You would think that the Government handing a quarter of a billion dollars over two years to a powerful industry, ostensibly for protectionist purposes of maintaining local production, would garner a bit of attention in the media. And you’d be right. There’d be a decent-sized splash in the press. Free marketeers would emerge to attack the Government. Press Gallery commentators would muse on the electoral politics of the handouts. Economists would count the cost of subsidies.
But the Government’s weekend handout to the free-to-air television networks - $100-odd million this year and $150m next – has sunk with barely a trace in the media. What coverage there was was nearly all flat reporting.