Much of the stuff I’ve read hasn’t been TV-related in my view. But if you’ve had one eye on News Corp you’d think the world was caving in as a result of the public broadcaster.
The story on the government’s intelligence methods in Indonesia has attracted widespread comment, both here and abroad. News Corp, which missed out on the scoop broken jointly by the ABC and The Guardian, has had plenty to say -at the same time as running ABC salaries of execs and talent. Barely a day goes by when News Corp isn’t slapping the ABC over some issue.
So I read with some interest an article by former Australian media writer Amanda Meade, now writing for The Guardian, in ABC’s defence.
She advocates for an independent public broadcaster, that isn’t subjected to government interference, as you can see in these select excerpts:
The ABC is not just a news and current affairs department and a single TV station. It serves the community on every level, from emergency services to community information to reflecting and nurturing Australian culture. There are five radio networks including local stations which serve regional and rural areas and are a lifeline for isolated communities. It provides commercial-free programs for children and innovative dramas such as Redfern Now which challenge and confront.
The corporation has been a leader in catch-up TV, online news and podcasts, and mobile services. In a country dominated by one media corporation, a vital independent public broadcaster is essential for democracy.
As a media writer for the Australian for many years, I reported on the ABC. I was at times an annoyance to managing directors, including Mark Scott. I wrote about cuts to foreign bureaus and programming, the cost of outsourcing TV, staff redundancies and the exploits of one MD who was eventually to be sacked by the board, Jonathan Shier. But I never advocated that the ABC should be stripped of funding, reined in or prevented from reporting stories that may hurt the government.
Attacks from News Corp papers, in particular from the Australian, are now so frequent that there can be no pretence the paper is running anything but a campaign. Where anti-ABC material once might have been found on the comment pages, now it seems to be reported as news, despite some stories having little news value.
Monday, for example, saw the paper arguing the ABC should not be promoting Twitter and Facebook on its programs – even while the Australian’s story featured the button for sharing on social-media platforms attached to every story.
You can read more here….