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Clear as ABC: We need our public broadcaster because there is an absence of political truth

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.

 

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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22 comments

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  1. Jon Chesterson

    MORRISON’S TROJAN HORSE – THE ABC

    While I agree with yourJohn, absolutely but not absolute, right now the ABC spends more time suppressing and attacking the Opposition or leaving them in oblivion than examining the truth and tackling the lies, excesses and abuses of the Liberal and Federal Government in power, doing their bidding.

    They follow Morrison’s announcements every day, word for word interrupting any news on the ABC News channel giving Morrison and his ministers unprecedented free air time for him to go on and on with his sermons, admonishments, self praise, lies and attacks on Labor who haven’t been in office for over 7 years. Funding for this and that, and more than half promised never sees light of day unless it is to fund his own party pocket and himself, big body corporates, mining and Trump’s USA.

    You’ll hear no critique or analysis of Liberal policy and government from the ABC except the occasional satire, which I am expecting will be the next commentary suite of programs and comedy to disappear under the holy cow of appointed cronies and CEO on the ABC Board by the Liberals; and their spending cuts (an inverse oxymoron of their infamous Indue welfare scam, Great Barrier Reef, Sports fraud, electoral pork barrelling, bushfire, Jobseeker, latest military spending and hedonistic carnival of other Liberal pleasures) sending us not to Poseidon’s global den of iniquity.

    We are on a road to Patriotic Pentecostal destruction as Morrison takes useless mindless pokes at the Dragon… agh anyone would think he was St George but the moron will be knocked off his horse long before he gets his pitiful lance up, and we will suffer for it – We already are. The kingdom of heaven is at hand! (Anyone remember his maiden speech? It wasn’t that long ago)

    …and where is the ABC other than shitting themselves about their jobs, attacking Labor and progressive social policy – Enter compatriot bully Patricia Karvelas voila!

    One thing’s for sure, the Trojan Horse, the Greeks are bringing down Troy and our ABC by turning everyone against it, for Achilles to drag the ‘devil’ Hector and much needed progressive social, human and environmental policy all around the walls of our Liberal infested fiefdom. You won’t find our ABC there but that is where they damn well should be – Calling this government to account, our number 1 media priority in the public interest and the interests of our country and our children.

    Tomorrow is Eden-Monaro, another Trojan Horse now set up and loaded by Morrison and his ABC to continue the curse. For God’s sake people don’t vote Liberal!

    🤖👁🧐

  2. Jon Chesterson

    Oooops – * While I agree with you John…

  3. Harry Lime

    The Liar and his evil minions are doing a number not just on the ABC,but the entire country,and it daily gets worse.We will be a long time climbing out of Morrison’s pit of destruction.As has been said a million times,not enough people give a big rat’s arse.
    When will this puffed up fraud finally fuck himself up?

  4. andy56

    I read in the last couple of days some punch drunk neolib say that any manager worth his salt can find 10% cut in the abc budget. Well folks,. after nearly 20odd years of cuts,( i left on the second redundancy wave) i fail to see how much more it will bare. Just about everything is outsourced, as per neolib ideology, yet its still not enough . When you look at everything it does, its an amazing job. Contrary to what brain dead people may say, it has umpteen tv station and radio stations putting out every day. I dare say, the next level of exploitaion would be to franchise out everything. And we all know how bad thats turned out to be for everyone involved in franchise surfdom. as the song goes, put up a parking lot.

  5. mark delmege

    If you think the ABC and its organs are truth tellers you really should get out more. Sure it appears to have ‘a level’ of local independence, kindof up to a low point only but its foreign reporting is nothing more than alliance maintenance. Its a lie a minute freak show – Russia this China that and forever pushing the US Democrat propaganda except when Trump is bombing someone which of course they always support. To be honest its a racist grovelling neocolonial outfit that can not be trusted to report accurately on world affairs.

  6. Graeme SMART

    There is a fundamental difference between public and commercial broadcasting.
    For the ABC the customers are the Australian public. Their products are the programs.
    For commercial networks the customers are the advertisers. We, the viewers watching are the product they sell.

    Unfortunately SBS has been forced to straddle a line between the two.

  7. Sully of Tuross

    Sadly the ABC is lurching to the Right.
    Patricia Karvelas on Afternoon briefing is the worst journalist on the ABC, A Murdoch import who has never grown into a fair minded repprter. Her questions, are childish, repetitive, gotcha style and she has an ego that has no place on the ABC. Her interview of Anthony Albanese last Wednesday was the worst ABC interview I have witnessed for bias, rudeness and egotistical self-promotion. Questioning him, star chamber wise, about State Political matters shows she is just not up to the job. She said Albanese should follow her twitter feed if he wants a feel of what questions she will ask.. What hubris!!!!
    The Drum has become a rest home for Liberals or National has-beens or a launching pad for young Conservative political wanna bees to raise their public profile. 9 nights out of 10 there is a Liberal or National on the panel, along with a business organisation representative, management consultants and the like. Labor people are as rare as hens teeth, Greens, union leaders and workers even rarer.
    Insiders under David Speers has seen the regular appearance of Murdoch crackpots like Greg Sheridan dominate the show when on, and Speers interviewing technique of constantly interrupting, particularly Labor people, leaves a lot of room for improvement.
    The 7.30 Report has been destroyed as a Political Current Affairs show because of the Prime Minister and his minions refusing to go on it.
    The fact Emma Albrecici is out of a job, whilst Karvelas and Speers have their own programs, and Karvelas struts around as the self-appointed Queen Bee of the ABC, shows just how far the ABC has fallen, thanks to endless cuts, weak management and a Tory Government pandering to the Murdoch Maggots and shock jocks.
    Talent like Leigh Sales and Laura Tingle are being pushed aside and others have been sacked.
    How can this be turned around?
    I think A Labor Government is the only hope of saving the ABC and restoring it to its rightful place as an independent, neutral information source and holder of all political sides to account.

