continued]: is open for business.But it's not just only Tony Abbott who said that.Kevin Rudd also was very keen that Australian business,and there's a lot of it, whether itbe manufacturing or finance or farming,should be better reported.And I don't see much sign of it on the Australia Network.

    • 34:54

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: Thank you, Colin.And I don't know if I read out in that list of programs,we're very aware of this, and also of the needto use these services to help promote opportunitiesto study in Australia, doing business, and so on.We have a number of new programs that have been commissionedand are starting to hit the service now.And around Business One is David Koch.

    • 35:16

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: He's going to present a program, Kochie's Business Builders.It's on doing business here in Australia,or for small to medium business operators wantingto operate in the Asian market.It's being sponsored by the National Australia Bank,and it's one of many programs that we have lined up.We absolutely take your point on that,and business is a key focus.

    • 35:38

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And indeed, Mark Scott has said recentlythat he would like to see more of a business focusalso in our general programming domestically.

    • 35:46

      COLIN: OK.Your turn.Richard.

    • 35:56

      RICHARD: Just a very quick one [INAUDIBLE].I noticed in your thank yous we don'thave any Japanese or Korean.What's happening in North Korea?What's happened-- sorry.What's happened in North Asia?Are we still trying to project there or not?

    • 36:13

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: Yes, we are.And you're quite right.So we'll have to fix that in terms of the thank yous.But we are rebroadcasting to-- I think on most of the networks,into South Korea.There was some flow over into North Korea from our radioservices, we understand.

    • 36:33

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: But the focus for North Asia is there.But we are, at the moment, I thinkit's fair to say, really endeavoringto improve our reach and our connection,especially with local audiences, on a market by market basisand building up.We're into 45 countries, and we can't address

    • 36:56

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: every single market at once.So we've been focused on fist Indonesiaand then in China and India, PNG in the Pacific,and we continue like that, as opposedto attempting to make a-- I guess a blanket improvement,if you like.

    • 37:13

      COLIN: Yeah.

    • 37:18


    • 37:20

      COLIN: Would you mind just identifying yourself, please?Thank you.

    • 37:23


    • 37:45

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: Sorry, can you--can you hold the microphone--

    • 37:48


    • 38:00

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: I missed part of your question.But I think I've got the gist of it.The ABC is an independent organizationand under the terms of the act.And our agreement with DFAT recognizes that.What we have with DFAT is a set of overarching objectives,in terms of reaching audiences, growing our digital reach,

    • 38:23

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: those kind of things that you'd expectin a strategic partnership, which is really what this is.So DFAT has no engagement in the day to day editorial decisionsthat are made around the content for the service,and they would not want to have that.In fact, I think they'd be horrified at the suggestionthat they did.So I hope that answered the question.I missed some of it.

    • 38:43

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: I'm sorry.But I'd be happy to chat to you laterif I didn't fill that gap.

    • 38:53

      COLIN: Somebody's waving at me over there.Yes.

    • 38:56

      ALLISON: Sorry. [INAUDIBLE].

    • 38:58

      COLIN: Right.Go.

    • 38:60


    • 39:02

      COLIN: Yeah, Allie.

    • 39:03

      ALLISON: Lynley, thank you for your comprehensive descriptionof what's going on, because we don't see it all the timeunless we're traveling.And I wonder if you can fill us in a little biton what Australian culture content there is.And given what we know about our reputation in many countries,

    • 39:24

      ALLISON [continued]: there's been a cultural desert, no creativity,and all the rest of it.How will you [INAUDIBLE] while not trying to remedy that?And secondly, to what extent is the ABC, [INAUDIBLE] given

    • 39:47

      ALLISON [continued]: that DFAT has more control in any way,how do you manage the news, a lot of whichrecently has been politically very reflecting on Australiansin a quite negative way.How do you manage that?

