Australian Broadcasting Corporation
|You gotta spin it to win it|
|Stop the presses!|
|We want pictures|
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is one of Australia's two public broadcasters (the other being the SBS). It is funded entirely by taxpayers, but has editorial independence from the government.
In the long term, News Corp won the televisual culture war. The ABC has flushed anyone who could upset Murdoch's apple cart. The ranks of the ABC are now filled with LNP mouthpieces and Liberal-voting "centrists." They're just a bit more cosmopolitan than your average Murdoch stooge.
Australian people trust the ABC more than any other news source (according to a 2013 story from crikey.com.au). Despite allegations from News Corp Australia columnists that the ABC exhibits a systemic Left-wing bias, and repeated criticism from the Abbott Government, the vast majority of Australians regard the ABC as fair and balanced. Random street interviews conducted by The Courier Mail, a News Corp Australia tabloid, found unanimous support for continuing ABC funding at current levels.
One Nation Senator Brian Burston has called for it to be replaced by a "Patriotic Broadcasting Network".
Always Be Closing
The ABC has been amazing at cost cutting in the last few years: it launched ABC2, 3 and 24, implemented iView, and upped its other digital offerings without any increases in funding over that period. This points to an extremely agile organisation. But the government is still furious that there are paid parental leave provisions, domestic violence provisions and a pay hike which is essentially a 1%/year increase. This idea that the public sector is an inefficient behemoth is just smoke and mirrors for an unnecessary widening of the private sector in all aspects of society.
Christopher Pyne lobbied hard for cuts to the ABC, then begged them not to shut down production facilities in his district. Really makes you think. 🤔
While the ABC has a generally excellent standard of news and current affairs reporting, some editorial misjudgements have included:
- A two-part special on its flagship science program Catalyst that questioned the link between cholesterol and heart disease, and featured promoters of various medical woo as an alternative to statins. The program drew record ratings, and resulted in one in 10 heart disease sufferers discontinuing their medication.
- Airing the film Overdose written by Cato Institute fellow Johan Norberg as an episode on its current affairs show Four Corners. A subsequent internal investigation found that the program had breached the ABC's editorial policies.
- Repeatedly interviewing Gerald Celente as a "trend forecaster" on ABC radio in Adelaide and Brisbane
- Knott, Matthew, "'A fundamental challenge to the ABC's independence': ABC chair unloads on Turnbull government", The Age (11/2/16 at 5:52PM).
- Gothe-Snape, Jackson, "Christopher Pyne calls on ABC to save Adelaide TV production", The Advertiser (11/18/14 at 4:32pm).