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Community TV “death-knell” gaining mainstream coverage

Fairfax, News, ABC, SBS, Yahoo, newspapers, online & radio are all covering, or even despairing, at govt plans to shift Community TV online.

2014-09-12_1300The bombshell news that the government would switch off Community TV as a broadcaster by the end of 2015 is now extending into the mainstream media.

The Age drew attention to a statement from Rove McManus: “What I gained from my Channel 31 experience was collaborating with fellow creative people in a group environment that taught me how to be a host and them how to be producers, camera operators, lighting technicians, set builders and editors.”

Jess Harris, from ABC’s twentysomething said, “It was the gap between having an idea and getting it out there and being able to show people what you’re capable of, show them you’re willing to work”.

SBS presenter Nazeem Hussain, who fronted Ramadan TV and Salam Cafe, said: “We were sick of seeing Muslims on TV who looked and sounded nothing like the Muslims we knew and hung out with. We were able to make TV we had never seen before on a channel that is known for being experimental … and giving voice to people who don’t have a voice elsewhere.”

Melbourne’s Channel 31, Matt Field, told AAP the transition would likely strip community TV stations of their advertising income from local small businesses.

“It’s going to be very difficult to convince those supporters of the station to migrate with us to internet-only platforms,” he said.

“It’s very likely that this will spell the end for community TV in Australia for good.”

Corrine Grant told ABC Radio, “I don’t understand how he thinks that community television can automatically switch its business model to being online when he’s not expecting the same thing as commercial free-to-air channels.

“I don’t understand why he thinks one business model won’t work for others but it will work for community television.”

Brisbane’s 31 Digital Community Manager Scott Black told 4BC:

“They’re attacking small businesses, is what they’re doing,” he said.

“They’re impending on our trade. I don’t understand why really, because we pay the federal government for the right to be able to broadcast.

“We get no funding, absolutely no funding – State or Federal.

“They’re shutting down a 20-year strong industry and stopping the future of volunteers, students, producer, hosts.”

Former Collingwood premiership captain Tony Shaw, who hosts Footy Fanatics on Channel 31, told 3AW:

“It’s done a great job,” he said.

“Think of some of the great talents who would’ve started on community television … then become bigger names in the media.”

There have also been reports on The Herald Sun, Crikey, The Australian, Yahoo, CNet, The Australian Financial Review, SBS, The Music, Pedestrian TV, The Vine, ZDNet, Business Insider Australia, BandT and more….

10 Responses

  1. @Earthquake – your sentiments make for a refreshing and poignant retort to all those right-wingers and their “burden on my taxes” comments about anything and everything they don’t personally use.
    Nicely put!

  2. @ Chris TP. Oh come on, UWS uses TVS as a training facility for its media students. Complaining that it costs them money is like complaining that the science labs don’t make a profit …

    And if UWS isn’t happy with the arrangement then they can change it, it’s certainly no reason to dump community TV Australia-wide.

  3. Community TV now what next Community Radio. I used to think that some people had brains…..now I do not know ….who has been advising him……not the Community sector for sure.

    A very bad decision in my book, but unless people start making a noise it will happen. Next thing you know ABC 2 & 3 will be on the internet.

    I sent around the petition , but only one signed it it is public apathy at its worst.

  4. I personally don’t watch much community TV, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist.

    I don’t use child care centres, primary schools or aged care facilities but understand the value that these things bring, just like community TV.

    It’s sad that the Liberals don’t see the value in it.

  5. I regularly watch TVS…I ‘never’ watch shopping channels…or even the shopping half hours…late at night….I did watch one when it 1st came on…it had some different shows like yoga etc…but not now…we get bombarded with enough ads…
    I dont mind ads on catchup…they are short and quick..I am more likely to notice what they are selling.

  6. @Laurie Patton: maybe closing down community television is the only way to stop TVS being a massive money-draining suckhole on the University of Western Sydney. What’s the total debt now – five million and climbing – you must be so proud!

  7. Why is Malcolm, or whoever it is pushing him, so fixated on tearing everything down? Australia Network, CTV, NBN. What next, dare one ask? ABC/SBS “merger”? End to Radio Australia? End to ABC24?
    But “data-casting”-shopping channels? Fear not. You are safe.

  8. I’m sure the the Gov is not going to let go of the chance to sell off the spectrum currently allocated to these guys but I think there must be somewhere to fit them in. AKA NITV on SBS.
    Maybe Community TV could just give their license fee to Nine who could drop a shopping channel to fit them in, even at Datacasting quality it would be better than online only.

  9. The communications department has been trying this on for a decade. Helen Coonan knew better (she introduced the so-called “permanent” five year recurring licences), Stephen Conroy said no. Why is Malcolm Turnbull being pushed into this crazy move one wonders?

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