The jockeying and lobbying over the government’s proposed media reforms is reaching peak intensity as we speak. Many eyes have naturally turned to the votes of Pauline Hanson and her parliamentary colleagues. So here’s a tip: the Hansonites will be flexible on supporting the key planks of the government’s proposed changes — the reach rule and the two-out-of-three ownership limits (two of TV, radio or newspapers in a single market) — in return for a quid pro quo. And what might that be? Splitting the ABC into two separately run parts, metro and regional, in order to deliver more funding and commitment to the ABC in regional Australia and splitting it off from the lefties in Ultimo. That might seem far-fetched, unless of course the idea garnered support from another crucial political force like the National Party (which is already open to rather robust interventions to ensure the ABC covers the regions).

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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