TV & Radio

Sep 11, 2014

Turnbull sends community television to the gallows, leaves sector fuming

Thanks to Malcolm Turnbull's surprise announcement yesterday, community TV stations have 15 months left on air.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

The community television industry body was blindsided by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcement yesterday that the government was pushing community television off the air.


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20 thoughts on “Turnbull sends community television to the gallows, leaves sector fuming

  1. paddy

    While there’s a sizable list of Turnbull’s “achievements” that I find deeply offensive, for sheer, vicious bastardry, this one is only topped by his gutting of the NBN.
    I’m almost impressed (in a very sick way) that he can actually keep a straight face, while suggesting the Community TV should use the Internet as an alternative mode of transmission.

    I really hope this Govt only manages the one term.
    Because the amount of damage they’ve managed to inflict so far, is downright scary.

  2. Mali Edon

    >If it’s such a great broadcast medium, then why aren’t Seven, Nine and Ten making significant moves to shift their business online?”

    The simple answer is that once out of the center of the capital cities there are many areas where the internet is not fast enough (if it exists) to support streaming for one viewer let alone a household of users

  3. tumblingdice

    The pointless cruelty of this decision left me absolutely staggered yesterday. I think it’s become obvious that the Liberals will sell anything, at any time, as long as it turns a profit for them and their corporate friends – but to destroy something that does a lot of genuine good for a lot of people, gives a voice to people who will never, ever be acknowledged by mainstream, commercial broadcasting, and acts as a training ground for future cultural contributors – it absolutely beggars belief. Community programs about gardening, or baking, or fishing, or helping people in need, or gay culture, or underground music – all sacrificed at the altar of neoliberal greed.

    Turnbull is no moderate, he is not ‘one of the good ones’, and he is not a ‘friend’ to anyone other than his corporate cronies. The Liberals are wreckers of everything they can – and nothing else.

    I hope that Australia rallies around and fights this. It’s not theirs to destroy. It cannot be that the Liberals can destroy anything they see fit at any given time. It just cannot be.

  4. tinman_au

    “Media identities who got their start on community television include presenter Rove McManus, comedian and author Corinne Grant, Fear of a Brown Planet’s Nazeem Hussain, radio duo Hamish and Andy, ABC radio presenter and Fairfax columnist Waleed Aly”

    Hmm…I can’t think of why the Liberals would be gunning for them…

  5. Brian Williams

    Too true Paddy – an utter act of bastardry from a man I was once dumb enough to believe would make a good and fair Prime Minister. What the hell was I thinking?

    And why does the spectrum need to be freed up, anyway? No-one is seriously looking to start a new FTA commercial channel, and Ten is burning so much cash it might be out of business in 2 years.

    The only hope on the horizon is that a groundswell of public support is created over the next 15 months, and that all other parties promise to restore the channels after the 2016 election. Methinks that Turnbull has seriously underestimated just how loved these stations are in some communities.

  6. archibald

    I love the idea that this channel would be used by the current networks. Prior to “self-regulation” FTA broadcasters were limited to 14 mins per hour of commercials. Now, these networks are dividing their chunk of spectrum into multiple channels some of which run ads 24/7 and other which run adverts continuously all night. How the precious resource of this bandwidth can be handed over for this sort of useless guff is beyond me. Looking at this situation, Turnbull should be taking away “their” bandwidth if they aren’t using it for anything that benefits the community, not giving them more.

  7. Graeski

    What actually happened was that someone in Malcolm’s office made a typo in a report to him and referred to it as “communist television”.

    It was all downhill from there.

  8. Luke Hellboy

    Oh the irony of gutting the NBN and then telling community stations to go produce content online. What’s next, inflicting vicious anti-asylum seeker immigration policies while increasing 457 visas for low or unskilled work? That’s right, they do that too. Seems ironic policy is par for course. Being able to appreciate the black humor in this govts policies is the only benefit they have (for the bottom 95% of us anyway).

  9. sparky

    And slowly the voices are silenced.

  10. ralph

    Turnbull is dreaming if he thinks the broadcasters will manage the transition to MPEG4.They only completed the switchover to digital TV at the end of 2013 and much of the transmission infrastructure is relatively new.! The broadcasters are unlikely to have any immediate interest because it would involve a further capital outlay to upgrade transmission infrastructure, many of their viewers only have MPEG2 capable TVs and would be unable to access services without a MPEG4 set top box and the whole process would be disruptive as channels are swapped around and services possibly simulcast.

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