Radio National

ABC Radio National is an Australia-wide radio network broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation with many various programs, involving news and current affairs, arts, music, society, science, drama and comedy. Some programs are mirrored on Radio Australia, Australia's shortwave service.

The radio programs from many of the stations are available for real-time streaming over the Internet, or for downloading as MP3 podcast files. Some programs also have transcripts available on the Radio National website

Radio National as it is known today has had a long history. RN's Sydney station 2FC first broadcast in 1923, the ABC taking over all existing "A" Class stations in 1932. 2FC stood for Farmer and Company, the original owner of the station before the ABC took it over. The Melbourne station, 3AR, began in 1924, followed soon after by 6WF Perth, 4QG Brisbane (which stood of Queensland Government), 5CL Adelaide and 7ZL Hobart.

From 1947 until mid 1980s, "Radio 2" (as it became known) was broadcast to the major metropolitan centres with additional reception in adjacent areas. It contained most of the ABC's national programming. It began to take on a more serious tone in the 1970s. Peter Timm, an art critic, notes ABC Radio National is "virtually the only non-print media forum for art in this country.

In 1985 ABC renamed Radio 2 to Radio National. Since 1990, all RN stations have had the same callsign format - *RN, where * is the appropriate number for the state or territory.

Typical programs

The times shown relate to Radio National's schedules in the eastern states of Australia


  • AM, The World Today, PM: in-depth news and analysis (Mondays - Fridays at, respectively, 7.10, 12.00, and 17.00)
  • Asia Pacific: current regional affairs in the Asia Pacific region, mirrored on Radio Australia (Tuesdays - Saturdays at 1.00 and 5.00)

News and analysis

  • Late Night Live, hosted by Phillip Adams and broadcast on Mondays to Thursdays at 22.00
  • Breakfast: news, current affairs and popular culture discussions, interviews and reports hosted by Fran Kelly (Mondays - Fridays, 6.00 to 8.30)
  • Bush Telegraph is an hour of country news and interviews from 11-12am.
  • Background Briefing is an agenda-setting current affairs radio documentary program (Tuesdays 19.10, Wednesdays 04.00, Sundays 9.10)
  • The National Interest features in depth analysis of national issues of interest (Mondays 2.00, Sundays 12.00), hosted by Peter Mares and formerly by Terry Lane
  • The Reports (broadcast on Mondays to Fridays at 8.30 and 20.00, and the following morning at 1.30): The Health Report (Monday), The Law Report (Tuesday), The Religion Report (Wednesday), The Media Report (Thursday), and The Sports Factor (Friday, 8.30 and 19.00)
  • Counterpoint hosted by Michael Duffy with views from the right of the political spectrum (Mondays 16.00, Tuesdays 21.00, Wednesdays 02.00)
  • Life Matters, hosted by Richard Aedy and including the Talkback Classroom segment, talks with the main people behind Australia's social policies – from workplace reform to education, health, family relationships, and social change (Mondays to Fridays at 9.00 and 2100)


  • Australia Talks: Mondays to Fridays 18.00 – 19.00, Tuesdays to Saturdays at 03.00)

Arts and music

  • Artworks: What's happening now in new music, art and culture in Australia and around the world (Sundays; 10.00, Tuesday 15.00)
  • Airplay: radio plays (Fridays 21.00, Sundays 15.00)
  • Poetica: poetry featured and produced for radio (Thursdays 21.00, Saturdays 15.00)
  • Music Deli: live music performances (Tuesdays 2.00, Fridays 20.00, Sundays 16.00)
  • The Music Show: latest developments in music, featured music and interviews with performers/composers (Saturdays 10.00 and 20.00)
  • Sound Quality: latest new music in the genre of electronica and others (Fridays 23.20 to Saturdays 1.00)
  • The Daily Planet / The Weekend Planet: music from all around the world (Mondays to Fridays 14.20 and 16.00, Mondays to Thursdays 2320, Saturdays and Sundays 22.00)
  • Radio Eye: Radio National's flagship documentary programme (Wednesdays 13.00, Saturdays 14.00)
  • The Night Air : an audio adventure – Dub mixing the best of RN programming (Sundays 20.35 & 00.05 & Fridays 21:35)
  • Exhibit A: a weekly discussion of arts issues, hosted by Julie Copeland, which is also downloadable from the ABC website.
  • The Book Show: discussion of everything relating to the written word, presented by Ramona Koval (10.00 - 11.00 Monday - Friday, 19.00 Sunday)


Radio National's religion unit provides reporting and analysis on religious and ethical issues for Australia. Following its ABC charter obligations, this unit forms a key part of the ABC's religion output, and is unique in providing the independent analysis of a public broadcaster.

  • The Ark : historians and authors about curious moments in religious history
  • Encounter : a radio documentary series exploring connections between religion and life
  • The Religion Report : religious current affairs (Wednesdays 0830 and 20.05)
  • The Rhythm Divine : "a musical journey through the world of belief"
  • The Spirit Of Things: an adventure into religion and spirituality, exploring contemporary values and beliefs (Mondays 21.00, Fridays 4.00, Sundays 18.00)


  • All In The Mind investigates the mental universe, the mind, brain and behaviour (Wednesdays 21.00, Saturdays 13.00)
  • Big Ideas deals with concepts of global importance.
  • The Philosopher's Zone: your guide through the strange thickets of logic, metaphysics and ethics. (Saturdays 13:35, Mondays 13:35)


  • The Science Show: recent developments in the field of science, presented by Robyn Williams (Mondays 19.10, Tuesdays 04.00, Saturdays 12.10)
  • All in the Mind: lateral explorations of the mind, brain and human behaviour presented by Natasha Mitchell (Wednesdays 21.00, Saturdays 13.00)
  • In Conversation: Personal interviews with scientific thinkers presented by Robyn Williams (Thursdays 19.40)
  • Ockham's Razor: a weekly opinion piece presented by Robyn Williams (Sundays 8.45)

See also

External links


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