    • 40:05

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: Ooh.Excuse me.Oh, if I could manage ABC News, [LAUGHS]yeah, that's a whole big question.But look, seriously, the first part of your question,in terms of culture.So we've had a number of programs recentlywhich aimed to present Australian cultureas a picture of a sophisticated cultural society.

    • 40:27

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: There was-- an example is a chamber musiccompetition that was held recentlywith an initiative with China.And we had a crew following the contestants around,and we happily picked the group that won the competition.And that was broadcast across our networks,because we don't have landing rights for Australia Network

    • 40:49

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: TV in China.It was rebroadcast on Shanghai Media Group,and I think Beijing TV.Forgive me.I haven't got the details on that.We have presented a number of programsnow on other activities that include dance, theater, drama,

    • 41:10

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and also portraying local artists,where they're touring across the region.So forgive me, I haven't got some of thisoff the top of my head.But it's a very important focus for us,as is demonstrating the technologythat we have here, the advancements we're makingin and around innovation.We had a story just recently that I

    • 41:31

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: saw, on Asian tourists coming herefor high-tech medical treatments.And we're sourcing this content also from across the ABCto put out.So we can't produce it all ourselves.The second part of your question was about the news storiesand how we manage the news.

    • 41:51

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: Well, we can't manage the news.And there is a natural tension here, obviously.But I think it's important to rememberthat a free and independent news service, free and independentmedia, is a cornerstone of any democracy.And it's one part of portraying Australiaas a free and open society, and it's a luxury

    • 42:15

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: that many of our neighbors don't enjoy.And I think that's one of the reasonsthat they do look to Australia.I think it's important to remember that.The second point is that we are very aware of the needto present stories in the context requiredfor the audience in the market they're in.So not to put stories out there as a direct feed, if you like,

    • 42:37

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: from the domestic service, but to paint the picture, givethe additional information, whateveris required to provide context into the marketthat we're serving.And we're very focused on that.But there are going to be those tensions that arise,and we deal with them as best we can.I think it's important, probably,to state that we know that certain stories have

    • 42:58

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: an impact when they land.Whether that is political, cultural,or indeed, have a legislative issue,because there are frameworks we operate in in each market.We need to understand what that impact is,and we need to be cognizant of itas we're delivering the story, in terms of how, when, where,et cetera.So these are things we attempt to manage

    • 43:19

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: as best we can, but there are natural tensions there.

    • 43:24

      COLIN: Right.As an old BBC hack, I think I'd endorsethe idea of independent news, because oneof the reasons the BBC World Service achievedsuch a high reputation, which it still has,is because of its total independence in termsof presenting the news, even though it's had many punchouts for the British government, of both political sides.

    • 43:49

      COLIN [continued]: Next one.Yeah.Somebody here.

    • 43:59

      AUDIENCE: Thank you.Jill St. Jane. [INAUDIBLE] Institute.I'd like to take up the first part of this forum'sfirst question to you, which perhaps [INAUDIBLE]in your response.And it's also to follow up to Allison's question, as well.It would be interesting to hear your comments about how

    • 44:25

      AUDIENCE [continued]: we can measure any changes in public opiniontowards Australia and towards AustraliaPlus or your various services.It might also-- it might, perhaps, notbe part of something that you've been able to fund,

    • 44:47

      AUDIENCE [continued]: for obvious reasons.But there are other initiatives that the government,particularly Brand Australia, which is managed by Australia.And it seems to me that one of the deficiencies of allof this work is that we don't havea regular system of feedback about what the reception is

    • 45:12

      AUDIENCE [continued]: or what particular problems or areas we might be overseeing[INAUDIBLE] development of [INAUDIBLE].I speak as a former [INAUDIBLE] in China.As a senior [INAUDIBLE] commissioner in China.As a consultant in Hong Kong and all of these places.I was personally involved in this area.

