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TV & Radio

Nov 22, 2016

ABC Radio's deliberate step to the right

The ABC has appointed right-of-centre hosts to several high-profile metropolitan radio gigs, as part of a campaign to broaden the ABC's political diversity.


Notice anything, well, right wing in the latest round of appointments at ABC Radio?



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28 thoughts on “ABC Radio’s deliberate step to the right 

  1. Robert Smith

    Radio presenters first need a talent for radio. The few times I have listened to Tom Switzerland my impression was that the content was ok but it was just dull and I was not attracted back.

    1. Robert Smith

      Autocomplete has done me in. It should read Switzer.

      1. zut alors

        Remember the good ol’ days when ABC radio announcers had voices rich with timbre?

        1. graybul

          I remember when going camping we said “out bush”. Now “in the woods.” Or “garbage” instead of ‘trash.’ etc etc Not too far off . . . . ABC ‘American Broadcasting Commission’.

        2. Tinatoerat

          “rich with timbre” = men?

          1. zut alors

            ‘Timbre’ does not apply only to male voices nor does ‘rich’.
            Perhaps you prefer ‘well modulated’.

  2. Itsarort

    Will the same procedural rules and policy for bias that is applied (ad nauseam) to the so called Lefties, be also applied to the neo-farcical Righties at Aunty?

  3. Novocastrian

    Aunty needs to take a leaf from Charlie Skinner … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMNjUz9u1Tc

  4. paddy

    ” our presenters bring to the conversation a wealth of real life experience.

    Hmm. I believe the technical term for that is… frogshit.

  5. AR

    I’m glad to be rid of the muzak on RN and will wait to see what the effect the new appointments have, if any.
    However 702 Sydney is an utter wasteland, from the alleged comedienne, Wendy Hamer – ‘dumberer than soup’- in the morning to the egregiously incompetent Christine Anu in the evening.
    The rest of the schedule is tired retreads like Valentine, Glover and 3 time loser Philip Clarke in what was once the only beacon of light on the station, Nights with del Roy.

    1. Bill

      AR – give us some examples of “muzak” on RN.
      Then let us know what you would replace the alleged muzak with.

      1. AR

        Late nights made intolerable by Dreary Oceans and the afternoon infuriating by Ragged Sleeve.
        Replace with 2FC type progs. or just R4 – though it died the death of John Birt cuts in the Thatcher era, it still manages 10 times the output of RN.

        1. Bob the builder

          Dreary Oceans is it, it’s a mystery how his rambling, forgetful self has kept a job at the national broadcaster so long. Don’t mind the Inside Sleeze though, but the RN re-hash that is Afternoons needs to go. Michael McKenzie’s done the best he could with a poisoned chalice, but if I wanted to hear small re-hashes and snippets of upcoming shows I’d first get a lobotomy – the whole thing is a glorified two-hour advert and needs the heave-ho.
          And what’s with the excellent documentaries being in the late morning – unless RN (mis)management is going to ditch broadcasting and expect everyone to podcast, it makes absolutely no sense to have nuanced, complex, challenging radio documentaries on at a time when almost the entire population is not sitting down quietly and reflexively.

          But to the main point – commercial / corporate elites being more “in touch” with “everyday” people? Good joke, that one. Don’t management think that the ABC consistently being rated as one of the most trusted Australian institutions gives a clue to how “everyday” people think presenters represent issues? No, no, let’s listen to highly-paid elites in the commercial media, the judiciary and the corporate world to tell us how us “everyday” people think!

    2. Tinatoerat

      del Roy is (dare I hope ‘was’) a good reason for abandoning night time radio. Just listening to his drivel was dreadful, infuriating and the reason I’ve become a Classic FM lover.

  6. Interrobanging On

    “…reflect the political and ideological spectrum by airing ‘a diversity of viewpoints’, which our editorial standards demand”

    At best, that sounds like a recipe for the ABC ‘false balance’ to me. Meaning they will give a stump to the nutter One Nation Senator Roberts and his conspiracy theories, because they legitimately report *news* or even *facts* about climate change, for example. Of course, that is generally only one way, with only the right being given the ‘balancing’ opportunity, or the far loony right being ‘balanced’ with someone in the centre, rather than the real left, e.g. Bolt versus Burney.

    Most likely the hurtle right is willing and it isn’t really about balance, however false or misguided (e.g. Bolt and Burney). Remember the tech editor Nick Ross told to write anti-Labor story to counter a factual story about the NBN the reflected badly on Turnbull’s mule of an NBN? Remember Chris Uhlmann’s clear slant on renewable energy? It’s pretty ingrained.

    In both cases, the ABC denied any issue *at all*, which is a pretty good indication there is a problem. The evasive and highly disingenuous response to Uhlmann complaints seems pretty well echoed in the justifications from the ABC here.

    Lastly, a tip for the ABC: If you are trying to mollify your attackers, it pays to remember that giving in to a bully just means more bullying. The Liberal Party/IPA and Murdoch (with added commercial interest) have no stake in removing pressure on the ABC, even if and when it becomes a Pravda outlet for them (pretty close already, looking at 7.30, say), so will not stop.

  7. Bill

    There are time when I wonder what people are talking about. The example of Jane Marwick (720 Perth) is one. I listen most days. Sometimes she does mention her past association with commercial radio. But right wing? Does that mean the everything on commercial radio is to the right.