  8. MrFlibble4747

    Not so much hostage to Porters Nobless Oblige as his waiving Droit du Seigneur power!

    We truly are returning to medieval controls. An absolute farce!

  9. wam

    A great warming giggle today, lord.
    I was a little confused by your “responsible to the people’. That is the point of the cuts? If the view of the people, and their government, the ABC is not servicing their interests.
    The 7:45 news sets the scene for AM and the day. The shock jocks then take over for the home bodies, delivery and work shops and the most properly from their point of view resent the ABC being first..
    They have killed insiders and the ABC radio morning shows have influence so they are targets. of the townie libs but there is a chance the bushnats may be influenced by the bush voters?? .
    Fishnet showed the next target.
    Notice a repeat of email attacks on kerryn phelps not aids and homophobia but covid and pell. Fits with scummo’s resurrections of commos and defence.
    Surely Albo can see the need to get on the morning shows after hearing kennet and his gang of 8. He will be on about rudd’s ‘faceless men’
    The back yard BBQ are a source of redressing the conservative bullshit if the labor members have arguments to counter the lies??

    The fourth estate was diluted when autocueists like silly twitty mel and karl baby became ‘journos’.and is now dishwater with amateurs filling the air with OWF (opinions without fact).
    When opinions are believed they become the truth, lord. Truth is hard to negate and requires effort. The truth that labor cannot manage the economy but the libs can is patently wrong but sadly still the truth for many ignorant workers. Albo has work to do.
    A major work is the recovery of melbourne from the loonies

  10. Ken

    Without the ABC less of the wrong things that are happening will be disclosed and that is very bad.

  11. My say

    So true Ken, without our ABC we are indire trouble ,That is why they are killing it with a thousand cuts
    They will try to get rid of any one any anything ,that hold them to account,
    The people of Eden Monaro, have the chance to tell the Morrison Government ,this weekend that they have had enough of the cuts to our ABC, lack of action on
    Climate Change, The disgusting way they handled the Bush Fires, The cutting of Week End Orality Rates ,for retail workers ,Sport Rorts,The list goes on and on ,
    It will be interesting to see if they vote against their own interests or not ,I won’t hold my breath,

  12. New England Cocky

    @mark delmege: Do you think the axe hanging over ABC jobs may influence journalists to kow-tow to news Ltd and their toady coven of self-serving cranks, in the vain hope that their personal position may be saved when new Ltd is sold the ABC for a peppercorn price?

    @Sully of Tuross: I agree, Karvelas is arguably the least capable journalist in the ABC stable, discovering that she is a News Ltd plant like David Spews on Insiders, the stage for soft political prejudice in favour of maintaining the status quo, explains a lot.

    I love my ABC and I vote!!

  13. LambsFry Simplex.

    Fascism on the march…a bit like an electronic version of the book burnings in Germany in the 1930’s

  14. Terence Mills

    The Communications Minister, Paul Fletcher, will shortly be announcing who will get the $50million in taxpayers money dedicated to regional news gathering and publishing under the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program.

    This money will go to regional television, radio and print to ensure that the regions are not left behind.

    Oddly, Murdoch chose to close over one hundred regional newspapers before the scheme recipients were announced.

    Why not just give the money to the ABC ?

  15. LambsFry Simplex.

    Can they give back what they have just taken away?

    Laughable, isn’t it?

  16. mark delmege

    NEC No I don’t. They are bought and paid for shills and No I dont think they ‘kow-tow’ to Murdoch – they are of the same class and as state broadcasters go is probably as bad as any of them in the western world though they probably all run the same content these days anyway. The ABC (tv and radio) isn’t completely useless – and can do some non political programs well though not so much anymore with death by 1,000 cuts. As for TV I just want one or maybe two shows a night I can watch – most nights I can’t anymore unless I like local or english reruns (hint I dont). SBS at least have some good On Demand content and its browser isn’t as bad at iview. I’m not surprised at the speed of decline of the ABC the worse it gets the worse it gets. As for its news content – Its as if the old ‘D Notice’ system is in place on all matters of international news

  17. Sully of Tuross

    mark delmege, you have just delivered a classic case of blame the victim.
    The reason the programming is terrible and full of repeats and cheap to make unfunny comedy efforts is because its funding has been repeatedly cut and cut until there is nothing left to buy in or make quality shows.
    Starve a racehorse and see how well it runs, then you can blame the horse.

  18. mark delmege

    Do you wear glasses Sully?

  19. andy56

    mark, sully makes a mash of your arguements, lol

  20. B Sullivan

    Suppose you hear something on ABC radio or watch something on ABC television and you wish to make a comment. It used to be possible to post your comment on the relevant program’s web page. Now this is no longer possible. Instead you are directed to Twitter and Facebook.

    The ABC has outsourced its feedback to data mining platforms who sell that data to data analysts (like Cambridge Analytica) who can produce extremely accurate profiles of individual users of those platforms which they then sell to advertisers (like the Trump Campaign or Clive Palmer) who can individually target those users with advertisements individually tailored to appeal to them in accordance with their profile.

    This process is the business model which rakes in billions of dollars for these social media/data miners. What I would like to know is what does the ABC get in return for directing their audiences to be mined by them.

    Come to think of it, does The AIM Network mine and sell meta-data. Am I seeing the same adds as everybody else who visits this page? I keep getting adds for solar panels which is quite appropriate for someone of my leaning.

  21. mark delmege

    I count ten trackers

  22. paul walter

    Interesting sort of comment, B Sullivan…turns your guts, eh?

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