    • 45:37

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: Thank you very much for the question.It is a challenge to get accurate feedback.But when our staff, first of all, with the contact that wehave in the region.So the posts were involved in helpingus develop the strategy for the service

    • 45:57

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: as it's being rolled out.So we went to each post in the markets we're representingand asked them for their feedback.What should we do?And we have regular-- there's a feedback loop establishedthere now.So we have reviews of how we're going,how services are being received, and wetap into their local knowledge and what they're observing.

    • 46:18

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: And that's one of the things that we do.You made a reference to Austrade,and I had a meeting there today.And we aim to support the work of other agencies,in terms of better serving the needs of audiences, and alsoother programs to promote Australiaand looking to seek into their feedback mechanisms as well.

    • 46:39

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: The TV network, we have sporadic informationabout that in terms of its frequencyand which markets are being surveyed and so on.And I think it will continue to be slightly problematic,because we can't afford to fund these big surveys that the BBCor VOA just pay money and they go out and get through Gallup,or whatever they do.But where digital media comes in really

    • 47:02

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: to be very useful for us is that we can see absolutelyhow many people are accessing pages,where they're coming from, how they'refollowing the stories, where they're linking to,and the social media sites that I showed youjust before the numbers are up there, live.And we can check on them all the time.We can see how many people engage with particular stories.

    • 47:23

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: So this is the beauty of digital media,in a way, that you've got this instant feedback loop.And I think that that's really helpful to usin demonstrating the efficacy of the strategy.Indeed, in conversations that I'm having with people, wherethey haven't been aware of changesor what we're aiming to do.And I can show them live, in real time,

    • 47:45

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: on my iPad, exactly how many people are engaging.It's a very powerful thing to do.Much easier to demonstrate that than say,who's listening to us in Samoa, at any time, for example.But I think we'll continue to work on that one.

    • 48:02

      COLIN: There's somebody right over therein the middle back who popped up,and I'm not sure if they're going to pop up again.

    • 48:09


    • 48:10

      COLIN: Huh?

    • 48:10


    • 48:11

      COLIN: Yeah.I-- Yeah.OK.I can see a hand up there, please.Thank you.

    • 48:19

      AUDIENCE: Thank you very much.My name is [INAUDIBLE].

    • 48:22

      COLIN: Two of them.Ladies first.No, no.You go first.

    • 48:29

      AUDIENCE: My question is, [INAUDIBLE] is aggressivelycriticized as disclosing information and news whichthey, [INAUDIBLE] Australia.I'm wondering if this creates a censorship environment

    • 48:54

      AUDIENCE [continued]: in [INAUDIBLE].

    • 48:59

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: I think-- while there has been criticism,I think that the reality is that no one wants to see censorshipof media in Australia.And I think that this is a proposition thatwould be very much [LAUGHS] repelled,

    • 49:19

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: I think, is probably a great way to describe it,in terms of the ABC.But as far as we're concerned, wecontinue to report on the stories of the daythrough our services.And at times, that's going to be challenging,and we all acknowledge that.But as I said before, I think that the partnership we have

    • 49:43

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: is with DFAT for the delivery of the service,and I think they would be the last peopleto endeavor to interfere with the delivery of the news.And as far as how the ABC has covered these issues and so on,I mean, that is a call for ABC News, our managing director,and there has been much discussion on that point.But it's not-- those are not decisions

    • 50:04

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: that I'm involved with.

    • 50:07

      AUDIENCE: Thank you, Lynley.My name is [INAUDIBLE].I've got a question [INAUDIBLE].Is it your understanding that [INAUDIBLE]broadcasting [INAUDIBLE] television and radio.And therefore, to cut the executives outwould require a change of the [INAUDIBLE]

    • 50:29

      AUDIENCE [continued]: rather than just a executive action [INAUDIBLE].And [INAUDIBLE] well, the follow up oneis really why any rational or [INAUDIBLE]the word "efficiency," [INAUDIBLE] particular tasks.

