In terms of ideology, conservatives would rather be rid of the ABC altogether. Forget the fabulous services it provides in times of crisis, its programming, its news services, employment, its social debating and truth telling.
Just by its truth telling alone it is a hindrance to the ideals of conservatives who believe that informing the public is going a tad too far.
People of prominence like Andrew Bolt, Alan Jones and other adherents with conservative values want the ABC to be of lessor importance than commercial television, particularly when it comes to providing people with local and international information.
Almost every complaint of ABC bias is met with an inquiry and inevitably nothing of consequence is found.
In 2013 The Conversation reported that:
“Claims of ABC bias are always tenuous, especially given the extensive accountability framework developed over six years by former editorial policies director Paul Chadwick – after the 2003 inquiry into allegations by former communications minister Richard Alston of biased coverage of the Iraq war.”
Murdoch hates anything that is in opposition to him. The Liberals hate anything that is a voice of concern about the way we are governed. The Nationals – who are fully aware of the value and work that the ABC do in the country – nevertheless hates them because the Liberal Party does. But then the Nationals don’t govern for their constituents anyway. Just look at the NBN.
The ABC has a stable of programs that address all manner of public concern: News24, The Drum, Q&A, 7.30, Insiders and the many others that provide a varied source of news, information and discussion throughout Australia. Not to mention its services to rural Australia and Asia in general.
They spend their money wisely and are innovative to the point of being far in front of the commercial stations. Just look at iView.
Both the Labor and National candidates in Eden Monaro are both committed to restoring the $83.7 funding the Government has so stupidly taken away.
In trying to pretend that funds haven’t been cut the Government has made fools of themselves. Even the NSW deputy leader John Barilaro agrees.
As for the accusations of bias that stem constantly from the obsessed Andrew Bolt, The Australian newspaper and many others, I say, “What bloody hogwash.”
The ABC is subject to internal rules and regulations that require evenhandedness and must give equal prominence to things like climate change even though science has won the argument.
Tweets about the media, like poetry, speak through their brevity. Meaning that with a minimum of words a story can be told or a point made.
40 years ago I chaired a huge Save the ABC rally in Melbourne and had the odd experience of introducing odd-bedfellow protestors – together for the first time since the coup.Gough Whitlam AND Malcom Fraser. We need bipartisan support now.Rudd and Turnbull?Gillard and Bishop?
— Phillip Adams (@PhillipAdams_1) June 25, 2020
When I was young in the 70s I thought we were on our way to a better, fairer, more democratic & diverse world. If you had told me that in my 60s I would watch the media crumbling, dissent demonised, science scorned and facts ignored, I would have laughed at you. How niave I was.
— Jane Caro (@JaneCaro) June 25, 2020
Ten years ago today Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female Prime Minister. Almost immediately, the Murdoch media and the Tony Abbott led Opposition launched sexist attacks which they sustained until she was removed from her position. @JuliaGillardhttps://t.co/ZqJ4ik18QW
— Michael Taylor (@AusIndiMedia) June 25, 2020
The Morrison government seems to have forgotten that the economy is in recession. Because no sensible government slashes public spending in a recession, especially on an essential service like the ABC.
— George Megalogenis (@GMegalogenis) June 24, 2020
The loss of the most-listened to and flagship 7:45am news bulletin for listeners around the country – rural, regional, city, suburban, digitally-isolated – is massive. Is the financial saving worth it? @abcnews
— Virginia Trioli (@LaTrioli) June 24, 2020
Today has been devastating for my colleagues and for journalism. For the last ten years of my career in journalism I have seen job cuts after job cuts diminishing our ability to hold the powerful to account. #abc
— PatriciaKarvelas (@PatsKarvelas) June 24, 2020
Rupert Murdoch is on the record as saying that his first aim is to defeat the ABC. It is his only competitor in Australia, after all. With newspapers under threat throughout the world one less opponent would be ideal.
Lying in the media is wrong at any time however when they do it by deliberate omission it is even more so. Murdoch’s papers seem to do it with impunity.
So we find the ABC fighting for its survival on two fronts. On the one hand it is fighting an almost daily attack from commercial interests, and two, from true blue conservatives. Maybe they are one in the same.
For me all this opposition to the ABC serves only to reinforce its significance and importance. To suggest public broadcasting services are nothing more than news, entertainment and social commentary and can be provided from a variety of sources other that public broadcasting is nonsense.
(The ABC has its performance measured against a legislated charter of objectivity. Commercial outlets don’t.)
In the information age, those who control the dissemination of news have more power than government.
In fact, because the polarisation of media sources have led to an obstinate falsification of news and social commentary there is a case for increasing the ABC’s budget if only for the protection of objectivity. The ABC holds the powerful to account when others don’t.
Aunty may not be perfect, but she is miles ahead of the next best thing.
Of all the mainstream media organisations in Australia the ABC is streets ahead in public trustworthiness.
The mainstream media will only ever print or say whatever is in its best interests. This is usually blatant bias. Then it might say something interesting and truthful.
Just imagine if the ABC were privatised. It would be at whim of a money-making board of directors with their own capitalistic view of the world, together with their own biases.
What Australia needs right now is an independent, well-funded public broadcaster responsible to the people.
Its charter is to:
“… provide services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians, and it must reflect the diversity of interests in the Australian community through a range of distinctive programs of broad and specialist appeal.”
Something it does very well. Let’s keep it that way.
My thought for the day
The Fourth Estate as the custodians of the public’s right to know should act responsibly and report fact and not just express biased opinion.
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