    Jane is about as neutral as could be unless I have failed to notice where left stops and right begins. She’s just a brilliant presenter. Thats enough for me!

    1. tonysee

      I agree, Bill, not because I know anything about Jane Marwick*, but because I don’t think the case was made at all. The premise of the article is a ‘shift to the right’, yet the examples given are characterised as ‘For the most part, these appointments are not culture warriors’.

      Well, if they’re not ‘cultural warriors’ is it reasonable to characterise them as ‘right’ just because they’ve worked for commercial media? Very tenuous!

      * If Jane Marwick is anything like Ali Clarke, who I have heard a few times, the argument is even weaker. Clarke seems a thoroughly pleasant personality with no particular axe to grind and has one of the most important attributes you can have in radio: a good voice.

  8. Nota Bene

    Public servants generally incline to promoting the public interest. This means that their collective views are largely contrary to LNP governments. The easy solution is to outsource all public interest matters to the highest bidder – preferably in the form of a monetisable monopoly.

  9. Urban Wronski

    It’s about speaking the truth to power; holding the government to account. Right wing commentators on ABC merely add yet another serving of the government’s media saturation and propaganda already available elsewhere. The right represents vested interests who already have huge resources and means to advance their own publicity.
    Some of us still expect some truth from our national broadcaster, not the mindless craven repetition of government talking points.

  10. Roger Clifton

    I am pleased to note that every one of those “six new voices” grew up in Australia, so we can expect them to be speaking in clear Australian English. This is a welcome break from a previous practice, hardly diverse, of favouring accents from the backwoods of Britain. The ABC is the de facto custodian of the educated Australian voice, which has come to be understood and respected throughout Southeast Asia and the rest of the world. It’s a national asset, let’s keep it healthy.

  11. graybul

    Just wondering; how will Gerard Henderson find time to take up this new challenge? His sparkling commentary on TV might need be cut back to allow for adequate opportunity to explain the inequity of left wing dominance denying balance to regional radio listeners.

  12. mary wood

    Is there really a left-wing bias at the ABC or does there only appear to be bias to the left when it is compared to the MSM, all of which, in my opinion, are totally biased towards the right (read government), and boring. Any discussion about the ABC invariably leads to the comment that it is publicly funded, and should be strictly neutral because of this. However anyone who is a consumer is also paying for the commercial media as the costs of advertising are included in prices for goods and services. Can anyone seriously claim that programs such as Four Corners, Gardening Australia and Landline could or would be made by any other media, and furthermore that these programs are not worth while even if they do not appeal to everyone. (Personally I run screaming from the room whenever there is a cooking show or reality program on TV – but I accept that there are others who enjoy this stuff.) So why does the ABC believe that it has to cater to all tastes, surely an impossible task anyway. The proposed changes to the RN lineup are sufficient for me to turn off completely – my enjoyable Sunday mornings listening to the intelligent Jonathon Green with his dry wit to be replaced by Tom Switzer and Kim Williams comparing a program called “What Keeps Me Awake at Night” – it sure as hell is not his conscience and I actually don’t give a stuff about his insomnia. The RWNJs in the coalition would not be satisfied even if the two hosts mentioned above compared every program with their ideology – diversity is not accepted by them. I don’t know what audience the ABC is attempting to appeal to, but I am quite sure it will lose a large section of its audience, never to return. Farewell Auntie.

  13. James O'Neill

    Mary Wood asks a legitimate question. The premise behind a “move to the right” is that there is a “left” position that one is moving from. It is one of the more obvious absurdities in this debate that the ABC is actually left or even left of centre. In some parallel universe perhaps.
    We actually need a more left perspective if only to provide a counterweight to the manifest BS that passes for most news analysis in this country.

  14. klewso

    Great. Guthrie guff. More Vanstones around our collective neck.
    We can get right-wing flapping from the rest of the media – why do we have to get it at the ABC?
    And just because people don’t toe the supercilious infallible conservative line why does that make them “left” – because the centre is left of these far right flappers?

  15. Dog's Breakfast

    I’m glad that the issue of pay was brought up. In many public sector positions the only people who stay are those who have the ‘public good’ as their motivation, and will stay if the pay is adequate.

    Right wingers will go for the money. Sure, it’s a stereotype, with a trememndous amount of truth behind it. The values are aligned.

    That and the fact that right wingers are invariably frightfully boring people makes it inevitable that they will only play on commercial radio where they are paid higher and regularly interrupted by commercials.

    But that ABC702 group is a tired line up. Is Wendy Harmer still on? How?

  16. lethell

    It was pretty depressing today to hear Jon Faine’s Marcus Baddeley (sp.?), the usual stock-market commenter, spouting the LNP anti-industry super line in a way that was no more than a thorough-going advertisement for the latest piece of union-bashing. I was shocked that 774 permitted him to push such a clearly politically motivated opinion in a role that is meant to be neutral and impartial, although I have noticed a tendency to defend more vigorously than used to be the case right-wing views by Faine in the mornings. I decided quite a while ago that, even though impartial inquiries have invariably cleared the ABC of bias, they are clearly running scared. ABC radio has certainly become duller and less informative than it used to be.

    1. James O'Neill

      Lethal, you might like to read my piece on Mr Faine, just up on http://www.gumshoenews.com. Enjoy.