    • 50:58

      AUDIENCE [continued]: It is not something that we say some tasks are not worth doing.So with those two questions in mind,do you think you have any [INAUDIBLE]from this enquiry today [INAUDIBLE],and do you think that [INAUDIBLE] could actuallytry to change [INAUDIBLE]?

    • 51:23

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: I'm just thinking about that. [CHUCKLES]Look, I can't really answer that question in relationto the ABC act.Certainly, international broadcastingis mandated via that legislation,and indeed, in our charter.Now, whether or not that means that wehave to deliver particular services in order

    • 51:45

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: to fulfill that requirement, I guess is a big question.Do we fear anything from the efficiency review?No.I think-- and we talk about this.The most important thing that we can do right nowis to continue to roll out this strategy.We are growing numbers in terms of the audienceswe are reaching locally.We are establishing a really valuable network now

    • 52:07

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: for the promotion of Australian public diplomacy,economic diplomacy, and business.And people are starting to understand that.And it is only just seven months in,so I think that our time and our energyis best invested in delivering that and endeavoring notto concern ourselves, as much as we can,

    • 52:28

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: in thinking through what outcomes of efficiency reviewsmight be.Although, of course, well all take it extremely seriously.

    • 52:39

      COLIN: Can I come in with a hard question?

    • 52:41

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: Please.

    • 52:42

      COLIN: Do you get any sense of what-- because your people,if not you yourself--

    • 52:46

      CREW: Mic.

    • 52:49

      COLIN: Your people, stationed around Asia, if not you,yourself.And I know you travel, too.Do you get any sense about what our diplomats in the field,ambassadors.We've got some really good ambassadors around Asia,actually.Do you have any sense what they feel about broadcasting

    • 53:09

      COLIN [continued]: as part of public diplomacy?Because we've talked about the ABCa lot, but what we haven't talked aboutis the role of broadcasting versus other formsof public diplomacy, of which there are many.What's your view on that?

    • 53:27

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: It's probably goingto be quite a short answer, Colin.I honestly don't know.What I can say is that we've had just wonderful supportfrom the posts and the ambassadors.And I think they're pleased with the progressthat they're seeing.And when we were in China, the 40th anniversary of ABC there,

    • 53:47

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: and we launched a Mandarin app at a function, and so on.One of the people from the post, theyhad commented that they just couldn't keep upwith the number of partnerships that were being establishedand the progress that's being made.They thought it was just terrific.So whether or not they have a particular viewon broadcasting as compared to other activities,I couldn't say.

    • 54:07

      COLIN: I raise that question because I'maware that the Australia Network, despite whatmight be its faults, has had many exclusive interviewswith Asian leaders.Some of them have been really good interviews whichhave been aired on that network, and they'vebeen denied the audience at home here,

    • 54:27

      COLIN [continued]: because frankly, some of our current affair programsare very parochial.So wouldn't it be fair to say that maybe some people overseasactually rather welcome the activity of the AustraliaNetwork?

    • 54:45

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: Yes.I think that's fair.Yes, I would agree with that.

    • 54:49

      COLIN: OK.Well, I'm afraid time is up.But somebody-- sorry, one very brief question at the back.Yeah.You've been waving your hands for ages, so go for it.

    • 55:04

      MATTHEW: Is this on?It is.Hi, my name is Matthew [INAUDIBLE].One of the most vocal critics of the Australia Network asof late has been Greg Sheridan, for [INAUDIBLE] Australia.He says that the Australia Network has taken mostly

    • 55:27

      MATTHEW [continued]: the ABC's editorial line on things like immigrationand climate change.And has actually made things harder for the governmentin this area.So my question to you is how doestaking the ABC's editorial line in this areaactually assist diplomacy from the other government?

