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Protestors rally around ABC, SBS.

3000 people turn out in Sydney to protest against govt cuts to public broadcasters.

2014-11-23_0147More than 3000 people turned out in Sydney’s Town Hall square to protest against cuts to public broadcasters yesterday.

Chanting “No ifs, No buts. No ABC Cuts” they held placards declaring “Keep Your Dirty Hands off our ABC and SBS,” “Make Abbott a Horrible History,” “We Want All the News not News Ltd,”  “Malcolm Turnbull Minister for Doublespeak.”

They listened to speeches from Tanya Plibersek, who said she had grown up with Play School and Doctor Who before moving on to Countdown and later becoming ‘more sensible’ watching Gardening Australia, Lateline and Foreign Correspondent.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam warned, “We are going to relegate these people to an historic footnote. When you open up the book in the future and you find that little footnote at the bottom of the page it’s going to read like a warning to all future governments.”

ABC Presenter Quentin Dempster also defended SBS, emphasising its importance for “Delivering a sense of inclusion through multilingual services to our rapidly increasing migrant population including this country’s 600,000 Muslims.”

Community and Public Sector Union president Michael Tull warned, “Very few parts of the ABC are going to be saved.”

Tomorrow some 4000 ABC staff will learn where jobs will go, while SBS staff will also learn where the axe will fall.

More protests are planned:

Melbourne Rally – Federation Square, 12:30pm today
Canberra Rally – Parliament House, 11:30am Tuesday

Source: ABCFriends of ABC, Fairfax, SKY

18 Responses

  1. A balanced ABC? That’s long gone.
    Who knew Maxine McKew was a Labor person, or the ex-weatherman? They kept their own opinions to themselves, and just presented facts.
    e.g this happened, that happened, the consequences are blah blah blah.
    Then it all changed. Wonderful Labor says this, evil Libs we just hate. Then the last election. Now it’s evil Tony does whatever, let’s hear from him or another Lib (2 seconds), now cross to Labor and the Greens for several minutes of hate and bullshite. Sorry, not interested in that form of news and current affairs!

  2. @greyghost Bit silly to accuse ABC and SBS of “living in the 60s and 70s” when they’re more innovative, tech savvy and forward thinking than any of their commercial rivals. It’s also not just about TV, it’s about the ABC overall. In real terms, they were underfunded for years, not overfunded and when you look at everything they do – TV, radio, web, mobile, education etc etc. – the bang-for-buck is already high, certainly higher than comparable commercial enterprises. (Of course, you could argue that the ABC is trying to do too much, but that’s a different discussion …)

  3. It’d have to be passed in the Senate, but if SBS can run ads, so can ABC’s 2, 3 and 24 channels and they always should have, but I only want ads to be shown on them, at the start and end of shows, not during them.

  4. No msd, I’m saying the world of television has changed, and the ABC needs to change as well. you can’t keep living in the 60s and 70s, and because it publicly funded means it should be lean.

  5. @greyghost So if commercial networks were making big profits, the ABC should have had a big funding boost instead? Great logic there. 7, 9 and 10 are commercial enterprises, not public services. They’re two different, separate things. (Although, taxpayers are now subsidising commercial networks via the cut they got to their license fees. Privatised profit, socialised loss etc).

  6. @William: It doesn’t need selling off for survival. The commercial networks, claiming that the advertising pie is rapidly shrinking, would certainly not welcome more competition for the advertising dollar. They are already kicking up a stink over SBS getting a mere 5 minutes extra per hour.

  7. @Spaceman – I’m assuming that you don’t actually watch ABC news or current affairs programs such as 7:30, Lateline, Insiders, or Q&A otherwise you would understand that ABC news and CA is very balanced. Minor parties of small influence (on either side) will always get less airtime than the major parties altho’, again if you had been watching, you may have noticed that Ricky Muir has well and truly had his 15 minutes.

  8. The commercial FTA networks have been cost cutting for years. FTA TV and radio will be the thing of the past as online streaming will be the future. I am not sure if those people realise that in picture. Wouldn’t it be better if they were sold off or even privatise to stand a better chance of survival.

  9. So the ABC is immune to cuts. The commercial networks have cut and culled staff so why shouldn’t the ABC. The 3 Melbourne stations don’t have sole use studios, 9 is at Docklands, 7 and 10 produce shows out of Dorcus st studios. All networks have small studios where they produce news and morning shows. They run on skeleton staff.
    Most shows now are crewed by freelance crew. The days of sitting in an empty studio waiting for a show to come in have gone.

  10. ABC News journalism should have a charter in place to have a specific amount of airtime for every political party. They should be inclusive of the views of not only the far-left, such as The Greens and Get Up! which is also a socialist green-left organisation. There are other political parties, such as Family First, Rise Up Australia, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, Liberal Democrats, Katter etc.

    ABC News journalism needs to improve its impartiality standards, otherwise, it looks like it is corrupted by groups, such as Teachers Unions.

  11. @ryan – What “higher prices” would one pay if there were no ABC cuts?
    How odd that commercial networks are given a huge cut in licence fees payable, but the government then claims it has to make cuts to the ABC budget for revenue reasons.

  12. @bettestreep2008….really?

    I have heard of conspiracy theories, but this one is a little too far. Sure there will be some “cuts” but AB and AJ are hardly compelling viewing and there are a huge array of news sources, some neutral, others left or right. So not quite 1930s Germany eh?

  13. The protesters are wasting their time.

    This government wants to sell off the ABC to Rupert Murdoch to ensure that Australians only get rightwing news.

    The IPA wants the government to only televise Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones 24 hours a day until we are all brainwashed.

  14. Dempsey doesn’t know what he is talking about. SBS’s budget likely won’t decrease. The advertising revenue increase is expected to be around the $10m p.a. cut in government funding. SBS operates efficiently and doesn’t employ many people, the only efficiencies the Lewis report found was sharing facilities with the ABC.

    Last week SBS said they didn’t expect to make more cuts, apart from those involved in the ratings based decision to cut Dateline to 30 minutes.

    Plibersek is claiming that 254 + 54 over 5 years equals half a billion.

    The ABC retains 96.4% of its funding. Government spending on public broadcasting will be $6.6b over 5 years. “Very few parts of the ABC are going to be saved.” All of the ABC will be saved, some workers and a few shows will not.

    There will be some actual facts this week when Scott announces his plans. He’s already announced a tiding up…

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