    • 55:56

      LYNLEY MARSHALL: I would just saythat it's an assumption to say that there's a single ABCeditorial line.We have a different mandate for our servicethan the domestic mandate.We have different programs.We have a different news service, as it happens.And as I said earlier, our objectiveis to present the stories of the day

    • 56:16

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: in the context of the region that weare aiming to serve and provide content and stories too,and being sensitive to the considerationsall those people in that region.And I can point to any number of stories that have been put outon the domestic market.And we have covered those stories internationally,

    • 56:38

      LYNLEY MARSHALL [continued]: but provided a different context.We've had different commentary around them, and so on.So the Australian will take a particular line, I guess,because that's the way they're reporting on matters.But it's wrong to say that the international service isa slave to the domestic editorial agenda.It's just wrong.

    • 57:02

      COLIN: OK.Right.Well, thank you very much.Well, who better than to propose a vote of thanksto Lynley than another former ABC man, our own VicePresident, Richard Broinowski who actually,as he reminded us just now, was head of Radio Australia.So Richard, over to you.

    • 57:28

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI: Lynley, I wantto say, first of all, that I'm staggeredat the change and the complexity of technology, broadcastingtechnology, from 20 years ago, when I, with a budget of-- Istarted about 30 journalists out in East Berwind.

    • 57:49

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI [continued]: A budget of $15 million, broadcasting 24 hours a day,in 12 languages around the region,clear to North Asia, Japan and Korea, to what we have today.And I've listened carefully to what you've said,and I've struggled to understand the technical complexities.But I think I get it.

    • 58:10

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI [continued]: What I get is that we're going into a more collegial approachinto social media, into sharing partnershipswith other broadcasting services around the region, whichis not what we did at first.We started out as a propaganda serviceto try to bring back the colonial white masters

    • 58:32

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI [continued]: into Southeast Asia after the greater East Asia Coastprosperity sphere.Bob Menzies regarded this as a white Australia product.After that, we had fierce battlesabout who would control it, whether itbe Department of External Affairs and ForeignAffairs, or the ABC.The ABC won.And so it should.

    • 58:54

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI [continued]: So that's what we have.And you're running what I regard as a highly valuable service,and it's extremely important that it gets all the supportthat we can give it.And when I see comments made by our prime ministerabout the ABC is not particularly, what?Kicking goals for Australia, that's not the point.

    • 59:17

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI [continued]: The point is that Voice of Americais a propaganda service for the State Department.That's why Radio Australia and the BBChave always had a better cachet, a better respect in the region,because they are independent.Talking about ambassadors, I mean,Sir Arthur Teng, high commissioner of New Delhi, just

    • 59:38

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI [continued]: about hung, drawn, and quartered me for daringto put on a story that reflected badly upon the work he'dbeen doing in New Delhi.And he said, what the hell do we havea foreign service for if you're undercutting it all the time?The ABC withstood that and continues to do so today.The other point I'd make, Lynley, is that things change,

    • 01:00:00

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI [continued]: and they don't change.As you said, we used to measure audienceby the weight of the bags that would come infrom Jakarta or from Tokyo or from Beijing.Now, it's very hard to know exactly what our impact is.But as you said, and I agree with you,it is not just for expatriates.They're the least of our worry.

    • 01:00:21

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI [continued]: We have to keep it going.We have to keep it independent, and it will be.And I'll close by saying, Lynley,that it's with people of your quality that we have in the ABCwho are going to be able to stand upand just simply defy or resist in the mostdiplomatic and nicest way possible the slings and arrows

    • 01:00:43

      RICHARD BROINOWSKI [continued]: that you're going to suffer from the less enlightened membersof the political establishment.So thank you very much for what you've said tonight.

The Media and Public Diplomacy: Lynley Marshall

View Segments Segment :


Lynley Marshall of ABC International discusses the work her broadcasting organization does to connect Australia with the rest of Asia. She highlights the embrace of different media platforms and the building partnerships with news media in other countries.

The Media and Public Diplomacy: Lynley Marshall

Lynley Marshall of ABC International discusses the work her broadcasting organization does to connect Australia with the rest of Asia. She highlights the embrace of different media platforms and the building partnerships with news media in other countries.

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